Wednesday, May 31, 2023

What I Buy Wednesday

I haven't really been buying much these days. However, I could not resist GMA's "Steals and Deals" a week or so ago. They had Vionic athletic shoes (I guess that's what you call them. We always said "tennis shoes" but I think that's outdated), for half price. Considering I just went to Fleet Feet a few weeks ago, I know what those shoes cost---$130+. 

So, I decided to get two pairs for the price of one!!
I'm all set for another 5 years--at least--since I only wear tennis shoes when I'm walking or playing Pickleball. They are not a regular part of my wardrobe. I usually do take a pair when I'm traveling since I'm doing a lot of walking. 

So, next week, I'll let you know what I spent my $100 on-- that the girls gave me for New York. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Travel Tuesday

Well, you know what they say (whoever "they" are): "A rolling stone gathers no moss." I don't really get it, but moss must be bad for stones. 

This girl will be gathering no moss. I'm off today for New York City--along with Sandy, Stephanie, Mindy, Jordan, Morgan, Victoria, and Elizabeth. This will be the first time that all of us girls will be going together and a first time in NYC for some. 

 A couple weeks ago, Sandy and Stephanie unveiled the itinerary. 
Look at that professional brochure that Steph made!! The girls spent hours researching new things to see and do in New York. As you can see, it's a full itinerary. Along with the schedule, they included a Kate Spade mini wallet for each of us---even me--containing $100 to spend. 

It's going to be a fabulous trip. We're starting with the show "Without You" starring Anthony Rapp from Rent--for a few of us arriving on Wednesday (Mindy and I are going tonight since she'll be working from there). We'll all see MJ and Andrew Lloyd Weber's Bad Cinderella-- which will be closing after this weekend. I'm not sure why, because ALW has never disappointed us.

This is the first trip that I have not planned. I'm excited to see what surprises are in store. I know we're going to have a great time.

Oh, and you might wonder about the "boys"? Well, it's "Camp Mother-in-law" for them. They'll be off on a golf weekend. I've put together the food list, made brownies and chocolate chip cookies. They'll have a good time too--well, except for Greg who has just started a new job and can't make it this year. 

I hope all of my readers have something fun planned for the weekend too!

Monday, May 29, 2023

Me on Monday

Well, I got home yesterday from my trip to St. Louis and Salem. It was a busy 4 days, but we always manage to do a lot--quite a lot.

In Salem, Jeanne, Janet, and I stayed at the Crossroads Inn--each getting our own room this time. That works out great since I'm the early bird among us. That way, I don't disturb anyone with my 5 a.m. wake-up. I went out and walked at 6:45. I was thinking about how beautiful and peaceful it is in the country until I saw this:
What are the odds that I would be walking on trash collection day? And then this happened:
Once again, my peaceful walk is ruined by a noisy mower. I swear, I cannot get away from them! Even at my own house, no sooner do we get in the pool than the neighbor's mowers start up. Or if we're having happy hour on the porch, one of the neighbors starts with the weed eaters or leaf blowers. My early morning walks at home are also subject to such noise!

The farm was no different:
You can't really tell how big this thing is--it's about a football field length away--and very loud. My sister, Jennifer leases part of their land to some Mennonites so they can grow various grasses. They mowed it and then baled it for two solid days--the entire time we were there. They even worked into the night! Aggravating. I can't seem to get away from the noise! This view is from Janice's cabin.

We always go out one day. We shopped at this cute antique store that used to be a church.

We like to go every time we're in Salem. The prices are fabulous! I'll have to share what I bought when Jeanne and Janet bring it to me when they come for Camp Aunt Barb in a week and a half. I flew to St. Louis this trip. In this picture, everyone already put their stuff in the car.
Here we are at lunch. Notice I'm wearing a t-shirt---after I just told my adult nieces that I never wear t-shirts in public--only for working out. Then, when I was going through the pictures, I remembered this. I ended up not having enough clothes for Salem. I forgot about the "dog factor." Once the dogs slobber, or "nose" me with their snotty snoots, I cannot wear the clothes again. So I purposely opted to wear the T-shirt. I figured I wouldn't be running into anyone I know there!
We also went to the drugstore which has gifts. I didn't know you could even buy an ashtray anymore. I didn't--know nor buy!
This is another antique store owned by a vet and family. We always go in, but I can't handle the way it smells--they are all smokers. 

We took Janice back to St. Louis with us for the family party that Jeanne had on Saturday. 
I got to see all the "littles." Reese and Rosie enjoyed the ring pops in their treat bags which I brought for all the kids. 
Anything to make them remember their Aunt Barb! Thanks, Janet, for getting a picture. 
The whole gang. A few weren't there, but I'm happy to have this shot of who was. It was such a fun day. 

The party went late into the evening. It was around 11 when Janice said, "Barb, I didn't think you stayed up this late." Well, I don't normally--or if I am, I am reading in bed. I told her it's kind of hard to go to bed when there's a party going on and I'm sleeping on the couch! The party pretty much cleared out around 11:30. Considering it started at 2 pm, it was a long one!

But I will admit, 5 a.m. came pretty early on Sunday! We left the house at 6:30 a.m. to get me to the airport. Then it was home to our own party! It was a bit chilly and overcast, so we ended up calling it a day after our barbecue--our pool party was only 3 hours--but no pool this time--it was just too cold. That was fine with me since I was pretty tired. I took a long hot bath, read, and napped in the tub! A perfect way to spend a Sunday! 

And that's me on Monday!

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Something for Saturday

1. I decided to show this picture so you could see both planters on the front porch.
Notice my blue porch ceilings. That did the trick to keep the birds from building nests up there. But then there's this one--the first picture I took:
I decided I didn't like the dead boxwoods! We're going to be replacing these in the fall. They look pretty bad. That's just what we're dealing with. When we do replace them, it will be years before they get this big.

2. While I was cleaning out and organizing this week, I came across a few things. 
I cannot imagine what ever possessed me to do a report on bird beaks. 
And cloth. I don't remember either of these projects or why I saved them. I've had them for over 60 years. I guess I'll hang on to them for a bit longer. Who knows maybe I can use them in my scrapbooking.

3. I do remember having to carry so many books.
This was way before kids started rolling suitcases with their books. I guess these girls couldn't find any boys to carry theirs! Actually, neither could I.

4. Now this is funny. I have no idea when or why I wrote this.

So true! I was such a mess as a kid. It's hard for me to believe it, but I actually lived it!

5. And last, I came across this old picture. One of my all-time favorites:

My beautiful girls: Stephanie, Sandy (in red) and Mindy (in front). This was about 1994. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Five Things Thursday

1. A couple weeks ago, Justin picked up these beauties for a song at a silent auction.
The image is painted on top of a layer of playing cards. Unusual and pretty cool.
Mindy asked us to come over to hang them and basically re-work their fun wall that contains all assortment of random things. It hasn't happened yet. I'm not sure what she needs to do to get ready for us! Wink wink!



4. I was going through a box of stuff from my childhood and came across this.
I clearly remember being enthralled by The Wizard of Oz. I guess this was the beginning of my love for theater---10 years old.

5. OMGosh!
So true--and I'm not making fun of all the mass shootings. It's out of hand--for sure. Something must be done!

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

What I Buy Wednesday

This post is about something I bought a couple years ago--for Butch--for his birthday. My sister, Jeanne told me about the best pressure washer they'd ever had. 

Well, Butch finally opened the box this past weekend. He was a cleaning fool! He spent 7 hours working on the patio--including an hour for lunch and a rest. I don't know how he did it. He said it was because--unlike our other pressure washer, he did not have to bend over--which kills his back.

It all looks so good! Oh, and he planted the flowers too!
It all looks so bare. We lost all of the plants on the patio except the clematis--although it was intertwined with the ivy and went all the way to the 2nd floor.

All the ivy died. The laurels you see here and above are new. It's going to take a couple years for them to fill in. There's nothing we can do about the bareness. I guess I need to look for some more ivy.

Next comes sealing. He's going to tackle the while I'm gone. As you read this, I am on my way to St. Louis. I look forward to coming home to the gloss of the sealer. 

It's been an expensive year for landscaping and we're not finished yet!

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Travel Tuesday

I'm heading to St. Louis this week and then on to Salem to visit the twins. Jeanne, Janet and I are going together. Chrissy is picking me up at the airport so we'll have a couple hours together before meeting Jeanne and Janet for lunch--Grassi's--one of my favorite Italian places. There are so many...I cannot get enough of Italian food when I'm there. 

We'll be in Salem for a couple days before coming back to Jeanne's house. She's going to have a family party on Saturday. I'm looking forward to seeing the "littles" then.

I think I already mentioned how they are doing all the planning for Camp Aunt Barb this year. It's just two weeks away and they have been hard at work. Over the weekend, I texted Evie and Travis and asked them to give me the itinerary and food list when I see them on Saturday. Travis texted back and said, "Ok, we have most of the food ready." I'm taking that to mean the list of what they want to eat. A little bird told me that there's steak on the list. I'm not planning on spending a lot of time in the kitchen, so we'll see! It's going to be interesting.

The way this went down was that I said since they were getting older, we did not have to keep them entertained constantly. And, we weren't going to have the myriad of game prizes as we've had in the past. That's when they decided that they would spend their own money to have all those prizes! They had two shopping trips together and this planning session.

Serious business! They figured out what games they want to play and what the prizes would be for each.

Janet told them that they could not have slime at my house. Thanks, Janet! I'm not really familiar with slime, but if Janet didn't think I would like it, she's probably right!
This is Travis' planning notebook. I hope they all bring them so I can see what they worked so hard on!

A couple weeks ago, when Janet was here, she brought the boxes of game prizes. 
Holy c**p! This is more than we've ever had before. 
It's kind of hard to tell, but these boxes are BIG!! I guess the lesson here is that the kids don't want change. And maybe more importantly, maybe they don't want to grow up! 

All I know is that time is going by way too fast! 

Monday, May 22, 2023

Me on Monday

1. This weekend, I spent quite a few hours organizing. I had a container of memories from my childhood that I had forgotten about. I came across this.
My love of theatre began at 10 years old!!

2. I don't have enough pictures of me and my grands!
We have Mitchell on the end, Jordan on the other end next to her sister, Morgan. The midget in the middle wold be me! Oops, is saying "midget" politically incorrect? I don't mean to offend anybody out there, so I looked up the definition. One that fits for me is: something that is extremely small! Yeah, that's it.

3. A few weeks ago, Stephanie asked me what I was doing on Friday, May 19. She told me to eat a decent breakfast and be ready for pick-up at 12:30. Fast forward to last Monday when Butch and I went over to her house to help with a few things. She told me that she was taking me to the Beatrix Potter exhibit at The Frist (our museum) and then to tea at the Conrad Hotel.
The china was so pretty. I cannot believe that I didn't get a picture of the tea treats!  It was all delicious. Of course, my favorite is always the scones and clotted cream. The waiter called it butter. I've always described it as the richest, most tasty butter you'll ever have. But it's not exactly like butter. It just made me think that the wait staff might not have been fully briefed on high tea. 
We had such a nice time. It's rare that I am one-on-one with one of my girls! Before we knew it, we realized that it was 3:45! It was poker night at our house, so I really needed to scoot. I got home around 4:30. Butch helped me put the finishing touches on dinner. We finished just in time when the doorbell rang at 5:30! It was a very fun and special day! Good thing I had a nice tea as dinner for us girls at the restaurant I picked wasn't so good!

4. Speaking of tea--in that same tub I cleaned out, I came across a tea invitation that I made. I guess my love of tea also began at a young age! I can't guess how old I was when I made these.

There are a couple of questions I have about this. Why in the world was I planning something for 8 p.m.? That had to be close to my bedtime!!! And who is Mrs. Sundermann? Why did I write it like that? I have no recollection of this whatsoever. Still, I'm pretty happy to have it!

5. My mother always told me that I potty trained at 9 months old. I never really believed it. She said that I needed to be out of diapers because she was getting ready to have another baby--my brother, Ronnie. Well, I'm pretty sure that all of us who have had children, know that babies train in their own time. I guess I really was that precocious!
Because, here's the proof! I graduated from the diaper service in October! Technically, I might have been 10 months old as my birthday is January 11th. That seems pretty amazing to me. But, I have to admit, my own, Sandy was trained by 10 months. It can be pretty easy when they start waking up dry in the morning. 

Well, that's it for me on Monday!

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Something For Sunday

1. On Thursday night, we all went to Cheekwood (our botanical gardens). Stephanie organized it. We arrived at 5:30. But, what none of us considered---since it's a light show throughout the garden, we weren't going to see it until dark!
Actually, it worked out fine since we hadn't seen each other in a couple weeks. That gave us plenty of time to catch up, have drinks and dinner from the food trucks. We all enjoyed it, but agreed, once is enough. The actual "show" was pretty underwhelming.

2. "The BOWL"---Butch has this bowl on the counter---specifically designated for his "stuff." 
Apparently it's not enough--even though he even has this:
This is his drawer---right under where his bowl is. Still, it's not enough.
He still has to have more stuff scattered on the counter!! At least he keeps it right in front of his bowl. Whenever people are coming over, I'll scoop it all into the bowl. It's sort of an unspoken "rule!"

3. I love my planters on the front porch.
I don't know what the sage-y stuff is, but it really works with the geraniums. There's one on the other side of the front door too. I should have taken another picture. They make a nice show from the driveway.

4. Earlier this week, we received the "free" kits of Covid tests--8 of them. I didn't order them, they just showed up.
As it turns out this is Medicare fraud!! My friend, Karolyn told me that she recieved 5 sets of these. She called Medicare and was told that she should pay attention to her Medicare explanation of benefits which comes quarterly. They will have $100 for each of these "deliveries." 

This is my first experience with this terrible problem. It's costing us billions!

5. I was going through some old pictures and came across a couple of cute ones:
I do not remember what year this was, but obviously it was Easter.
And this one! So cute of Elizabeth and Mindy. This was the year that I had everyone pick a partner to cook a meal on our family vacation. We all made aprons. It was so much fun---everyone really got into it. As is usual for our family, it became a competition.