Saturday, September 30, 2023

Scrapbook Saturday

Here's my scrapbook story:

The year was 1996. Butch and I were getting ready to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Jack and Connie and David and Linda were also celebrating 25 years. We decided to celebrate together at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Since it was January and the trip wasn’t until July, we girls decided to start saving our change. When the time came for the trip, we’d spend that money on jewelry. It wasn’t meant to be a competition, but it turned out to be. Linda started it by asking for all of her change in quarters! Anyway, we had a lot of fun with that. 

Over Memorial weekend, Butch and I went to St. Louis. That’s when I learned about this new “thing” called scrapbooking. I saw Bridget’s album and thought, “OMGosh! The girls would love this!” Chris, hooked me up with Mary, Bridget’s Creative Memories consultant. She invited me over to her house where she had a mini shop set up. I wanted everything and was trying to justify the purchase. That’s when it hit me! I don’t need more jewelry! So, I spent the money I’d been saving on scrapbook supplies—-$550 to be exact!!

Bridget and Marci came down later in the summer to get the girls started—teaching them how to use the tools. I joined in and played along. I was HOOKED! Truly, it was an unintentional consequence! I was too busy with my own life and hobbies. The rest is history. I moved my organization business from cleaning out closets to setting up craft rooms and teaching all sorts of classes from organizing photos to storytelling. I never looked back. It’s been 27 years now and I’ve never grown tired of it. I’m a storyteller at heart and still have many to tell!

On the lower left is a booklet I made for extra pictures. It started like this:
with an old CD folder.
It was taller than I needed.
So I cut it down to the size of the photos.
I started putting the pictures together.
I knew I was going to make little pull outs.
I did one on each side.
And as usual with scrapbooking, things never go as planned. It seemed simple enough--the story above printed on a folded card. But, I did it wrong several times. When I finally thought I had it right, it printed crooked on the left. You almost can't tell from this view, but it is. Actually, by the 4th time, I was done! It's going to stay crooked. I swear, it's always something!! It can be so frustrating! Sometimes I wonder why I love it so....

Friday, September 29, 2023

Friday Frustrations

You might recall our saga of the security company. If not, you can read about it here. After bragging that I had success with getting our security system upgraded for $200, nothing ever happened. Nothing! Nada! They totally ghosted me!!

But, there's a new wrinkle. Now they are calling again about lack of payment: FOR A SYSTEM WE DO NOT HAVE! I am not answering the phone. So, I got this:
Okay, so it's kind of hard to read, but basically, it's a letter about lack of payment. And then...

...this! Another friggin' bill---this time with an overdue section. I'm telling you, this company is incompetent. I think I'll keep everything in case they try to take us to court. OMGosh! I DARE them! 

You might think I would worry about what this might be doing to our credit. Credit? We don't need it! In the meantime, we still have no security system. I probably should do something about that. At least for the fire protection. After all, we did have to have the fire department come out one time--but wait! We called them that one time. Remember, when I put Christmas tree branches in the fireplace that caused a fire in the chimney? And then the fire department came out on their own once, but that was a false alarm. 

Maybe we don't need a security system after all.

And just because I cannot leave you on a sour note when it's supposed to be Friday Funnies:
Doesn't everybody check the coin return? Well, we used to when there were pay phones!

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Five Things Thursday

1. This is the first time I've seen this. Coming from a long line of sheet metal workers, seeing this made me think of my family.
My grandfather, my dad and all of his brothers, various cousins, my brother and his son were all sheet metal workers. I guess you could call it the "family business."

2. How true is this?
How many times have you heard a song that took you back? It happens to me all the time!

3. This makes a lot of sense.

4. Okay, now this is cute!
That's a lot coming from me!

5. I want these in my garden!

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

What I Buy Wednesday

1. My garden girl, Sara planted my planters with fall flowers and gourds. 

I should have panned out so you can see how cute they look on either side of the front door. It's dark now, I'll have to get a picture tomorrow. 

2. When we were in Nottingham, England, Diane and Gren introduced us (we girls) to Malfy grapefruit gin. We really liked it. Butch was able to find it here--which really surprised me. There are so many fun flavors in England--but we usually cannot get them here. I would love to find the blackberry!
Plus, Butch found the Fever Tree grapefruit tonic to go with it! I've enjoyed it twice now already. And when I say enjoyed it, I mean I really enjoyed it!
And here I am enjoying it at happy hour on the front porch. Well, maybe not. We didn't last long because the bugs were bothersome!! 

3. I already mentioned "Mistletoe Merchants" that Sandy, Stephanie, and I went to this past Saturday. The purchases I made were for Christmas gifts. 

4. Yesterday, I bought new glasses. However, I just had the lenses replaced in my sunglasses as I still really like those. 

I guess that's about it for this week. I do need to go to Target. I believe I've mentioned that Target is deadly for me. I never get out of there for less than a hundred dollars. That's why I don't go very often--maybe 4 or 5 times a year. I'm only going for one thing. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Travel Tuesday

When we got home from England a week ago, we had a few surprises in the mail.
Jordan and Robbie sent a thank-you gift for our family vacation. What I especially loved about this is that it was Robbie who packed and mailed it!! I love that guy!! He's the tall one in the back, there on the left. This picture is the result of Olly's (on the left) "pit" at our last dinner. On the last night of any trip, we always do "peak and pit" where everyone names their favorite thing of the trip and their least favorite thing. Olly said his "pit" was that we did not get a family picture. We tried many times, but it seemed that there were always a few that weren't around. We got this one back at the hotel after dinner! Talk about waiting until the last minute!! Gotta' love those boys who really seem to care about the family!

This wasn't in the mail, but rather hand-delivered to Butch. Who doesn't love an invitation waiting for you when you get home from traveling?
The littles across the street are having a talent show. They are too little to have made this nice of a flyer. Surely their mother had a hand in it! I'm deducing she was a cheerleader in her teen years. I recognize all those "cheerleader-y" details in the artwork! Anyway, I told Butch that "we're going!" He says "no." We'll see! I probably can't convince him, but I might have to pull out the big guns. I'll be going for sure. I think it's so cute and I'm happy to have been invited. Butch said the little girl told him to bring lots of money!! I will!

And then our mail was full of these:
Eleven travel brochures! I guess that's what happens when you travel a lot. But what I don't understand is why would the travel company you use---sell or give your information to competitors? I've decided that I"m going to save all of the brochures for a month to see how many there are. What a waste of money and TREES! We don't even look at them. Straight to recycle.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Monday Mystery

This is an unusual mystery. 

When we are in England, I always marvel at the beautiful flower boxes everywhere--especially outside of the pubs. I tried to find out whether there was some significance to the flowers and pubs, but found no explanation. So, despite my obsession with understanding and knowing everything, I have to just accept that the mystery of flowers and pubs will just, well, remain a mystery. 

This one--the Churchill Arms is known for its beautiful display. We went just to take a picture.
It was much too early to stop in for a pint. We had quite a discussion about this pub regarding the flowers and watering them. We got up close and was able to see that there's an irrigation system in place. There would have to be to keep it all looking so pretty.

Most pubs are not quite so elaborate with the flowers, but still so pretty.
One night, we went to Hoop & Grapes for dinner. It's the oldest pub in London. Another thing, I LOVE all the unusual names of the pubs. Next time I go, I'm going to focus on those. Anyway, in these pretty flower boxes, something caught my eye.
Do you see it? I guess I should call this post "The Mystery of the Hoop and Grapes." Doesn't that sound just like something Agatha Christie would come up with? Anyway, back to the Hoop and Grapes and this window box. There's a lemon down in amongst the flowers. I didn't touch it, but I'm pretty sure it's a fake lemon. It looked waxy to me. I have no idea what it means. Was someone walking by with fake fruit and accidentally dropped it in the flower box? Was it placed there on purpose? Did it drop from above? 

I guess I will never know. A forever mystery.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Something for Sunday

Well, it's been a busy weekend. Sandy and Greg came in on Wednesday. On Thursday Sandy and I went to lunch and a movie---A Haunting in Venice (Agatha Christie). I really can't tell you if it was good or not. I slept through the whole thing! I always say, "make me sit still--especially in the dark, and I'll be sleeping!" Thank goodness my friends and I have the Regal Unlimited pass. I'll be seeing this movie again on Monday with Nancy. I'll remember to take my Vivarin to keep me awake!

Anyway, Sandy and I had some great one-on-one time together. That's pretty rare, so I cherish it! We never run out of things to talk about. Thursday night, She and Greg had dinner with Mitchell and Emily---and were meeting Emily's parents for the first time. They went to a new Italian restaurant in The Gulch (near downtown). The food was delicious and they had a good time before Mitchell and Greg went to the Dave Chapelle show at Bridgestone.

On Friday, Sandy and I sat out at the pool. It was hot enough, but the bugs were annoying. We were out there for about an hour but decided to just go in and watch a movie.

That evening, Greg and Sandy were spending it with Mitchell and Emily while Stephanie, Mindy and I, went to the P!NK concert. 

We were a little hesitant as it was at the same venue as the Shania Twain concert in June which was terrible. The sound was horrible and Shania just wasn't very good. We ended up leaving early. 

Well, this concert was fabulous! P!NK is amazing with her athletic ability, showmanship, energy, and great voice. The two-hour show zoomed by so fast!
She started the show with some acrobatics while singing. But in this picture---this was how she ended the show. She literally flew all around the stadium. She flew over our heads 4 or 5 times. It was amazing and so much fun to see. I kept thinking that it must be really fun for her too. Steph said she didn't know how she could do all of that spinning and singing upside down---as she would have been so dizzy. Actually, I got dizzy just watching her. 
I remember her doing an interview where she said that she actually liked how she sounded while singing upside down. I'm sure it would feel different too.
We all liked how down-to-earth she is.
The only thing that disappointed me was that she didn't sing her duet song with Chris Stapleton--Love Me Anyway. I was certain that he was going to be a surprise guest. Here in Nashville, it's not unusual for a major star to make a surprise appearance (in this case, the surprise appearance was the Lumineres--but I was just sure Chris Stapleton was going to show up). He must be touring. Still, I wanted to hear that song. Since I was so sure it would be the finale, we stayed too long! We were stuck in the thousands of people trying to get out. This stadium was poorly planned. Even Stephanie noted that if there had been a fire, we'd all be dead! Only two sets of stairs to get 17,000 people out. Ultimately, they opened a third set which happened to be near us. I forgot to mention that I had my sunglasses on since I'd forgotten my regular glasses in the car. I needed to wear them for the whole concert or I wouldn't have been able to see anything. When we were finally exiting, some stranger lady took my elbow and "guided" me to the stairs. I was puzzled and then realized that with my sunglasses on at 11 p.m. she must have thought I was blind!!! Anyway, that was a sweet gesture! 

Once we got to our car, we were stuck in the stopped traffic. To make a long story short, it took us an hour to get to Stephanie's--about 3 miles away! Still, it was a great evening. One good thing about the wait, I pulled up the duet of Love Me Anyway for Stephanie and Mindy to hear.

Then, yesterday morning, Sandy and I picked up Stephanie for "Mistletoe Merchants" in Lebanon, TN. (Mindy was busy with her sister-in-law from out-of-town.) Steph, Mindy and I had done this 5 years ago--as Facebook reminded me. It's sort of like Christmas Village, but way smaller. We had a lot of fun with our Mimosas & Muffins early-bird passes. I got several Christmas presents. It was fun and festive, but it's kind of hard to start thinking Christmas and listening to Christmas music in September!

We had lunch at Olive Garden to end our outing. When we got home, Sandy and Greg headed back to Atlanta. 

The weekend went by way too fast. But, it's only going to be a week and a half before Sandy is back to go to a Bon Jovi tribute band concert. I'm looking forward to more one-on-one time with her. She'll always be my baby!!

Friday, September 22, 2023

Friday Frustrations

I'm aggravated. Really aggravated. 

Only my scrapbook friends will understand this. There were Glue Dots and there were Zots. Glue Dots were always the best. Zots were frustrating as they were on the roll backwards. I hated them. One time buying them was all it took to know that Glue Dots were the only way to go. Until..
You have to look really close to see them.
This was a brand-new box. I couldn't believe that they were backwards on the roll--meaning, the dots are supposed to be on the "roll" part, not on the part you unroll. 

Hard to explain. Maybe this will do it. I managed to get them all over my phone. I didn't realize I had laid it down on top of them. 

I cannot imagine why they would have changed how they are on the roll. Hopefully this is just a bad roll. I hope so.

I know, in the scheme of things, this is little. Still a frustration!

Aggravating I tell you! Darn aggravating! 

I cannot leave you in an aggravated state, so at least one funny:

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Five Things Thursday

1. "Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark".

2. Sandy and Greg came in from Atlanta last night. Considering there is never a good time when it comes to Atlanta, they made pretty good time!


3. I remember when we had a choice of colors in the 1970's. Whatever happened to that? I like the colors!


5. So true!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

What I Buy Wednesday

Well, I made my share of purchases in Nottingham and London. Many were gifts. We'll get to that in a second. 

But first, I'll tell you about my email chain with Butch. When we girls got home in the evening, I was able to email Butch and actually have a back-and-forth conversation. It was fun--until it wasn't! Here's how it went:

I told him about our day--all the details and that we'd had lunch on the roof of Selfridge's:
After lunch, we went shopping. Karolyn and Pam went off on their own. Stephanie and I went to a shoe store (all the departments in Selfridges are like little stores). Beth Ann joined us. We all made a purchase and met up with Kim in another shoe shop. The manager or clerk--not sure who he was, offered us water. I quipped, "I thought we were supposed to get champagne!" It was a high-class place! We all laughed and continued trying on shoes (well, not me-I had already bought my shoes!). A few minutes later, in walks the man from outside the store we were in with a tray of champagne! There is a beautiful bar inside of Selfridges--don't know if he went there. I think he knew he had some fish on the line!
Here we are with our champagne. The guy was supposed to be getting the shoes in the picture too, but he missed!
Here are the shoes that Stephanie (L) and Kim (R) bought. Stephanie got the matching purse--so cute. Beth Ann ended up getting a pair or maybe two. Let's put it this way, we all made several purchases. 

So, I was telling Butch about all of this and how "fancy" it made us feel. This was his response:

"Remember, you don’t have to try and spend all the money. I think you do that quite well at home!"

What you have bought Wednesday so far!
He sent me this picture of all the packages waiting at home. 

I responded:
"And just like that, you’ve taken the joy out of my trip! Did you forget that I’ve started Christmas shopping?"

To which he replied::
"And hopefully, you knew I was kidding! Do you think I really care about the packages here at home? Spend what you want and have a great time!"

You really can't read emotion into an email. That's when I went back and re-read it. His "What you have bought Wednesday so far" should have been the tip-off that he was kidding!! Pretty clever. 

So, I went on to have a great time! A VERY great time!

Now, on to the purchases. I'm sharing everyone's purchases. Starting with mine:
My new shoes are sort of tweedy and gold. I had to get the red commemorative ornament for my flocked tree.
Most of the rest except the tea pot are gifts.
Lots of tea---I cannot go to London and NOT buy tea--for gifts this time. Plus I always have to stop by Twinings in its original location from 1706. That just amazes me. Honestly, it makes me all tingly. I love my tea!
I have to say, that I was a bit disappointed this trip. I think the bloom is off this rose. They have completely remodeled the inside. It's all shiny, modern and new. The charm I so loved is gone. I talked to the clerk and asked about all of the historical portraits that lined the walls. She said they were in the basement. Although I'll enjoy walking by the outside, I won't feel compelled to go in anymore. A sad day for me. I was especially looking forward to sharing this special place with my friends. It's just not the same. 

I always buy a teapot when I go to London. I got the 2023 Coronation Commemorative tea pot from Fortnum and Mason. I'm going to have a "reunion" tea to talk about our trip while Diane is still in town in order to initiate my new teapot!
This part is for Butch. I came home with over £200 left! That means we have to go back soon so I can spend it! Actually, we're planning next year to head north to the Lake District. Can't wait.

Oh, and I forgot to add my earrings:
They are replicas of the "B" necklace that Anne Boleyn always wore. The "B" works for me!

Okay, on to the rest of the girls. Shopping together was so much fun. I don't really shop much anymore, so this was really a treat.

Kim has 7 grands and bought some fun things for them.

She also got these cute bracelets for gifts. You saw one pair of her shoes above. I think she got a couple pairs. 

Besides her shoes and purse(s), she got this wine glass with the London skyline.
Beautiful teacup. I could certainly be tempted, but I'll stick with my teapots. Now had there been a teapot in this pattern, I might have been tempted. Thank goodness. I have to limit myself to just one pot per trip (wow! say "onepotpertrip" three times really fast!)!
Thanks to Diane and Gren, we discovered grapefruit gin. Stephanie got this for Nicky. It's Tanqueray in a special decanter--very, very heavy! I put it in my carry-on for her. When we got to the plane, we had to walk up a long flight of stairs. My bag is a rolling bag, so it's no big deal if it's heavy. But I had to carry it up the steps while maintaining my own balance. I was hefting it up ahead of me and putting it on the steps, then catching up to it. A lady--much older than me was cheering me on--"You can do it! Only 6 more steps!" That made me feel really old myself!! I told her and everyone else around me about my daughter's huge and heavy bottle of gin. I don't know where she was as I should have had her carry it!! It is a beautiful bottle and I would have gotten one too--if I'd had the room! I am going to make them (Steph & Nicky) make me a g&t with it.

She also bought some grapefruit gin. She got a new purse, but that isn't shown. It's the camera strap style in a forest green. It suits her perfectly.

At the top are the 3 purses she bought---one for herself and two for her girls. They are also the camera strap style in a camel color. She found lots of goodies for herself and 4 grands.

Beth Ann:
She got a little of everything--clothes, shoes, purse--souvenir books. 

The only problem with all our shopping is that we did not have "show and tell." I really like to do that to see what everyone bought. This is the next best thing. Thanks, girls for sharing your pictures!

Let's just say, we all added to the economy of London on this trip! For sure!