Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Tuesday Thoughts About...

...type A personalities. I'm pretty sure I'm a type A personality. And, my granddaughter, Morgan is exactly like me! Here's the story.

About a week before Thanksgiving, Morgan texted me and asked if we could plan a family party on New Year's Day. I said it was fine with me. She then said she wanted to cook. I said, "Okay, you can consider this your party." Within 30 minutes, she sent me the menu and grocery list. Then she "Venmoed" me for $37.00 for the "glasses" she bought. She said that she had all kinds of New Years' paper products in her Amazon cart. I told her, "Hold off on that. I have everything we need for entertaining." I then sent her this picture:
Next came the "e-vite" to the whole family! 

Within an hour, she had asked permission to have the party at our house, planned the menu and itinerary for the day, told me that grandpa needs to make the betting sheets for the football games, sent the grocery list, bought "goofy" 2023 glasses and sent the invitation! OMGosh! That's a lot! I was feeling so overwhelmed by her. It wasn't even Thanksgiving and she was planning New Year's Day!! 

I asked Stephanie if I'm like that. She said, "Yeah, mom, you kinda' are!" 

OMGosh! I didn't realize that I overwhelm people too. I can see it now. I'm a planner and not at all a procrastinator. In fact, I sent out our Christmas itinerary--including all the food and activities yesterday. I made my grocery list too. And, it's not even December yet. I need to "throttle back!" 

Still, I love this about Morgan. She's a planner and is always getting us together. I'm happy to let someone else take over the job!!
This is the only picture I could find of Morgan and me!! Well, except for this one:
An "oldie" but a "goodie!"

Hey Morgan, we need more pictures of just the two of us!!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Me on Monday

Well, it was an unusual Thanksgiving for us. It was only Steph and Nicky (and his mom, Jenni) with us this year. We decided to just go to the club--which was definitely the right call. The food was so delicious---and no clean up! Gotta' love that. But, Butch and I agreed that it seemed kind of weird--not bad, just weird. Coming home alone made it more like a regular day than a holiday.

It was about 1 p.m. I started decorating while Butch watched football. It turned out to be a very productive weekend for me. I got all the decorating done and wrapped dozens of gifts while watching several movies. "Spirited" has become my favorite version of "A Christmas Carol"--replacing my 30+ year favorite--"A Muppet Christmas Carol." I love Ryan Reynold's, so there's that. I'm not particularly fond of Will Farrell, but I loved him in this. "Spirited" is on Apple+--so if you get a chance, add it to your list of holiday "must-see" movies. Steph and Nicky recommended it to me--they know I love musical productions. Oh, and if "Love Actually" is one of your favs, there's going to be a Diane Sawyer special on Tuesday night about it. 

I managed to work in a little scrapbooking--that's always fun. But, I feel guilty if there's work to be done. And at this time of year, there's so much work to do!! 

On Friday, we went to the movies and saw "Devotion"---so good. True story--we love those. Afterwards, we went to Wild Ginger for dinner. The lobster bisque is so thick and good that we use the bread bowl and just dip it. We shared the dynamite shrimp and a sushi roll. 

On Saturday morning, we went to the flea market. We hadn't done that in years! We are always amazed at what people sell and how we are confounded that all the hauling and work is really worthwhile. Years ago, it was hot tubs. I'd say, "How many hot tubs do they sell at the flea market?" Well, now it's shower inserts. There were two guys sitting there with no customers. Really, do people buy their showers at the flea market?

There was quite a bit of vintage Tupperware.
I found this disturbing. That's just wrong.

There was a booth with all kinds of "granny" type crocheted items--you know--those toilet paper holders. The yarn choices were gaudy. Seriously, do people really buy this stuff? I didn't want to insult the "seller," so didn't snap any pictures. I know how much time it takes to make all this stuff. Don't get me wrong. I've seen some beautiful crochet work. This just wasn't. 

And pork rinds. I didn't realize there was such a big demand for fried pork rinds. 

Then I saw these:
I don't know, there's just something about them. We're getting ready to get new bedroom furniture. I considered these quirky lamps for about a half second. Wouldn't they be cute on the nightstands on either side of the bed? But, I already had a red bedroom and moved on from that 15 years ago. They were $150 for the pair. Not a bad price, but I'll be keeping the lamps I have. Especially since I still love them. 

Butch did find his "secret Santa" gift. Stephanie sets the theme every year. This year, it's some holiday-related item--20 bucks--any holiday. He's happy to have it out of the way. I've got a good idea for my person. 

I found an UGG, very soft hat. I'll be needing it next week! We're going to a German Christmas market in Quebec, Canada. I'm hoping to find a few fun things. They will have to be pretty special to get me to buy since I don't need a thing. In fact, each year, I am paring down our Christmas decorations more and more.

Saturday night, I went--along with Nicky, Stephanie, Morgan and Olly (Butch opted out)--to the "House of Cards"--a 1930's style speak-easy looking place downtown. It's a fine dining restaurant and magic show. You eat--very delicious food--and then see the magic shows. We were all blown away. We just can't figure out the stuff they can do--right in front of our eyes!! We had such a good time. Considering it was raining, downtown was still hopping with tourists. 

So, remember this a week or so ago?
Well, I'm here to tell you that I actually DO use them! We eat a lot of bananas around here. We often have some that become overripe. I just put them in the freezer until I'm ready to bake. I finished off the weekend by making banana nut muffins. 
I didn't realize I had so many. So, I made a triple batch.
You can tell which were on the top rack! Now I have a nice supply (36) for the holidays to use as hostess gifts or to share around. They won't go to waste--that's for sure.

I have a busy week ahead, starting with my book club tonight. I'm cooking Italian--or I should say, I'm serving Italian, St. Louis-style fare! I'm making a Rich & Charlie's salad, toasted ravioli, and cheesy garlic bread. 

I was telling my high school friend who lives here that I wish I had some provel cheese. She said she had a 4 lb. block and was happy to give me some!! Now that's what I call a good friend. When you do not have easy access to St. Louis-style Italian, you hoard what you have! You can bet I'll be taking her some muffins when we meet for lunch on Wednesday! Kind of nice to have those in the back pocket.

I hope your holidays are off to a good start. Mine are!

*Update--Mindy sent me this via email:

Just saw your blog post and can happily report that we also use our frozen brown bananas! Justin puts them in protein smoothies/shakes. And I’ve recently found a weight-watchers-friendly recipe for them:

(For one serving):
One medium brown banana mashed
2 Tbsp self-rising flour
1 egg

Mix all, form 4 small “pancakes” (batter will be runny— more like the texture/density of crepes). Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side. Then BOOM! You have banana pancakes! I like them so much I’ve had them 3 times this past week (that’s 3 un-wasted brown bananas)!

Thanks Mindy!!

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Scrapbook Saturday

I've been sitting on these photos since our scrapbook retreat in September. My friend, Nancy said that she wanted to make a wedding album for her daughter who just married in April. I went over to her house and planned the layouts. I made notes for her, told her what to buy and what pictures to have printed 

On the retreat, I helped her with ideas for each layout. I did the title and end page. I also did the "bridal luncheon," pocket page, and the bridal portrait page. Unfortunately, you cannot really see the dimension in these pictures. Nancy had already put the page protectors on when I asked for the pictures. Still, it was a lot of fun to work on and came out beautifully. Nancy brought it to her daughter when she went for Thanksgiving. I can't wait to hear how she liked it. 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is how you start Thanksgiving!!
Okay, only if you are Mindy and Justin---and---you are in Orlando---and---you get to go to Disney---and---have a weekend of fun! Seems to me they need to go every day!!


Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving! Time for my first Bloody Mary! Oh wait, I have to make it to 9 a.m. for the Macy's Day Parade and for Nicky to get here to make them!! 

Have a good one!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

A Few Things for Thanksgiving!

Let's start with Morgan's fall decor. I love that she sent me a picture. She knows how much I love pretty tables!

And now for a little fun:

Monday, November 21, 2022

Monday Mystery

The Case of the Facebook Block

I look at Facebook when I'm on the treadmill in the morning. I save anything that looks interesting or that I might like to read--later. I cannot type on the treadmill, so reading is just about it---or watching short videos. Once I've perused Facebook, I go to my saved list and start to look at/read all the things--all organized in categories: entertainment, news, gifts, recipes, style and beauty, etc. You know me. I'm obsessive about organization.

Anyway, yesterday as I was going through some of my saved items, I got this message:

What? I've been blocked? I've never misused anything in my life! And certainly not Facebook. I didn't even know that "going too fast" was a "thing!" 

Apparently, this is how I was accused of going too fast. I would open something to read. I might get into it for a sentence or two and decide I wasn't really interested after all and then "unsave" it. Or, I'd start a little video clip and decide there were too many commercials and "unsave" it. Is that a crime?

I guess if you save some thing to look at later, you really have to look at it! Seriously, I felt like I'd been reprimanded from the Facebook cops! Like I'd really done something wrong! I didn't! Still I was punished. I'm not sure how long but an hour later, I was still blocked. I went about my business for the day. When I went back around 4 and looked at it, I wasn't blocked anymore. 

The thing is, how I approach these saved items has not changed. I have been zipping through them for years. Why all of a sudden did I "get in trouble?" 

It's definitely a mystery to me. Maybe I want to go fast. Although, I have never been accused of being "fast"--if you know what I mean! Okay, so sue me. On second thought, don't! I guess I better slow down. Actually, there's really not much I do slow. I guess I am fast. Guilty as charged!

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Something for Sunday

A week ago, we went to Christmas Village. It's something the girls look forward to. It's a nice "kick off" to the holidays. Also, we go with our good friends--Connie and her daughter, Amanda. This year, our friend, Linda joined us. Sandy even came in for it. At the last minute, Mindy wasn't able to go with us--that's another story for another time! Anyway, back to Christmas Village.

We start out with a glass of wine. I didn't this year because I'm still "wined out" after our Sanoma/Napa trip in October. 

We have some strict rules for ourselves--no jewelry and no food! Well we did fine with the "no jewelry" part. But not so fine with the "no food" part. Every food booth offers samples. And then, you're hooked! It's all so good. We ended up buying a lot of food! Usually, that food includes a lot of dip mixes--that we end up forgetting about and then they go to waste. We didn't get any dip mixes this year. This year, it was cobblers. The cobbler sample was blueberry. It was amazing! They had a "deal." Those "deals" are too hard to pass up. If you bought 3 cobblers, you got a baking dish and whisk for free! I bought a blueberry--it was hard to only get one--a cherry and peach. They were so heavy---including that baking dish, that we knew we didn't want to carry them around. So we left them to pick up when we were ready to leave.

We all met outside. I decided to get the car as we had to park pretty far away. None of us wanted to haul that heavy stuff. Sandy and I started out. As we neared the car, it dawned on me that Stephanie had gone back to the car to change shoes. She didn't give me my key ring back! OMGosh! I called her. We met her halfway. Luckily, she left all of our stuff with Connie and Linda. 

We got the car and picked them up---I drove them to their car. Then we all went to Rafferty's for dinner. We arrived at 7:15 and it was completely full--on a Thursday night!! We waited about 15 minutes for a table. After that, it just went downhill. We waited so long to have our order taken and then so long for our food. We ended up being there for 2 hours! Rafferty's for 2 hours! We'd still be sitting there if I hadn't gotten up in search of a waitress--any waitress--anyone at all to give us our bill. There was no one in sight except the bartender behind the bar. Finally, I saw one waitress and then a second one. There were only two waitresses in the entire restaurant. I know things are bad in the service industry, but this is ridiculous! 

Once I got over feeling so frustrated about having to wait so long, I felt kind of sorry for them. They definitely earn their money. I just wonder how many people don't tip due to poor service? It's terrible everywhere. Even at our club, you have to make reservations because they do not have enough help. I don't know if or when that's going to change. It's definitely an ongoing problem.

Still, we had a fun evening and didn't let that slow end ruin it. We'll do it again next year. And probably we'll go back to Rafferty's too. We're gluttons for punishment, I guess!

PS I'll be serving that cobbler to my book club a week from tomorrow! Can't wait!

Friday, November 18, 2022

Friday Frustration and Friday Funnies

Okay, I haven't ranted in a while--but I'm going to today! It's about concert tickets. Here's the story.

A couple weeks ago, Mindy asked me if I wanted to see Shania Twain with her in June. Of course, I do. I want to see all the concerts I can. I'm thrilled to have seen 4 this past year: Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, Bon Jovi, and Brooks & Dunn. 

I thought we might have one more this fall. Not quite a concert, but a special book event with Bono at the Ryman--where surely he would sing a song or two or three. 

Sandy asked me if I wanted to go. We asked Stephanie and Mindy. It was to be a girl's night. Sandy and Mindy coordinated to get the tickets--Sandy in Atlanta and Mindy in Nashville--it looked like there was a limit of two. They learned the hard way long ago that even though there might be a start time, sometimes it starts earlier than that. They both logged in at 9:30--the tickets were to go on sale at 10.  But here's what happened. They got a message that they were in the "waiting room"! Right at 10, they got a message that they were #500+ in the queue. Next, the message was that it was "your turn to buy." When they clicked to purchase, it was already sold out! What?? How is that possible? Okay, so we were all disappointed, but not for the first time. Try getting things at Disney (restaurant reservations and fast passes for rides) and you'll know what I mean!

Then, Mindy asked me if I would like to see Shania Twain. We got those tickets--4, so we hope to make that a girl's night--but it's not until June. There didn't seem to be many problems with those tickets. We're excited because the concert is going to be at our new soccer stadium.

Next up was the George Strait, Chris Stapleton, and Little Big Town---together! Each is a headliner on their own, so this concert stands to be fabulous. Of course, GS has been retired for a few years now, so he's the biggest draw. This concert will be out of this world. I told Mindy that I want tickets for this. They started with a pre-sale for American Express cardholders. Butch and I were in D.C. at the time and I was having trouble getting the tickets. I kept getting some sort of error messages.

Anyway, to make a long story short. We waited for the tickets to go on sale to the general public. Since we were on a Segway tour in Savannah at that time, Butch was on it. He texted me about how exorbitant the tickets were--$600+ in the area we like to be in. That's when my niece, Jackie was telling us about the "dynamic pricing." As the tickets start to sell, the price starts going up. That doesn't seem fair. So, I told Butch to just forget it. 

When I got home, I decided to check. The only tickets left were very random--1, 2 or 3 here and there--in the uppermost, nosebleed section--where it's so steep that no one wants to be up there! Even Mindy said it scares her and Justin. Those tickets were over $700 each!!! OMGosh. That's downright criminal. I did not think it could get worse. But, oh, yes it did!

I told Mindy that I wanted to see Taylor Swift. The tickets were to go on sale TODAY! But, on Wednesday, they reported on the news that the presale tickets were out of sight. You could purchase tickets on Stub Hub for $22,000! Floor tickets for her show in Atlanta on April 28  are listed for as much as $35,438.

OMGosh! What is going on? Who can afford that. Something has to be done! Then yesterday, they reported on the news that the Friday sale to the public was canceled because they do not have enough tickets left. What?? Apparently, when the pre-sale opened on Wednesday, there were millions of tickets sold--the most in history. I have no idea what's going to happen next. I'm anxious to hear what Taylor Swift has to say about it. She loves her fans and has always done a lot for them. 

The truth is, tickets for anything are expensive: sporting events, concerts, and theater shows. We're used to paying high prices. But it's getting to be that regular people will never have the opportunity to see anything "live." And that's just not right!!

Can you tell I'm frustrated?

Sandy wanted to comment on this post but couldn't so I'm adding them here:

I tried to comment on Mom’s blog but kept getting thrown in a loop of having to sign in. Anyway…I totally agree about the concert tickets. It’s absolutely ridiculous! And I can’t believe people are really paying $32,000 to see Taylor Swift. I mean who can or would pay that much for a concert?! And the artists aren’t getting that money! Something similar happened recently with Bruce Springsteen too. 

The artists need to take a stand for there to be any kind of change, although I don’t know exactly what that is. Maybe take a page out of Kid Rock’s book and get sponsors to help cut costs. Years ago he did a tour (called the “cheap date tour”) and tickets were only like $25, T-shirts were $20, and beers were $5. He said he wanted everyone who wanted to go to be able to attend and have a good time without breaking the bank. 

Years ago Pearl Jam took on Ticketmaster because of the pricing issues. For this last concert that we just went to in September, you had to enter a lottery to even be eligible to purchase tickets, and only the lottery winners were able to get tickets with there being a 4-ticket limit. 

When Greg and I saw Garth Brooks back in college we were sitting in our seats before the concert started and a roadie walked up and gave us 2 front row tickets. We thought it was a joke but found out that Garth always reserves a few front-row seats for the people who are in the nosebleed section to come to the front. Not sure if he still does this but was definitely a cool move. 

We’ve also attended concerts where you had to show the actual credit card that you used to purchase the tickets in order to get in which obviously makes scalping virtually impossible but so annoying if you bought tickets to gift to someone else.

Mindy and I lament about this problem all the time because the same thing happens with merchandise. She’s tried to buy new release tennis shoes for Justin and I’ve tried to buy the Post Malone crocs for Elizabeth and it’s a joke. You wait in a virtual line when the items go on sale only to be told that they’re sold out in a matter of minutes. If you go immediately to eBay the items are already being listed for exorbitant prices. Like Mindy says, “there’s a special place in hell for those people”!

Okay, I cannot leave my post on a negative note. So, for your entertainment:

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Five Things Thursday

1. Right in time for holiday cooking. I don't know if you've heard about this trick for softening butter. Pour boiling water in a glass for a couple minutes. Empty and invert glass over the butter. I haven't tried it, but I should. How often have I had a melty mess in the microwave? Too often!

2. I can't tell if this is the front of the car or the back of the car. We had a Volkswagen that had a compartment in the back. We let our kids sleep back there on long trips. Now it seems terrible. But, back then, it was just normal. I wonder how our kids every survived!

3. Words of wisdom here. I admit, I love my Kate Spade bags, but they aren't $300. 

4. I love these throwback photos. I wish we'd thought to do something like this---take a photo from 50 years ago and then go back. I can't really think of any we have that would work like this.

5. This makes so much sense. It just proves, walking is all you need for everything---your heart and soul! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Travel Tuesday

We're heading out again on Wednesday. This time, back to the beach. Stephanie and Nicky are going to join us on Friday. We'll be celebrating her birthday on Saturday. 

I'm looking forward to my next organization project while I'm there. But, before I can look forward to just lazing at the beach--meaning, I always feel like I'm on vacation when we're down there--I have to accomplish something at home. Usually something big. 

This week, it was re-organizing the Christmas closet. In all honesty, it doesn't look that much different. It's always been pretty neat.
The Christmas closet was a huge selling point when we bought this house 27 years ago. Before we moved here, we had the pull-down attic stairs--and were glad of it. Now we know how convenient it is to have this nice big, walk-in closet. There's still a lot of hauling involved, but we can take it in stages.
I really should call it the Holiday closet. I have every sort of decoration in here. 
There are assorted wreaths on the walls. Everything on these shelves is Halloween--except for that lone vegetable platter. I haven't used it in years. It might be time to let it go. But, considering I got rid of a lot of stuff last year, I have the room to hang on to it for awhile.
More wreaths.
The top shelf here holds all the fall decor. The middle shelf is Easter. The Christmas boxes on the bottom are assorted wrapping paper and bows.
I'm happy to have the closet all re-organized again--just in time for Christmas!

While I was working on the closet, I had Butch take the 4 huge tubs of Christmas ornaments downstairs. It took me about 2 hours to go through each one and sort them all in to separate bins: give away, keepsakes to keep, and ornaments in use. That pretty much covered them all. There was one container and a box full of ornaments to get rid of. When Sandy was here last week, I had her go through them.
She took 16 of them. And here I always preach that our kids don't want our stuff! There's not really any sentimental value to these other than they are pretty. 

I gave Sandy and Stephanie their childhood ornaments years ago. I still have quite a few of Mindy's. I had planned to give them to her, but she doesn't have room on her tree, nor the space to store them. So, I'll be hanging on to them for her.

I plan to let the girls go through the boxes during the holidays. After it's over, whatever is left will go straight to Goodwill--along with the old Christmas garland in the attic. We switched to lighted, decorated wreaths during Covid Christmas 2020. Much easier. 

I want to have all the Christmas decorating done by the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I have book club here on that Monday night after. Since we're going to the club for Thanksgiving, I was able to put the fall decor away. Now I can just focus on Christmas. I've gotten to where it's just so much work. As I'm putting it up, I'm dreading having to take it down. At least Butch and I have agreed that we are going to do away with the live tree and just have our beautiful flocked tree. We only had that tree up last year and I loved it!
This is last year. It's going to look pretty much the same I'm sure. 

When do you decorate? Do you still go all out or are you planning to cut back?