Monday, December 28

I am so thankful for all the effort my family put in to make Christmas happen at our house!! Thankful for those that had to drive many miles, those that juggled work schedules and those that came early to make sure I was ready! And not to leave out the one who worked so hard to provide me with the funds to spoil everyone!!

We missed Aunt Meg this year. She loves Christmas and her spirit was definately missed. Along with her big smile and funny Christmasy hat! She and dad have spent the last 5 Christmas "day" gatherings at our house since the passing of my mother-in=law Elaine. Now there is someone I miss.

Elaine somehow managed to have 16 stockings full of goodies, presents and Food for us all. I have been blaming my lack of readiness on too much travel. But in reality.... she was just a master. There is no way anyone else in our family could pull that off today. I must not compare. Just remember in awe....

Grandson Aaron, at almost 6 months, was interested in things, but not quite old enough yet to understand. Next year will be interesting..... or wild!! We will have Christmas Day custody of the married folks, so it will feel a bit more "Christmasy" having people wake up with us on Christmas day!! I am putting a "no travel" except for an SEC Championship game, for the months of Novemeber/December 2010, so I can be home and be more prepared. It's been about 3 or 4 years since of sent Christmas cards!!

Time to break out the vacuum cleaner ~ with attachements ~ to get up all the tree needles..... love the smell of a real tree, but starting to think seriously about an artificial one.

New Year Blessings to all my friends, family and those who are struggling.

Saturday, December 26

It is not Christmas yet

We have to wait this year. Gene says "we don't have custody this year".
This year was the in-laws turn for Christmas day for our married children.
Soon our family will be together to share gifts, laughter, food and hugs.
But we must wait.
It is almost like a "free day", the 25th, Christmas Day.
An extra day for cleaning and wrapping.
And that is exactly what happened.
Throw in some cooking and baking too.
But I must not take the credit.
Fortunately, but unfortunately, our daughter Candace & son-in-law Corey had to postpone their trip to see his family for a week due to his mom being sick. I say fortunately because I benefited GREATLY.  Unfortunate that Carol has bronchitis.
I welcomed their eagerness to come over and spend time with us....
What I did not know was they had a plan.
The plan was ~ CLEAN UP!! WRAP!! COOK!!
I was hustled from room to room and back again all afternoon.
They wrapped just about everything as I presented the items to them.
Watching the scene I wondered what happened to "we don't want a lot of "stuff" comments" I had heard the months preceding Christmas.
Maybe it is just due to the number of people I bought gifts for.
OOPS, I just remembered I still have 2 gifts to wrap on my own before I can go to bed, and it is late.
But then there are the stockings.
Having taken a lesson in stocking stuffing from my mother-in-law, (who, sadly, has passed) it is an art in itself.... searching all year for interesting things to place in those fabric hanging things, with some items too big to fit inside and having to be placed upon the fireplace mantle.
Decorating was minimal this year.
Way too many trips away from home to spend the needed time preparing this year.
Next year, I always say........ I'm going to be ready Thanksgiving weekend, so I can enjoy the holiday more. Invite friends over.
Have a hot chocolate party.
Meanwhile, I wait for THIS day after Christmas gathering.  

Wednesday, October 21

TOO many dog toys ?


Okay, I'm a pet person.
My current situation has 3 dogs living here.
I also have 4 "gran-dogs", one of which lives here sometimes.
I've fostered a number of dogs and found them homes. 
Dogs are my favorite pet. Ferret's are next, but they like to sneak out open doors to the neighbors yard, causing a slight panic for me, so we have agreed "no more ferrets" (for now).

With all the different dogs in the family I try to buy them special things to play with..... they get so giddy when you bring them a new "baby"!! They will take it and run off with it, wagging that tail and almost skipping away! 
So, you can see, with all the excitement it causes, how gratifying it is to bring new toys home to the pack. I would even mail packages to my farther away gran-dogs, but Fuzz has become an issue at their house since they destroy every toy they get. 

So, check out my picture and you decide. 

Hmmmm, After seeing my own picture I think we will donate some a BUNCH of them to the "less fortunate" dogs that do not have permanant homes with mommies & daddies to spoil them. WOOF to that!  

Way Too Much "Fuzzy Stuff"

A recent trip up north caused me to have to pack some winter sweaters for layering.  The temp's were going to be in the low 40's. Throw in some rain and woa!! Cold!!  Before I even left home I had to get a lint roller out for my black wool coat (dog hair).  I decided to pack that goofy, sticky thing..... it is the kind with masking tape wrapped around it & you peel it off to reveal a new stickier piece....... figuring I might need it again for my coat. 

My sweater choice for the plane ride up was last year's blue sweater....... soft & cozy, but not too hot. I did not wear my coat on the plane, so I did not notice any issues with this particular sweater right away.  But, once I pulled the coat out of my bag & put it on, things got Fuzzy!!

I shed on EVERYTHING. The coat, my jeans &  BOTH of the car seats, since I shared driving with my sister. I spent more than a few minutes rolling those seats and my coat the next day!! 

Another day I pulled out a new grey sweater to wear to the church Mass that we attended in memory of our Grandmother who passed in March.  It was nice and warm for that 41 degree morning ~ still some rain & sleet ~ and winds from Lake Michigan.  But, once again the Fuzz started to fly!!  Thankfully the layering kept me from putting on the coat & having to clean it again, but the car seats did not get any reprive. The next morning we had TWO lint rollers going!!

So, why all the shedding??
When I got back home I checked the labels on those Fuzzy sweaters.
The common thread was Angora. 
Ah, that explained the softness..... but somewhere there are some very cold rabbits.

Tuesday, September 15

Can you be TOO BIG of a Fan?

This is Taylor Hicks at Regions Charity Golf Event
a.k.a. American Idol 2005
I knew nothing of Taylor Hicks until he auditioned on American Idol in 2005 at the age of 29. He is from our hometown of Hoover, AL..... well, at least that is where he was settled enough to go to Middle & High School (played on the basketball team).  Our city's event planner, Erin, set up viewings of the American Idol show at our local Wings eatery and Fox news & some of Taylor's family came each week to see us cheer him on. Every week he put his soul into his performances..... hence.... the Soul Patrol became the name attached to his many followers accross the country.  And I do mean accross the country!! That was Taylor's favorite style of music at a young age too, soul music. He sang (and danced) his way to being the American Idol that year.
It was a joke amoung our circle of friends that I was his biggest fan in Hoover.... that could not be true.... but I was a follower ~ hooked on the music and those interesting moves on stage. I was a fan of his story and his success as well. With Gene part of Hoover's city goverment I had some opportunities to briefly meet Taylor a few times..... usually with a group of other's ushered along to get a quick picture, etc. Gene & I even flew to Kansas City to see a concert of his after his American Idol commitments.  Well, AND to visit with a cousin that lives there (we did take them to the concert).
 
You think.... what crazy's.... but I am telling you..... flying to Kansas City was nothing compared to the other fans he has. City to city. And I met one this past weekend. It was her 49th show. She had a TH tatto displayed on her arm. And she had to be as old as me. Gene had taken me and our dear friends, Chuck & Sandra, to see him perform at the Beau Rivage Casino, in Biloxi, MS. We got in a quick hello to Brian, his longtime keyboard player, and then a minute with Taylor to have him sign a cd for someone special back in Hoover.  It never occured to me to bring my camera..... Usually you hear "no camera's or video"!! So, I have my one good shot on my iphone, even though we were center stage, second row (thank's Casino Host!!!).
Next week Taylor comes to Hoover/Birmingham to perform in the Broadway hit GREASE. He told Gene he was also going to the High School with the Mayor one day during that week. Hmmm.... maybe another opportunity to be that obsessive fan? Nope. We already have a trip to Miami planned. Luckily we will be back before the GREASE show ends and will make it to his last performance in town. 
Do I know the words to a LOT of his songs & own more than one copy of ALL his cd's? Yes.
Do I have his book (and read it). Yes.
Do I get messages from his website and myspace? Yes. 
But, am I a groupie? NO.
Never hung around his dad's house to get a glimpse of him.
Never cried when watching him sing or just seeing him.
Never reached out to just "touch him". 
But, there is something that draws me to want to watch him perform ~ to see the many "faces of Taylor" when he sings. Sandra & I discussed those faces.... we saw him be fun, silly, shy, emotionally into the music, and even attempted some sexiness ~ which some of the younger fans enjoyed.  But I enjoyed watching him be in control of the music ~ how a performer can control the other band members with a swish of his hand to play softer or louder or s.t.o.p. And thinking how exciting that must feel for him to be living what he loves.

Thursday, September 10

Night of the Police

Last night, while I'm in line to purchase some baby Halloween items for Aaron at our local T.J. Maxx store, I suddenly see two policemen bust through the doors. One stands by the front door and the other starts searching the store, dressing room, etc. I call Gene because he has a scanner and might have heard something. Plus I recognize one of the policeman. Gene tells me why they are there.... shoplifter's. I wave hello to my familiar po-po and he gives me a "hello, Mrs. Smith & a smile" and keeps on searching. Meanwhile, I'm the last customer in line as they are closing and the person in front of me is definately moving slow. Ah, guess why?
How about SHE was the person they were looking for!! Turns out she had spoken to the person (a.k.a. was with the person) that had been pushing a cart in the parking lot with clothes in it.... without a receipt.  I finally finish checking out and there is Gene in the parking lot. He said the police thought maybe MY car was involved at first, since it was one of the last in front of the store, and had blocked it in until he got there and explained it was ours. Not all that scarey, but definately some drama for my night.

Gene had some drama of his own. When I called him on his cell to see why the police were at T.J.Maxx he was outside the new gun store talking with ~ get this ~ the father to the police officer I had waved at. Okay. The two are standing there talking before my call and notice a car in their parking lot with about 3 men in it. Seem to be just watching them. And maybe the store?  The car slowly comes near them..... Daddy po-po (he is a retired police officer) is ready to show some "heat" and Gene is ready to go for his!! The men used "looking for a club" as their excuse to approach. As the car left to head towards Birmingham as instructed, daddy po-po calls his son (who is on duty as we know) to try and follow them and stop them for questioning or something.  When they can't locate the car again, they get the T.J. Maxx call and speed up the street to where I am. ??????? How weird it that? Gene knew I was there so he and daddy po-po followed.

I was just a bit surprised to walk out of the store and see Gene & daddy po-po standing by their cars smiling at me.  So, somehow our lives intertwined even in crime!!

But, I had a receipt.

Sunday, September 6

You can never have TOO many pictures......

So ~ It took 80 something shots to get just a few of Aaron (8 weeks) smiling. And they were all worth it. Hey, with digital camera's they are technically free. Well, as long as you don't have to divide the number of good shots by the cost of the camera. And the lens. And the super zoom lens. And the lens covers. And the super 2.0mg scan disk card. And the bag I have yet to buy. Okay, at least you don't have to pay for printing of the "bad" ones. You can keep them to view on the computer or cd and just print the bestest ones. I won't get into how printing your own at home are free too, 'cause we all know how much those ink cartridges cost!! (I am currently out of yellow and cannot print)

I've always loved taking pictures. When our children were born I was like a photo journalist - before I knew what one was. The albums were storybooks of daily activities, "firsts" and special occasion's. If there were 4 pictures to a page they all had to be from the same activity. And the cute sayings... oh my. I had to add those too.

Sadly, the photo albums got scarce when everyone started school. Time was one reason. Coming and going with carpooling elementary age kids and a mother's day out child kept me from the long days at home "with the kids" looking for an outlet. When you finally had them all home with you and the camera ready, you would have at least one child saying "DON"T take my picture" every time you started to shoot. sigh. Oh, we have the big events in mass.... Christmas, Easter egg hunts at grandma's, family photo's with great grandparents and such.... but the playful ones were always (and still are) my favorite.

I guess the other interruption for picture taking was the video camera. One cannot do both at the same time. We had one or the other. With mom doing most of the shooting ~ meaning.... was mom even there??? With no pictures of her how do we know? I smile. I'm sure I didn't want my picture taken either!!

Now I have a new subject to shoot.... a grandson. I am going to take my new camera to "camera school" starting in October (that is when they start the new beginner class). Being a visual person has made it hard for me to learn from a manual. We have friends that are in the photography business and I am jealous of what I see. It is like I too can "see" it that way, but I don't know how to make the camera do it. So, I am officially calling it ~ I'm going back to school!! LOL

Tuesday, August 11

Never TOO many good ones

Last night I had dinner with two high school friends.
Last week I joined a group of friends that were in the Mother's of Twins Club with me 27 years ago.
Today I have a "spa day" with a friend that I've known for 30 years.
You can never have TOO MANY good friends
.

One thing I have noticed is how they each fill a different place in my heart, my soul, my mind. You can be apart for YEARS and then just pick up and talk the night / day away, as if we just spoke yesterday. That is a good friend. One that
does not demand your presence in every way, but one that embraces you and what you have to share when you come together. And shares back.

I love the perspective we can give one another. From the heart, but honest. Honest advice, honest questions. Not afraid of being honest. No middle school crying about how "she won't like me". No DRAMA except our own.



There is a sad part of friendships too. When they seem to drift away.... where the only glue holding you together was the event you were mutually involved in. Then they become acquaintance's. You still have this tug at your heart when you see them, but nothing that really pulls you back in. For a time I yearned for some of these friends ~ but then I learned to take what they "gave" to me and let it become part of me. Like "letting your light shine through me". Feeling blessed to have had that time to know their spirit.

Hugs to ALL my friends!!

Saturday, August 8

Too early

It is early.
I am hungry.
Fortunately Aaron is not.
He is sleeping in the next room.

I awoke at 5:19 a.m. to my grandson's cries ~ his mom was up with him, had finished breastfeeding him & was trying to console him.
It was weird, but I felt like my womb actually ached to those cries as I awoke.
Is that possible? I am in menses....

Aaron is having some "colic" issues.... or better described as "what did momma eat" issues.
Aaron was responding well to a tummy massage, but it seems that this once quiet voice has found itself!! At just 5 1/2 weeks he has become quite vocal when he does not get his meals when requested or has the dreaded gas bubble. Even hiccups make him mad!

When it appeared Aaron was just tired and trying to "let go" I offered to take him upstairs with me and do whatever it took to calm him and help him fall asleep (thus allowing momma Camille a chance to go back to bed). Luckily I had found a position he liked that helped and he quickly quieted down.

Watching my grandson fall asleep is priceless.
The facial expressions should be videotaped.
The smiles, frowns, eyes rolling, etc. are just precious to watch.
I must have been so tired with my own children that I had my eyes closed and did not get to enjoy this special moment with them. Or maybe I did and sleep deprivation kept me from remembering.
Ah, there is one of those "joys of being a grandparent". Sleep.

Having experienced colic with my own son almost 23 years ago, I came to town somewhat mentally prepared to help my daughter and son-in-law. Funny how the little "tricks" stay with you ~ a special way to rub that tummy or hold them. The not so funny part is that sometimes no matter how hard you try the tricks don't work.

Together we did it. He must have been de-gased, because he let go and went to sleep. When his breathing finally slowed down and he did not need his paci, I laid him in the crib.
It has been 30 minutes now and he is still resting.
I was too hungry to go back to sleep.
Time to take a peek at that sleeping boy... just to make sure... just like his momma would.
I'll eat when my shift is over.

Thursday, July 9

One is enough... at least for now!



Most of you already know that one week ago I became a grandmother ~ a Nana (NOT like ba-nana but sounding like "na na na na hey hey hey goodbye"). Many of you have already experienced this wonderful event in your lives. I've been planning for "grandbabies" for sometime now.... picking up cute books or little blankies that were on sale, etc. well before any of my children were even considering being pregnant. Then the announcement came last December that our first was on the way! In January I got to be at the sonogram that then told us that "it" was a HE. One more piece of excitement. Periodically we got pictures of him in utero via sonograms, including one that was 4-D!! I think that this awesome technology added to the wonderment......you could share pictures with other family and friends and they could see what you were talking about and be excited with you! Wow.

Throughout Camille's pregnancy the ultimate thrill for us was feeling the baby move ~ Gene even got a chance to feel him. Such a miracle. The Stork Doctor scheduled Camille for an induction two weeks early, on July 1st, due to her on again off again contraction issues and the fact that the baby was probably going to be between 6 & 7 lbs., which meant there was less worries of any premature problems (he also had steroid shots for his lungs to mature back in May). Gene & I drove to Chattanooga, as did both of Daniel's parents and one brother. While we were not present in the room when Aaron was actually born we did get to go in and out for a good bit of the day. Gene even cat-napped in the chair while Camille napped that afternoon!

Finally at 6:12 p.m. (est) on July 1st, 2009, Aaron James Platt was born into this world weighing 7lbs. 4oz., and 19 1/2" long. Within 30 min. of his birth we were privileged to go back to the birthing room and meet him. It took our breath away to see our daughter holding her own child. Just a most awesome moment. Everyone got a turn to hold him and pictures were snapped ~ capturing that moment forever. No one could stop smiling!! Little Aaron just looked all around at everyone with the brightest little eyes..... hard to imagine he was still inside Camille just 40 min. before.
Well, I have edited this post so many times now I think it is time to publish. It was hard to express in WORDS just how I FELT, but I just know this ~ he was Wonderfully Made.....
bye for now!

Tuesday, June 16

To Cook or Not to Cook

In our house I have never had to be a chef to please my husband. He has simple tastes. So simple that I never have to chop, cut, fold or stir fry anything. Give him a hamburger patty with cheese on top and a side of baked beans (from a can even) and he is fine. As we have become empty nest-er's and Gene has been busier with meetings at nights, we have eaten out a lot over the past 4 years. I think that has made my pallet a lot happier ~ I can choose from a menu of items Gene would never eat. Fish has never been an option..... well, unless it was Gordon's fish sticks and mac'n cheese. But now I can choose seafood's and salad's and he can enjoy more flavorful things like ribs and crab claws (that does not count as a fish). It also gives us time to eat & visit with friends in the same situation.


When we want to eat at home I can now go to one of my two very favorite place's and get "home cooked" meals without cooking! Just drive home & pop it in the oven!! If you are local, I suggest checking out Ashley Mac's ~ don't forget the brownie (to die for). They have 2 storefronts, one in Bluff Park and one in Cahaba Heights, but they also cater & ship all over. Just walk in and pick up a delicious frozen meal, rolls & dessert. Instructions are on each item & you can cook them frozen or thawed. I love the Poppy Seed Chicken & Bar-B-Q Meatloaf, while Gene favors the Beef Stroganoff and Beef Enchilada's. http://www.ashleymacs.com/about.html


I cannot forget to mention my other favorite for dinners and desserts and catering ~ not far from Hoover you will find the town of Helena, where Kay has a daily menu (Mon.- Fri.) that changes weekly. You simply call in or e-mail your order for the meal of the day by 10:00 a.m. and you can go by and pick it up after 3:00 p.m. that day. If you want something different you just give her 2 days and she will have your special order cooked and ready for pick up too. Sign up for Kay's weekly email letter & you will always know the menu for the week and it gives me a reminder that she has lots of other things I might like ~ tailgating items, desserts.

I used to drive to Kay's house, but now she has a setup where you actually "drive through" and pick up your order!! http://www.homeplatecooking.com/contact.htm


So, with three terrific options why cook?


Sunday, June 14

THE RETURN OF THE POD

No, there is no Alien involved here.

Just a giant box with lots of our c**p stored in it somewhere locally. Sadly, it is time for it all to return home. Luckily we have a phone number of a company called "Motivated Movers"... certainly money is their motivation. These guys come to your location and will help you move your stuff.... in or out (they kindly moved it out back in March). I am glad they have the motivation because I cannot fathom dragging all that furniture and boxes out of the POD and back into the downstairs myself. Fortunately, for now, I have open space in my den to pile some of the boxes so that I may go back through them and try to clean sweep a bit more. Unfortunately my garage is no help for storing the leftovers.

While waiting for Tuesday ~ the day of the POD ~ I am contemplating what furniture will go where. Even which bedroom will be set aside for guests and which one Daniel will occupy when he is at home. That is a huge deal for me. Because I also have to make sure he has a closet that is not full of our winter or "I'm going to wear it again someday" clothes. A close friend of mine came into my home last week and eyed the clothes that had been brought upstairs from the downstairs closets so the carpet could be laid and her comments made me realize that I have way too many "I'm going to wear it again someday" clothes. She "used" to have a dress like that..... and "I've never seen so many clothes"... hmmm..... time to find a good charity.

Speaking of charity, that is what I really do need to find. One that is going to give your items to those in need instead of selling them at their version of the "Thrift" store. I hear the employees get first dibs, so who am I really helping? I know... the money goes to.... but what if is something specific that someone could use ~ in great condition? I'm going to send out an email to some friends and see who does that. A local church does some of that and I always donate clothing there, as well as twin beds that had a home before they even came to pick them up in the past.

When I think I have it all figured out there is another variable thrown in. Daniel graduates from the University of Alabama August 8th and there will some things from his house that will need a place too. Here? Storage? Garage? I've got until August 7th to figure that out!!

Monday, June 1

Woa NANA!!

I recently had the pleasure of helping my daughter Camille prepare for her first child, my first grandson. She has been having contractions strong enough to cause concern, but not strong enough that labor was progressing. When they saw they could not completely stop them and she was not going to deliver they let her stay at home and be cautious and careful, but not total bed rest. Thus I got to "watch" her when her husband, Daniel, worked over the past two weeks ~ staying at their house in Chattanooga with them off and on.

Camille and I worked together.... she sitting and making decisions about things and me washing the baby clothes, etc. I am amazed at all the cool stuff for babies these days. I just want to buy it all for Aaron!!! I have to watch myself in the stores.... I just browse the aisles as if it is "I" having the baby. OOOing and Ahhhhing at it all. The softness of the fabrics is heavenly. The designs fun. The functionality of some of the items is plain amazing ~ what I would have given for the car seat / stroller duo back in the day!!

At my own home we are finishing up remodeling the area that Aaron and his parents will stay when they visit. In thinking of what to do for Aaron I remember seeing this tiny crib at a local baby store. While I like the pack 'n play theory, this just looks more comfy....it is based on the old fashion "porta crib", only this one resembles today's modern cribs ~ just not as long & wide.
Nana had to have one. The best part was I had to also order special size /color bumper pads & sheets. That will keep me from trying to theme things like a real nursery..... after all.... I am just the Nana!! And if the next one is a girl ~ she will be just as cozy sleeping on the color I picked.

Momma Camille, rein me in before I buy it all !!!

Tuesday, May 12

How much time is too much time to waste?

I was trying to find a color that would reflect my title. Not sure this is THE color, but it has the most negative description I could think of ~ "green with envy", "don't eat the green ones... M&M's". But then again, we should "think green" for our earth. Never mind why I choose green.

How much time do we waste? Sometimes we do not control the time. For instance, waiting on the doctor to see you. Waiting your turn in line or to play. Lately I have felt a huge waste of time going on in my life. Excuse? Worry. Stress. It paralyzes me. I get nothing done when my mind is stumbling over worry. Some people go to the gym to get rid of their stress & worry. I can't even get my hiney up in the exercise bike in the next room! Or do the dishes. Or go to sleep at a decent time (before midnight).... which leads into lying in bed the next morning for an extra hour. sigh. Yes, I hear you. I do pray ~ but admittedly, I need to work on that too. You see, if I pray before falling asleep at night ~ well, due to my late night issues I will fall asleep in the middle of praying!!! arrrrggghh.

How many times have we all said ....."come Monday"..... and life will magically be different. Yes, it is different.... a different day, different weather, different phone calls, maybe even wearing different clothes! But until I stop and learn to relax ~ breathe ~ eat right ~ exercise, etc. I will still feel that stress. That worry. That waste. Hey, come THIS Monday I am trying for the 3rd time to follow a strict diet and re-loose the 10 lbs. I gained back. Oh, and that bike is calling me.......after all, I am a "glass is half full girl" !!!!

But now I am already worrying that I might fall back to old habits after........ STOP! RELAX PAM

Tuesday, May 5

Clean Sweep

Okay, if I went through everything before packing it up how come I still have so much crap? I did like they do on t.v., only I GAVE away instead of having a garage sale. I despise the work involved in getting a garage sale ready. Once I actually gave my stuff to my daughter and told her to keep the money for her trouble. Now my new motto is: "Just pack it up and take it to Peggy's"! She does garage sales as fundraisers for charities!! How awesome is that? Got stuff? Drop it at Peggy's!

When one does not move from their dwelling for 24 yrs. they have to depend on Spring Cleaning and company coming to clear out items you don't use or need. I used remodeling as my catalyst. Two years ago I did one floor of the house, now we are on the second (and last). In between I moved my mother from her 17yrs in a townhouse apt. to a nice home (that was the ultimate test of clean sweep). I am terrified that when my POD comes back with the downstairs "stuff" I will have more crap issues.

Life has had many changes at our house over the past 9 yrs ~ since my girl's went to college & drug stuff back and forth each year ~ then got married. Then my son had the run of the downstairs so to speak. Then he went to college. I think our decision to remodel the area is a good one. The space will show a more mature look for our now grown children to come back to...... it was they who told my husband and I "don't move ~ this is our home". And we listened. But I couldn't get them to take our crap.

Sunday, April 26

No wonder I shop online

I had TWO coupons for my local JCP store, each worth TEN dollars!! Each with expiration dates that would surely come before I could use them if I did not just go today and use them. Gene could use a new pair of black dress shoes ~ shoes I exclusively buy at JCP. So, I figured I would pop in and get him some shoes and use my two coupons. It started so easily. The girl I approached in the shoe dept. went to the back to check for a size 8 in the shoe sample I presented her with. Yes, one pair left.... Yea!! And both coupons worked for my discount! Another YEA! That was so quick I trotted over to the ladies dept and picked me up a couple of shirts, paid for them and headed to the car. It was a gorgeous day and I wanted to get home and enjoy some of the sunshine. As I was putting my items on the trunk I decided to double check Gene's shoes, since I would be sending them with him on a trip to D.C. the next day. WRONG STYLE. I had even mentioned the style name to the girl at the counter, not to mention showing her a sample shoe!! I took the shoes back in and hoped I could just easily exchange them. WRONG AGAIN. None in has size. gggrrrr. The person helping me this time was able to void the transaction and return my coupons to me.... but now I could have used them on MY items. Back to the trunk I go to get the other bag. Back to the ladies dept. I go ~ to get a refund and re-ring up my shirts... oh, and let's not forget to TAKE OFF the alarm sensor this time please. I beeped coming back in the store!! sigh. She was nice about the refund and all, but what happened to nicely folding your clothes before stuffing them into a sack???

Lesson learned? Check in the box of shoes before leaving... sort of like making sure you got the right order at McDonald's, huh?

Wednesday, April 15

Dead and still be a sperm donor????

I am actually shocked at this idea!! Check out the following:

Post-Mortem Sperm Collection: A 21-year-old man died April 5 from injuries he sustained during an argument outside a Texas bar nine days earlier. But Nikolas Colton Evans could have his dream of becoming a father fulfilled in death. His mother received permission from a judge April 7 to have his sperm collected for a possible surrogate pregnancy.

Is mom wanting to replace her son by having her own son's child? This is just gross. Even if it is not she who will possibly carry the pregnanacy. CRAZY

Sunday, March 1

"Let it snow, Let is snow, Let it SNOW"

I tried to publish this in white text, but I could not see what I was writing!! White like the snow that blankets my cars, trees, yard, etc. We had quite the show. Now the sun is trying to shine through the clouds a bit and things are starting to melt some. But our back deck still has about 5 1/2 inches piled up on it. It appears that the roads were never closed, but when we first got up they were covered with the white stuff. Ginger & Lexi were not real adventurous when it came to going out in it today, but Roxy ran right out and down the stairs to the yard, etc.... Ginger finally followed her once so she could potty. Lexi used a "puppy pad".

This was our first snowfall without children at home. We have had a nice calm morning.... I made french toast for breakfast and chili & cornbread for lunch. Gene brought in firewood and started a fire. I guess I miss the excitement of the kids and them playing in the snow, making snowmen, trying to slide down the street..... but I do not miss the whines about how cold their hands are, trying to dry out all the wet clothes, and nursing those that fell and bumped their heads. I cherish the memories, but you know ~ I can get to used to this calm.

Wednesday, February 25

You never stop.....

You never stop worrying about your children.

When a baby is born we parent's worry about them constantly.... First thing is counting their fingers & toes and hearing that cry. Next it is making sure they are breathing when they are sleeping. Later ~ are we causing them emotional harm by not picking them up when they cry? As our wee one grows the worry turns to strangers, running out in the street, falling off a bike or just getting their feelings hurt. Then we have to worry about riding in cars with friends as well as driving a car. We are always worrying that they don't love us..... that we were too strict or too lenient even.

Then there is the worry when they are all grown up. (Married even) I still worry about them driving in cars ~ if I hear about an accident on a highway one of my children MAY have been traveling on I call them to check on them. If they leave my company headed home, I always ask if they will please call me when they arrive ~ you never know who else is on that road. Oh, and I'm still worrying that they will get their feelings hurt!!! I guess some of the worry is the same with a new twist! And yes, someone has fallen down a flight of stairs in front of me, cut a finger bad enough to go to the emergency room, miscarried, almost broke an ankle....... All as adults. So, the worry continues ~ You just want them to be safe & happy! happy! happy!

I have three children and I plan on being their Angel of Worry forever.
Good thing Angels have help!!!

Sunday, February 15

Too many Cruises??? Nah!!

Our favorite vacation is on a cruise boat in the Caribbean. The color of this ink reflects the color of the water in the Caribbean ~ a cool, greenish blue.

I like cruises because things are planned ~ like meals. You don't have to decide where you are going to eat, what kind of food you want, worry about not getting a seat until 9:00 p.m. because it is a Friday night, etc. You just go eat ~ whether it is at the "buffet" or your assigned time and seat in dining room or room service if you choose so. No matter where you go you will get full ~ overeat actually. The bread magically appears on that little plate every time it gets empty and you somehow always eat dessert, even though at home you rarely do (at least not directly after finishing a 4 course meal). Every night you swear the next night you will skip dessert... but you don't. You say "I'm not going to eat the bread" tomorrow ..... but you do. There really is no such thing as "watching your weight" on a cruise unless you mean ~ go up!! groan. And then there are the pretty "drink of the day" calories!!! I am proud to say I only had one small one on our trip last week... and no alcohol. Memories of the Tequila challenge still coursed through my veins!!!

One fun aspect of a cruise, especially for my hubby, is the Casino. Being on a cruise means that you see the staff every night and they get to know your name, etc. You are recognized and become friends with them for a week. "Mr. Gene" was his name last week.... I was Mrs. Gene or "the boss"...... they try to be funny. Most are from other countries, so sometimes the jokes are misunderstood or just don't make sense to us. I won a few times on the slot machines, but nothing like the $1,000.00 I won on a trip a few years ago.

If you were to count the number of cruises we have been on it would add up to at least 15. With boat names like: Song of America, Majesty of the Seas, Monarch of the Seas, Enchantment, Empress (2x's), Adventure, Serenade, Voyager, Navigator and Mariner (2x's)~ all "of the Seas". Then there is the Golden Princess, Destiny and twice on the Fantasy. All were in the Caribbean except for the Golden Princess, which took us on a fantastic voyage in Alaskan waters. Even with 15 cruises to places like The Bahama's, Aruba, Barbados, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Guadeloupe, Grenada, San Juan, Venezuela, the Virgin Islands, Antigua, Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Martinique, Turks & Caicos and Ocho Rios we still enjoy the experience of the Sun and Sea.

The cruise boats frequently go to some of the same ports we have already explored from trip to trip, so we now choose to just sleep in and go to the spa on that day. Or maybe take a ride to a beach and enjoy the sunshine there for a few hours. We have been to many of the beaches they list as the "Top 10 most beautiful beaches". We have swam with Dolphins and Stingrays and snorkeled and scuba and hiked up waterfalls and seen ancient ruins and rode on many buses.
Now we use the trips more for relaxation than exploration.

Gene wants to go on The Liberty of the Seas when we plan our next voyage.... me, I want to try one in the Mediterranean ~ for new Exploration. Don't want anyone to think we are getting too old !!!!


Fun Towel Animals appear nightly in your cabin......

Tuesday, February 3

How many suitcases can I take?

When I pack for a trip I pack both mine and Gene's stuff into the appropriate number of suitcases, which is usually 2 each. And within the required weight limit. Lately I have become confused because if you read the restrictions they are different for each "class" of passengers. While flying first class recently I read I could take 3 suitcases per person without any extra fees!? AND they could weigh more than the usual 50 lb. limit! Sounds like if you PAY more you can TAKE more. Some airlines now charge for the second bag while others do not. Nothing is the same. So, next time you fly to your destination be sure to check the baggage rules so you don't have any surprises when checking in.... like having to have cash to pay for that extra piece or heavy bag!!

Friday, January 23

It's a Boy!

It has been a long time since I have heard the sound of a baby's heartbeat coming from a Sonogram machine, but this week I got to hear my future grandson's! I also got to watch the screen during my daughter & son-in-law's ultrasound ~ finding out with them that he was indeed a "he". We also got the report that his vital organs were operating & all seems on track with his size, etc.. What a blessing. I am so thankful to Camille and Daniel for allowing me the privilege of sharing this special Dr. visit with them. They originally had the visit scheduled for Monday and I was driving up on Tuesday to help them paint their office/spare bedroom. But when the Doctor re-scheduled for Wednesday I got the opportunity to join them. We finished painting & putting furniture back into the room and then did a little bit of shopping for baby Platt. :D

Everyone I know that is a grandparent tells me how great it will be.
I'll let you know!



Saturday, January 17

How many is TOO MANY Tequila Shots?

In keeping with my theme of "How many is too many..." I decided to open up to you and share a few of my experiences with Tequila Shots. Some of you may relate to this blog, other's may shudder and try not to remember their own experience that may have included a night spent in the bathroom.

At Fifty years of age I would not say I am any kind of expert on this subject, but I recently set out (purposefully) to see how many really WAS too many. Thankfully, my very good friend Sandra was with me and saw that neither myself nor anyone around me/us was harmed during my experiment.

My first encounter with Tequila shots was in our first home a year after marrying Gene. Friends had come to our house to watch an Alabama Bowl game in late December 1979 and I had never done shots. Our friend Nina proceeded to show me ~ not the best tasting but I felt the warmth of the "buzz" fairly quickly. I was not the smartest thinking person after a few shots, so when the tequila ran out, I ran to the ABC store. Well, drove. Yes. I called first to make sure they were open. No one knew I had gone until I returned (safely) with more fluids. I don't remember anything after that. I was put to bed unaware....... Obviously I had had "one too many".

Over the years I would try it now and again. I found that while I might crash hard once I hit the pillow, I usually woke up without any problems the next day. (hello Camille) We have friends that had a huge New Year's Eve Party maybe 5 yrs. ago ~ or more. The hostess of the party was entertaining all the women with shots.... showing us all different "ways" to do them. New to me! We all got silly and participated. Eventually I crawled along the floor ~ I DO remember this ~ probably stealthy sneaking up to someone on the couch (?) for some reason. Well, to this day I am reminded of "crawling on my belly like a reptile". So one must beware of their actions while participating in the partaking of Tequila shots. Obviously how ever many I had that night was "almost Too Many". I declare "almost" because I knowingly made it to my pillow before crashing.

The one thing I do notice with Tequila shots is you don't do them more than once a year. Your body must remember at least that long. Or maybe it is the part of your brain that saves you from embarrassment. After a few more events where I counted the shots to actually see how many it took to have fun, but make it to the pillow without embarrassing myself (or those around me) AND without getting to the point of forgetting how I got to my pillow. Six shots. Six was the number I came up with.

On January 1st of this year I decided to test my number. Was six REALLY the number? Was six Too Many or just enough? Could I still dance with my eyes open with more than six? Okay. Here it is: Yes, six is enough. Just ask Sandra. She and I & our husbands had just seen the Beach Boys perform at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi. John Stamos came with them and performed with them on drums & guitar.... eventually we could not remember if we were there to see John or the Beach boys (well, us and ALL the other women on hand). Sandra & I went to the lounge where there was a band afterwards ~ I predicted Stamos would come and "jam" with the band ~ and he did, much to our delight. Some of the band guys had already come in and we had danced a bit with them.... I still had my eyes open too! We shook John's hand and commented on his performance before he went onstage with the house band. I think I was pushing four at the time. Maybe six.

I remember Chuck, Sandra's husband coming to check on us. I remember Gene coming to see Stamos jamming (after I had hurriedly walked to find him at the Craps table to tell him. He claims I ran up to him). And I remember watching John Stamos leave the bar. Sandra would have to tell me the rest of the story...... I guess I knew enough that eight might just be enough because I asked for the check. Sandra said I could not sign it very legibly. And then for some reason I asked for another double Tequila shot, making it TEN total shots. Being the good friend that she was she did not deny me my request. But she did have to sign the next ticket and escort me past many a security personnel that offered a wheelchair to people in my condition....... of course I stated I did not need one each time, so she says......

Imagine the jolt I had when I awoke and the first thing in my mind was why am I hugging a pair of Gene's pj boxers and "what about the ticket at the bar"? I did not remember getting my room charge card back and signing the ticket .... what if they add a thousand dollars to it? The next thing was why can't I walk to the bathroom without wobbling around? And why am I sleeping in the same shirt I had on and where are my pants? Oh, there they are.... in the bathroom with my shoes. Hmmm.
TEN was definitely too many. In fact, according to my lack of recollection, Eight was too many. I think I'll stick to my original "six is enough" theory. And 2 Tylenol.

Tuesday, January 13

Can you have too many towels?

I think I have a towel fetish. Really. I love nice new soft towels. Large towels. That match. And match the bathroom they go in. When my kids were growing up I even insisted they be folded a certain way. After all, they had to fit into the cabinet just right. And if there is a tag it must go on the inside of your folding. If you have a neutral bathroom let's say you have Linen colored towels for it and your other bath is mainly blue & white so you go with blue towels in there. Now there is no confusion as to which bathroom the towels get stored in after washing (and drying and that perfect fold thing). I have the kitchen covered too. Since men and children don't know the difference between a washcloth and a dishrag ~ well, they are a different color too. Now we have it all covered. Including our behinds!

Oh, I have bent a little. When I remodeled my master bathroom the cabinet size changed where I would be storing the towels so I now fold THOSE towels a new way. I can be flexible. But I did just buy new towels for the master ~ and gasp! ~ they are not the same color as the last ones... nor are they all the same color!! I went with 3 different colors to blend with the "scheme" of my bathroom. I am really stepping out. Thankfully there are no children to "re-train" and my hubby has to have direct instructions before beginning to fold a towel (he figures you are going to use it eventually so just hang it somewhere).

Sunday, January 11

How Many is Too Many Beanies?

Okay, I am going to be honest here. I have Beanies. Lots of Beanie Babies. Lots and LOTS of them. Too many is the number I have in my garage. Back in 1996 the craze had hit and those adorable little critters started jumping in my arms when I would go to the specialty stores that sold them. At only $4.99 each I guess they seemed inexpensive enough. I want to say my kids just had to have them, but truly.... it was me. In high school I remember loving stuffed animals so much that I was even nerdy enough (or brave enough) to take one to school!!! Lunch was playtime. I regress. My family has warned me that they do NOT want to be in charge of the Beanies if I were to somehow leave this earth before parting with them. Sorry folks. I have parted with and donated many a Beanie over the past few years. When I discovered that Mr. TY was not going to retire the craze I lost interest ~ as well as funds. Seemed as though instead of the 5 or 6 new ones a month he started mass producing 20 or more a month. Collectors like myself could no longer afford this cute pastime of collecting cute little animals. But, alas, he also started flooding the market so we could not get any money out of our collections. No more sitting by the computer bidding on the latest rare creature! They are all packed in plastic bins.... all organized by certain styles or by country or by sets, etc. I hate to admit it but I have 64 ISSY Beanies. They all look exactly the same but have different hang tags and tags hanging off their hinny's with the names of different Four Season's Hotels on them. Yes, EXACTLY the same if you take off their tags. Out of those 64 I have one that says "Santa Barbara" on it. That is one I swapped a lady online for ~ I sent her a few beanies that she needed (did we really NEED them?) for that ONE. It is probably one of my most prized possessions (or at least collectible). She and I became Internet friends for over 5 years after that. And that one Beanie now has a value of about $350.00 due to it's rarity. There are other rare Beanie's in my vast collection, but if I list them all I might invite a Beanie snatcher to stalk me to get to them!! LOL! Trust me, I've gone through the bins several times trying to donate more each time. But those Beanies with the wrong tags, misspellings, reversed ears, one of each color, etc. just HAVE to be worth something one day. Why else would a 50 yr. old woman hang on to them?

Saturday, January 10

How Many is too many Dogs?

So.... how many IS too many? Today I ask that about dogs. We have 3 dogs living full time at our house. Another that is a "college" dog who is a part time resident. Then there are 3 more I call our "gran-dogs". When we have a family gathering there are 7 dogs and 7 people (unless extended family arrives). Does that fall under "too many dogs"? Fortunately all the dogs can come together without any bloodbaths. And so can the humans! LOL! In fact several really enjoy playing with their "cousin's". Some might say "why would you do this to yourself"? The answer ~ for the Love Of. Simple as that. Two of the gran-dogs have pedigree's, but the rest are pretty much adopted dogs. One is 15 yr. old Roxy who is losing her hearing.... her nickname is PIG due to her curly tail and well, things she would eat when she was young. Five years ago I found a local rescue was bringing in Katrina pets for Fostering so I signed up to get the old girl a friend. The friend turned out to be a Chihuahua we named Ginger and ended up adopting her so Roxy could have someone to grow old with. Ginger really turned out to be great for the Pig. Then, as my nest became empty and my last child went off to college I got this crazy urge. I saved a few rescue dogs, nursed a few sick ones and found them homes ~ one to a daughter. The craziest thing I did 2 yrs. ago was take in a momma dog and 4 puppies when the pups were 7 wks. old. I think I was looking for a "puppy fix". My college son came home and bonded quickly with one of the pups. Yes, we let him adopt him. He's the best (the dog, heehee). Eventually they all found homes with the momma going to New York! A couple of stray dogs later I was ready to hang up my rescue role for awhile when my husband saw an ad online for a teacup Chihuahua. I would not go to a breeder myself, but this little girl came from one in MS and did not look to good. A young family had bought her and changed their minds after trying to blend her into their already one dog and new baby family. So... in a way I did at least "save" her. She ~Lexi~ has been a handful but blending in nicely.... the bigger cousins LOVE to play with her and she just eggs them on! So, for now.... I think 3 or is it 7? Is enough.