Monday, June 30, 2014

For Realz

Monday is weigh-in day at Fleet Feet.  After celebrating Marilyn's birthday several days this week and a weekend in Columbus eating pretty much anything and everything, I knew it wasn't going to be good.  I weighed on my scales and was faced with the awful truth - a significant gain of poundage.

So, I had a choice.  I could just quit the whole thing, not weigh in ever again, and just give up.  Again.  But instead, I decided to face the music and go ahead and do the right thing.  I mean, if I'm ever going to effect some kind of change in my life, I've got to face reality.  Because even though right now reality sorta kinda sucks, maybe one day it sorta kinda won't.

After all, reality is what's real today.  And since today always changes, one day it's gotta be good.
Today was a great day because:  lazy Monday

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Welcome Back To Junior High ...

Why write a blog when ecards can do it for you?  


Okay.  So now maybe that's out of my system ...
Today was a great day because:  safe road trip home with Molly; Lindley and Everley time; safe road trip home for Steve; Oprah satellite radio

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Old Stompin' Grounds - Well, Sort Of ...

This weekend I am in Columbus, MS, helping to organize some of my father-in-law's things.  Master Organizer Molly came with me, and so far we've been to Wal-Mart three times (and maybe once on the way down).  Today we located all his flashlights (at least the ones we could find) and put them in a few drawers of the storage container we obtained from the 'Mart.  Then we gathered all his pocket knives and relocated them in some of the other drawers of the container.  Another storage container is full of his watches.  What can I say - the man is stylin', especially for a 97-year-old dude!

Anyhow, after an early dinner at The Grille (it's 5pm - dinnertime for us AARP-ers), GDizzle and Steve were headed off to Wal-Mart (perhaps in search of new watches, flashlights, and pocket knives).  Molly and I decided to head to Starkville, my hometown, which is about 26 miles away. (Just as a side note, Steve and I grew up 26 miles apart.  We didn't meet until college, when we both were in school at Mississippi State University).  Anyhow, since both of my parents are deceased and my brother and sister and their families live elsewhere, I just don't get to Starkville much. Since I had finished my organizing for the day, I decided to go see the Starkville sights.  And drag Molly along for the ride.

The big news (for me, anyway) was that a Starbucks has opened in Starkville.  Sure, there is a Starbucks on the MSU campus, but this is a full-fledged Starbucks (except they didn't have a Starbucks "You Are Here" Mississippi mug - and apparently there isn't one available.  You need to get on that, Starbucks!)  Anyhow, since I can remember when the McDonald's first came to our town back when I was in high school, having a Starbucks is big news to me!

It was fun riding through town, seeing what had changed and what hadn't.  What has been torn down (the Shoney's where Steve and I had our first date, and the MSU swimming pool where we first met), and what hasn't.  What stores have just had the names changed and remembering the stores I went in as a child.  The church where I grew up, and the new building going up there.  Driving past a few friends' childhood homes, and their now-adult homes (some of my friends still live in town).  Of course, I pointed all this out to Molly, who was as thrilled as you can imagine to hear all the old memories and facts.

All too soon, it was getting late and time to head back to Columbus.  I didn't see any old friends (possibly because I didn't call them to tell them I was in town) or do any shopping (downtown was closed and I couldn't handle another Wal-Mart run).  As we rode through the campus one last time (to point out where Steve and I were married), I remembered all the friends and memories of growing up in Starkville.  I thought of what it's like growing up there now.  And I was thankful for all that is Starkville - from The Mug and Cone to Starbucks, and everything that has come in between the two.  See ya' next time!
Today was a great day because:  organizing watches and knives and flashlights, oh my!; Zaxby's Zalad lunch; Old Navy shopping; dinner with GDiz, Steve, Molly, Judy, and Lynn; GDiz chatting with the table full of his lady friends; touring Starkville; Starbucks Starkville

Friday, June 27, 2014

Birthdays In Ye Olden Days

This is Marilyn.  Happy Birthday Marilyn!  See the clown hats?  I think she helped make them.  What fun hats!!  See the cake?  Marilyn's mom made it.  See the doll on top of the cake?  Marilyn's mom made the dress the doll is wearing.  See the dress Marilyn is wearing?  That dress matches the doll's dress.  Both dresses have a lot of ziggity-zaggity stitching on them. Marilyn's mom made Marilyn's dress, too. Marilyn's mom was very busy.  Busy, busy, busy.  Where is Marilyn's mom now? She is probably in her bed with a cool rag on her head. Happy birthday Marilyn!  Hope you have a pretty dress to wear today!!
Today is a great day because:  Marilyn's birthday; road trip with Molly

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Throw It Waaay Back Thursday

If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child.
-Linda Sunshine-

Tomorrow is my sister's birthday.  She will be 60 years old, which I find remarkable that I should have a sister who is that old.  Never mind that in three short years I will be that old.  Anyhow, we've been through a lot together, done a lot of things together, and still managed to remain friends as well as sisters.  Hooray for the Lewis girls!!

Today was a great day because:  lazy day off

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Slarty Success!

After a good night's sleep and a last-minute shopping trip by Moo to get acceptable dresses, this is the aftermath of a slarty (slumber party) at LaLa's.  Breakfast of Fruit Loops and milk, new dresses, new band-aids on existing boo-boos, two ponys and blue bows for each (carefully monitored to make sure everything was equal).  After BoBo picked them up and took them to school, LaLa went back to bed.
Today was a great day because:  loading Marilyn's car with treasures to take back to NC; Ms. Ruth's beautiful celebration of life service; Lindley and Everley time at the pool; slarty with Lindley and Everley; Marilyn's safe travel home

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Red Shoes - Luanne Edition

Today while browsing Ebay (yes, I browse Ebay and sometimes I put my name in the search thingy). Usually books by Luanne Rice show up, but today these little gems appeared.  Their official listing is:  JEFFREY CAMPBELL Luanne Red Suede BOW Wedge Platform T-bar Shoes NEW sz 9.5.  And while I would be flattered if Jeffrey really was inspired by me and designed these just for me, I have to say it isn't true.  And here's why ...

1.  Sure, they are in my favorite color, red, and are in my correct size - more or less (that means I could get my foot inside them).  But that's where the marriage of design and actual person divorces.

2.  First of all, there appears to be no heel-age in these shoes.  And while I know Lady GaGa lurves her heel-less shoes, I do not understand them.  Nor would my wonky ankles.  And I'm not sure that attempting to ambulate in these pumps while using walking sticks would give the impression that Jeffrey is after.

3.  Secondly, the incline on these shoes looks very steep.  If I had my protractor handy (I think I left it in my 7th grade locker), I could give you an exact answer.  But using what little common sense I possess, I can tell you that it's too steep for my ankles.  Again, the amount of KT tape and ankle braces that would be required for me to even attempt to stand on these monstrosities would negate the artistic aspect that Jeff is after.

4.  Thirdly, these shoes look high.  Like stilt walker high.  I don't do high shoes.  Mainly because my ankles prefer being close to the ground.  And if the shoe is too high, my ankles retaliate by twisting and turning until not only are my ankles close to the ground, but so is my whole body.  As in I fall down.

5.  Finally, I don't do shoes with bows on them.  At least not since my tap shoes when I was five years old. And certainly at my age, I don't think the bow-age will help the scene once I am sprawled out on the ground.

So, thanks Jeffrey for the shoutout.  While I know my dainty gait and ladylike demeanor probably inspired you to create these little bits of beauty, they just aren't for me.  But if you have some extra bows in the warehouse, I'll be sure to glue them to my flip flops!!
Today was a great day because: seeing KB and KP; dinner at Stoney River with Marilyn and Molly; Marilyn and Molly's margarita bucket discussion

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Delayed Prize Patrol

Since Marilyn is in town for a conference, we decided to have a pre-birthday party for her with the family (her actual birthday is Friday, June 27).  Everybody was in town (or getting back after a work trip) and everybody was finished working for the day (or at least delivering the last of the mail for the day).  Marilyn's pal Alice and her husband Gerald were coming down for Kentucky for the shindig (and by shindig I mean dinner.  On the dining table.  With real plates.  And food made in my kitchen.). Anyhow, at some point everyone assembled, we managed to eat the food, presents were opened, and cupcakes were consumed.

Except that I forgot the party candles and dessert plates and birthday buttons (this is a "special" birthday for Marilyn, you know, the kind that has special "Happy ??th" on things).  I found them the next day when I was putting clothes away in my closet (I had stored the birthday stuff in a special "don't forget these but keep them hidden so nobody will see them" place).  So I gave them to Marilyn to take home for her real birthday party this upcoming weekend.

I'm convinced that my "oops, I forgot" moments are genetic.  My mother was also a victim of this malady. Many Christmases, after opening all our gifts, our mother would say, "Did you get (insert gift name here)." We would say, "No, I didn't."  And off she would go to her bedroom to look in the closet or under her bed and come back with the prized present.  It was sort of like a bonus present, after everything else had been opened.  Come to think of it, maybe that's why some of us have this affliction, the "I think there's something else" disorder.  It's not some confusion or forgetfulness on our part - it's just an unconscious effort to make the party going.  And that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Meanwhile, in case it was your birthday and you didn't receive a gift from me, don't despair.  I'll send it along - just as soon as I run across it in its secret hiding place!!
Today was a great day because:  picking up Lindley and Everley at school; family birthday party for Marilyn with the fam and Alice and Gerald; Lindley and Everley time

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Color Me ...

Before and After - sunburn or paint??
Undecided.  Today Molly, Marilyn (since she's in town for a conference), and I were scheduled to do the Color Run, a 5K where you basically run/walk/whatever for 3 miles and volunteers throw powdered paint on you.  We were wavering on whether to do it, but when Marilyn came downstairs in her race attire, we decided to go ahead and do it.

Hot.  The race did not start until 9am, which is pretty much hot-thirty these days in Nashville. There were about two clouds in the sky, and they were staying as far away from the sun as possible (good move, clouds).  So the sun was shining brightly down on the race course.  Which had no shade.  Ergo, it was hot, people.

With Colors.  We went through a few of the color stations (more about that next) and got doused with the paint.  Of course it seemed that every time someone threw the powder at me, my arm was in the way, so I have a very colorful arm.  My shirt - not so much.

A Shirker.  At some point out on the course (like maybe just after we crossed the start line), someone brought up the possibility of perhaps cutting out part of the course.  Like where there's a down and back. Or a turn-off where the group going keeps going, and the group coming back turns.  Not saying who suggested what or where, but our 5K turned into more of an almost 2 miler.  Like it mattered.  Most everybody was walking and the sun was blazing and there was no time limit.

Relieved.  Finally we entered the speedway (this was held at the Nashville speedway because last year when they had this event, it was held downtown.  It rained and the paint got on people's cars and there was a big brouhaha, so they had to change locations), and saw the finish line in sight.  We finished and kept walking to the car.  Uphill.  In the bright sun.

Done.  I do not plan to do this ever again.  Which I said the last time I did this.  I really need a filter, like a Mr. T bodybuilder bouncer type who will say, "No Fool - you ain't gonna do that again."

And finally, color me sad.  Last night we got the word that KB's mom, Ms. Ruth, passed away, surrounded by her loving family. Although we know Heaven welcomed her with open arms and she joined her husband again, she will be missed so dearly back here.  But today, I have to think that bright sunlight that shone on us this morning was so bright because Ms. Ruth had joined the angels.  That Heaven is a brighter place because she's there.  And that it was a sign that she's in a much better place, free from health problems and the constraints that kept her from doing everything she wanted to do here. So today's race is for Ms. Ruth.  Today you don't have to worry about a broken hip or a knee replacement or a walker or a wheelchair.  Today you can run with the joy that Heaven brings.  Keep that sun shining, Ms. Ruth - you are greatly loved and greatly missed.
Today was a great day because:  Color Me Rad race and Sonic with Marilyn and Molly; Everley and Lindley time; boiled shrimp dinner with most of the family

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Deep Waters

Today Everley and I met Lindley and Lynnette at the YMCA pool for some morning pool time.  As usual, we stayed around the kiddie pool area.  Lindley had on her life jacket and was fairly content to frolic in the shallow water with Lynnette while Everley and I discussed the merits of her wearing her life jacket and frolicking between the kiddie pool and the sprinklers and the baby pool and the chairs.  The water in the kiddie pool was cold - pretty much ice cold even on a hot day.  So while the little ones seemed to just jump in with abandon, Lynnette and I performed the adult zero entry dance - you know, get the water over the ankles and slowly inch up until eventually your body is used to the sub-zero temperature.

At some point, Everley decided to walk around to the other side of the pool where the main pool is located. I was following close behind when I noticed a section of the pool where there were several toddlers and little kids in the water with their parental units or representatives.  Everley (and lifejacket) and I decided to get in and soon Lindley and Lynnette joined us.  And what did we discover?  The water was much warmer, there was plenty or room to practice swimming and kicking and scooping (the Olympic terms for swimming), and generally was a much nicer place to splash and enjoy the pool than the kiddie pool with a million kids all vying for the same six inches of space.

So what's the moral of this story, boys and girls?  There might be several, such as:

Had Everley not ventured over to the big pool, we would have never discovered how much better it was. Therefore, just because something looks big and daunting and out of your league, it might not be so.  You just have to find a way to make it work for you (in this case, it required an adult and lifejacket).

Had Everley and Lindley been content to play in the ice cube pool, we would not have found a warmer better pool.  In other words, being content is great - but always consider that there might be another option, also.

Had Everley and Lindley not had an enjoyable time in the big pool, Lynnette and Luanne would not have had such a great time in the ice cube pool.  So sometimes it's important to think outside the box and find a new experience that everyone can enjoy.

In the end, it was a good day to go swimming.  And now LaLa actually is looking forward to going back!!
Today was a great day because:  pool time with Lindley, Everley, and Lynnette and going to the big pool to swim; Marilyn arriving in town; dinner dilemmas and pickup; trek to Bobbies then Dairy Queen; Sharon's yard sale delivery (yes, we're having another one); watching Vandy win baseball to head for the championship

Friday, June 20, 2014

I'm Erasing "Never" From My Vocabulary ...

Because we're doing this again:
This being the Komen Breast Caner 3-Day Walk -
this time in Philadelphia in September
We're doing this again:
This being the "never again" yard sale -
this time on July 19 at the Doik for raise funds for the "this" above

I know - I said I would never do either again.  I know, I'm doing both again.  I know, I hope to never do either again.  But now that we're talking about it, you can join our team and/or donate to team members who are still trying to reach their goals:  JUST CLICK HERE.  And hopefully, you will never read about these endeavors again (I said I was erasing "never" from my vocabulary, not yours).
Today was a great day because:  Lindley and Everley time; girls pizza night at the Doik; Molly's text messaging dilemma

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sisters Throw-Back Thursday

Once upon a time there were two sisters.  Who grew up and had some babies, some of whom were sisters. Which meant there were now cousins who were sisters.  So they all got together one time at some magical place and ran a 5K.  Or maybe some sisters ran it and some walked it and some wogged it.  Anyhow, they all finished it and got medals.  And then probably went and had a victory snack.  And even though everyone stayed sisters and cousins, the race got discontinued.  And that is the end of this story.
Today was a great day because:  finishing a project or two; 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Middle-Age Lady Mania

KB called me this morning offering tickets to see MOVE this evening.  In case you don't know what MOVE is, Google it.  In case you don't want to do that, I'll give you a brief overview.  It's Derek Hough (of Dancing with the Stars fame) and his sister Julianne (of Dancing with the Stars former fame and wannabe country music sensation and former Ryan Seacrest girlfriend).  I have always enjoyed the Houghs and their dancing on their respective DWTS seasons.  And while I had not bought any tickets myself, I accepted these tickets from KB and decided to go for her and her mom, who is not doing well.  I called Molly and she agreed to go with me.

I picked up Molly at 7pm (the show started at 7:30 - well, it was supposed to start then).  We headed downtown, as the show was going to be at the historic Ryman Auditorium.  I don't know why it was held there, since one would think that a dancing program would need a great big stage.  But for whatever reason, it was going to be at the Ryman.

We parked the car and headed to the show and got in the entrance line that wrapped all around the block. Seriously.  We got in and found our seats, no thanks to the usher who directed us to the wrong side of the auditorium.  Anyhow, we sat down (for those of you who have yet to come to Nashville as a visitor and embrace the Country Musicness of it all, the Ryman seating is composed of pews - like in church).  By this time it was 7:30pm, time for the show to start, and people (as in crowds) were still streaming in.  By the hundreds (the Ryman is not a huge auditorium, by the way).  Finally, at 8pm, everyone had found a seat, after visiting the souvenir table (yes, for their bags and t-shirts and whatever) and getting a beer.  It was showtime!!

So here's my rendition of the show ...  First of all, we were seated by one of the massive speakers, which meant we heard every loud note of every loud pumping song.  And by pumping I mean the bass was super turned up so it helped regulate my heartbeat.  Unfortunately, the massive sound speaker also blocked my view of half the stage, so much of the time I did not get to see the fabulous entrances of the two main performers - Derek and Julianne.  Who, by the way, elicited a big reaction everytime they appeared on stage.  What is a huge reaction?  The audience (made up of 90% middle-aged women) would stand and scream and wave their arms.  I can only think they were reliving the 70s and their first rock concert.

Of course it helped that in every dance, Derek either (a) tore off his shirts, or (b) didn't wear a shirt at all, thus showing his no-hair muscled six-pack abs.  Meanwhile Julianne came out in a variety of shorts or body suits that had blotches of fabric over the nether regions/parts.  There were ten backup dancers who all pretty much dressed in whatever fashion the main two performers did.

Anyhow, Derek and Julianne danced with each other (kinda weird) and danced alone and danced with their group of dancers.  Everything was very fast and quick and gyrating and sashaying and pole dancing and slinging around heads and hair.  They also sang a song or two and revved up the crowd even more - which I thought was near-impossible.  They brought some men and women up from the audience to dance with which was quite entertaining in itself.  And it all brought out more clapping and standing and screaming from the audience.

I have to say it was a great show, both on stage and in the pews.  Molly and I had a great time, just watching everything and everybody.  Now if my ears would just stop ringing ...
Today was a great day because: Everley sleepover; cute pictures of Lindley and Everley in their new swim gear; Ryman to see the Houghs with Molly; quick check with KB

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Carrots Vs Kicks

So in my never-ending quest to get myself in gear (you know, eat right, exercise, train, be nice, be kind, blah, blah, blah), I am constantly trying to figure out how to get this quest started.  And continuing it as a lifestyle.  So today's conundrum follows the old "chicken vs egg" question in the form of, "What works better - a carrot to inspire you or a kick in the butt to get you going?"

I have tried carrots.  I have promised myself everything under the sun and more.  I have created charts and graphs and diagrams and scenarios and visual aids.  I have made signs and started journals and hung inspiring quotes.  I have gone to meetings, joined clubs, listened to "experts," and read books.  So far it has not been successful.

I have also tried kicks.  I have punished disciplined myself for doing the less-desired things.  I have taken away treats for not accomplishing goals.  I have denied myself, berated myself, and had frank talks with myself.  So far that's not working so well, either.

So what's my resolution?  Simply this - both methods do not accomplish that which I am after.  Both are means to an end and do not necessarily create change.  And while either may encourage action, neither really will get me to my goal of creating the lifestyle I want.

I guess in the end, I just need to Nike - Just Do It.  Then it won't be the carrot or the kick that changed me. It will be all me.
Today was a great day because:  Everley time and sleepover

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pool Time!!

Apparently I have no shame.  Nor have I lost the requisite amount that should be required for a person to install a swimsuit on her body.  Nevertheless, I have donned said swimsuit (procured from Nashville Tent and Awning) and proceeded to the YMCA pool with Lindley and Everley, who thankfully are more interested in the water than in their grandmother in her swimsuit.  The good news is that I was not the only questionably clad woman there.  Or man.  Win for everyone!!
Today was a great day because:  Lindley and Everley time at the pool; airport run for and safe flight for Steve

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Typical Father's Day - Davidson Style

The first order of business was for Steve to head to the pool - his summer activity of choice.  Since the kids pool didn't open until noon, the kids headed to the zoo.  By the time zoo time was over, it was close to noon - and also close to lunch and naptime, which trumps pool time anytime.

So, Everley and Lindley got fed and put to bed while Steve continued to sun at the pool.  The parents (and Moo and LaLa) either napped themselves or went out to run errands.  Steve's sojourn at the pool ended around 1pm and he returned home (after stopping at Bucky's for someone's trenta passion tea).

Now came the real dilemma - what to do about dinner?  I had intended to cook, but Molly had come over earlier to help organize my mess of a pantry, and that took all the wind out of my "cooking dinner" sails (well, there really wasn't much wind there to begin with, so this wasn't a monumental feat).  Anyhow, we started discussing dinner.

Molly said she would take Steve to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner (he likes the Parmesan chicken).  The only problems with Ruby Tuesday is that several other members of the family associate this establishment with various times of gastrointestinal distress.  In other words, they are convinced they spent hours hugging the porcelain throne after having visited RT's.  But in light of the occasion, just about everyone acquiesced to the plan - except for Maribeth, who still harbors bad feelings towards RT's ribs.  So, the rest of us loaded up the cars and headed for adventure.

Steve and I took Everley and Lindley with us in the car.  Everley will go just about anywhere for food, and her mother said it was fine (I guess as long as E stayed away from the ribs).  Molly took Maribeth home, and Sam and Lynnette went in their own cars.  Eventually all cars ended up at the same location, and we disembarked and headed to the lobby.

Despite being Sunday and Father's Day, many of us looked like we had just finished cutting the grass.  I had on my jogging pants and a tshirt (at least they were clean), Molly had on similar attire, the little girls had on cute dresses that had spent the morning at the zoo, and the rest of the group were dressed slightly better.  It didn't seem to matter to us.  In retrospect, it certainly had no effect on the rest of the dinner.

When we got to the check-in desk, the lady asked our party size.  We had to wait while they prepared a table.  During our wait, we overheard that perhaps the wait staff was a little short-handed that night.  When our table was finally ready, the check-in lady mumbled something about it being a busy day.  We got to our table that was big enough for 20 people (we had 5 adults and 2 kids) and waited for our server.  And waited and waited.  I decided to go to the salad bar to get some nibbles for E and L.  When I returned, our server had still not materialized, but the server for the table next to us was already taking drinks.

I deposited the salad bar offerings to L and E.  Of course E starts right in, but L declines most of the food. Our server shows up, explaining that she's had to work a double shift and was on a break when we arrived, hence her delay.  No biggie, as by that time we were ready for her to take our food order as well as our drink order.

Meanwhile, E decided to poop in her diaper.  Which is no big deal and expected, unless (a) you have no diapers to change her into and (b) you are sitting next to her.  Luckily I was sitting next to her, so nobody else got the fragrant whiff of bodily functions every time she moved.

Anyhow, our drinks and food eventually arrived (by the way, a refill of milk costs $1.50), we ate, and left.  It was a lovely Father's Day dinner.  And hopefully will not be relived in a vile way in the next 24 hours.
Today was a great day because: Molly helping organize  my pantry; Lindley and Everley time; E's new playhouse assembled by Mathieu; dinner at Ruby Tuesday's

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Eco-Friendly. At Least For A Day ...

So it started with the most dreaded household job (at least in the Top Ten for me). You know what it is. When you're in the shower/bathtub and you notice the water is taking it's own sweet time to exit via the drain. You just ignore it, hoping it will be better the next time.  But it isn't.  And then, one day when you're standing in a pool of water in the tub, and yet the drain is wide open but nothing is draining, you know it's time.  TO CLEAN OUT THE DRAIN!!!!

Yes, you must now take off whatever drain cover contraption you have.  I say contraption, because apparently I haven't cleaned out the drain since it was put in a year or so ago.  So, it was a little problematic to get the thing off.  It appeared that it would just screw off, but it would not cooperate with me.  So I left it for another couple of days until I decided it was D-Day and that it was going to come off - unscrewed or yanked off with my arsenal of tools not manufactured for the job.   Once I threatened the drain plug with this course of action, it cooperated and unscrewed.

Next comes the "picking out of the hair" portion.  For me, this involves tweezers.  For others, it involves a plumber snake (or something like it).  This procedure took a bit and was every bit as gross as you can imagine (or remember if you've undertaken this delight recently - if not just google "clogged bathtub drain" and be totally grossed out).  Anyhow, at this point I had a relatively clean-looking drain.

However, it was still taking too long to drain out the water.  So I surmised that there was deeper work to be done.  I had had my fill of drain hair grossness, so I was not going to go the "snake" route.  Instead, I decided to flush it out with some sort of "flusher-outer."  I was thinking Liquid Plummer or Drano or straight acid, but decided to go "natural" for once.  I looked online and discovered that baking soda and vinegar should do the trick. Of course, what do I have in my pantry?  Baking powder and apple cider vinegar. Luckily for everyone involved, I decided against using these close-but-no-cigar substitutes.

So, on my seemingly hourly Wal Mart run, I picked up the soda and vinegar.  I traveled back to my bathtub to begin proceedings.  Of course I did not bother to reread/remember/write down the exact measurements for how much to use.  I just filled up the drain with soda and poured vinegar down it.  It bubbled a bit and gurgled.  I poured more vinegar and it repeated the bubbling and gurgling and then VIOLA!!  It all went down the pipe nicely and when I started the hot water (I think I had read that you're supposed to end with that), it all went nicely and quickly down the drain.  And, as an added bonus, the drain collar and all that I could see looked really nice and sparkly.

So, for one day I have been eco-friendly.  I supposed I could have saved the hair balls and done something with those, but I didn't.  I can only eco so much!!
Today was a great day because:  Everley sleepover last night; Steve and Everley getting donuts at KK; Molly helping with stockpile re-organization; Lindley and Everley time

Friday, June 13, 2014


KB's mom is sick.  She's in the hospital with a particularly rough case of pneumonia.  She was admitted just about the time my Alaska cruise ended, so KB's been kind of busy taking care of her mom and we haven't managed to find time to get together.

Ms. Ruth (KB's mom) has been having a couple of rough days, so I've tried to not bother KB.  I know she's had a lot on her hands, being the only child and having to deal with doctors and hospitals.  I've tried to think of what I could do, and have pretty much come up with nothing.  I've great at doing things - but in the background.  Coming out and barging in and trying to find a way to help just isn't my method of action.

Today as I was in the middle of my Target therapy, KB texted me a video of her little girls giving a get-well message for Ms. Ruth.  We texted back a couple of messages and I told her that we were praying for them. Of course I asked if there was anything I could do, and of course she said "nothing."

I kept shopping, and then I heard God say, "Go to the hospital."  And that was it.  As often as I don't listen to Him, this was a clear message.  So I finished up my therapy, paid for my stuff, got in my car, and headed home to unload my sacks (I had some perishables in the stack, so this was a necessary stop.  I also needed to get out of my skin-tight workout pants and attempt to find some more suitable ones).  I also got the sun catcher and rocks I had brought back from Alaska for KB.

Of course, the entire time I'm in my car, I'm trying to second-guess God.  What if KB wasn't in the hospital room?  What if she was at work?  What if Ms Ruth was there by herself?  Would I go in?  Would she know me?  What would I do then?  I prayed all the way to the hospital (that's after I picked the wrong hospital on my car's navigation and realized I was headed in the wrong direction and got in a fight with my car's navigation and finally got us both going in the correct direction).

I got to the hospital and all was as it should be.  Ms. Ruth was there, feeling a little better after her morning bath, and KB was there, along with family friend Dewey.  We all got a chance to visit and chat and KB and I caught up a bit.  It was just as God had planned it, and thankfully today I listened and acted as I should.

Tonight and whenever you may read this or think about it (because I believe God will put it on your heart), offer up a prayer for KB and Ms. Ruth.  Things are a bit tough right now, and they could use your thoughts and prayers.  The good news is that God's got them right in His Hands.  And for all of us, that's just the best place we could hope to be.
Today was a great day because:  Lindley and Everley time; Steve cooking burgers for the family at dinner; chatting with baby Bennett from next door; Target therapy; visit with KB, Dewey and Ms. Ruth

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hot or Cold or Whatever

The weather in Nashville this week has been rainy.  Which means it's sort of hot and sort of cool.  Which means you can open your windows but then it gets hot and/or rainy and you have to close them.  Unless someone else has opened up the windows because it was cool in the morning and then went to work and then it got all hot and stuffy in that room and you refuse to close the windows on principle.  Not that I know anybody who did that (or did that and then it rained hard and blew through the open windows).  But I digress ...

The real issue is the air conditioning.  Because if it's hot, I want it on.  And if it's cool enough for the windows open, I want it off so the nice cool breeze can waft through the house.  And I am also a cheapskate who wants to save on the ac bill.  I know - first world problem.  And if I didn't have enough to think about on this situation, it's the realization that I am fussing about air conditioning when there are people in this world who didn't eat today.

I guess I just have to realize that most of life isn't hot or cold.  It's a little of everything thrown in together.  It's the good stuff and the bad stuff and the stuff in between.  It's the rain blowing in the window and the cool breeze blowing in the same window.  It's all AND nothing and bits of everything.

In other words, wherever I am, there I am.  In whatever circumstance, I'm there.  I just have to stop and close my eyes and experience it.  I can close the windows or turn up the air or get a bite to eat.  And as long as I'm on this earth, I am blessed to do it, whether it's hot or cold or whatever.  It is what it is, and most of the time it's pretty darn good.
Today was a great day because:  Taking to and picking up Everley from school; seeing Lindley and Lynnette at school; pool time and McDonalds with Everley and Steve; Everley spending the night; three hot miles in the 'hood

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


I'm sure I did something today.  Unfortunately since I didn't blog on time, I don't remember what I did.  So instead, I shall leave you with a quote:
"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.  Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."     -Albert Schweitzer-
Tonight I am thankful for all those who inspire me, boost me up, believe in me, and help me.  Without them, I would not have the blessed life I have.  And yes, if you are reading these words, you are the very one to whom I am speaking.  Thank you!!
Today was a great day because:  getting a few things accomplished

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I know as I get older, the passing of days gets quicker.  But seriously, it's June already?  How can almost half of 2014 be over, when it seems yesterday was just ... well, yesterday?  But then again, yesterday does seem quite some time ago ...

Anyhow, when I was just a kid (and I mean kid, not the 30-year-olds who seem like kids to me now), June signaled the beginning of summer.  School was out, we could sleep late, the weather was warm, and everything was great!  My family rarely went on vacations (my dad was a dairy farmer and there wasn't a ready pool of substitute dairy farmers on hand), so the summer was usually spent at home.

We usually spent time at the swimming pool, either in lessons or at swim team practice.  We spent time under my grandmother's oak tree shelling and picking out peas (if you don't know what picking out peas involves, then you've missed out on some fun).  We spent time playing with each other, with our friends, and with the inevitable litter of kittens (well, I did anyway).  We would also go to cookouts, attend VBS, and have sleepovers.  There was always the inevitable smell of silage when my dad came in from the fields (another sensory overload that should be experienced).  There were fields to be explored and trees to climb.  And since my mother cooked a full three meals a day, there was always something good to eat.

So you can see that the Junes of my youth were very much welcomed.  I'm not sure when June began to represent the things that I haven't accomplished in any given year.  But maybe it's time I stopped giving June the bad rap of things not done, and rechristened it as things to be done.  And if I do, maybe the fun and exuberance that I need will come back.  I can do without the silage smell, though ...
Today was a great day because:  slow Wednesday; Molly coming over for trip planning; meds helping with sinus headache; Lynnette getting her TSA Pre done

Monday, June 9, 2014


The local Fleet Feet stores are doing a "thing" for the summer to get people healthy (and maybe lose weight). The Ms and I joined up.  Basically, it's a "do it yourself but weigh in with us" type program.  There's a Facebook group and support and all that, but basically you have to take control of yourself.  Therein lies my problem ...

Last week was the first week, and since I was in the middle of getting back home (after two weeks of cruise food eating), I had to wait until Tuesday to weigh in.  No surprises there, as I anticipated those dreaded numbers on the scale.  One would think that such an enormous number would inspire one to get with the program and get busy.  One should really not waste her time thinking ...

Fast forward to this week.  Weigh-ins are on Mondays, and since I am in town, there was no excuse not to weigh in.  Except for the fact that I still haven't gotten with the program and in charge of myself.  And then there's all the leftover cruise candy that I ate ...  Anyhow, I had pretty much decided just to skip it this week. And then the Ms got on my case and told me to weigh in anyway.  Part of the program involves incentives for weighing in (and incentives for losing weight, but ....).  The deadline for weighing in today was 7pm. Finally, after much external and internal debate and prodding, I weighed in at the store.  And I was rewarded pretty much with what I expected - a gain of poundage.

Was I glad I did the deed?  Yes and no.  Will this first week be the fix I need to get myself in gear?  Who knows.  But at least I admitted this is my reality.  I can make it what I want it to be.   And I want it to be better than today's.

Today was a great day because:  slow, quiet Monday; actually weighing in; Which Wich for dinner 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday Girls Brunch

The guys were busy elsewhere, so the girls do what we do best - brunch and Target!!
Today was a great day because:  brunch with the girls; Lindley and Everley time

Saturday, June 7, 2014

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

If anything's broken today, it's keeping quiet.  Which is a good thing, since Everley spent the night last night and will spend most of the day today with me.  Maribeth's delivering mail and Mathieu has National Guard this weekend, so today was a day not to fix stuff.

We started the morning by picking up Molly and heading to Sonic to see Charity (and eat breakfast).  After that we went shopping a few places before returning home for a nap.  Lindley and Lynnette came over after Lindley's first swimming lesson.  Maribeth came over has her shift and picked up sandwiches for dinner.  Mathieu came over for dinner and Lindley and Everley decided to take a bath.  Having been fed and bathed (for various members of the family), everyone returned to their respective homes.  I loaded the dishwasher and decided to go study the inside of my eyelids.

It's been a pretty good day ...
Today was a great day because:  breakfast and shopping with Everley and Molly and seeing Charity; Lindley time; Maribeth picking up dinner

Friday, June 6, 2014

And Then There's Quicken ...

I thought yesterday's treat of a day would be all I could handle this week.  I should really stop thinking ...

I use Quicken for my home finances, mostly to see where we spend money.  Lately every time I log on, I get a prompt asking if I want to update Quicken.  Since I am up-to-date on very little, this seems like something I could do.  So I click on the link.  Of course, nothing happens that I can see.  But I guess it gets updated, because eventually I click back on Quicken.  Only it says that I need to restart Windows to finish updating.  So I restart Windows.  And I restart it for the next ten times that I click on Quicken.

Eventually I get a little tired of restarting, so I decide to go to the top and contact Quicken.  I log in and find that I am number two in the que, and somebody should be chatting with me in 7.42 minutes.  Eventually Hector comes online and we discuss my problem.  He tells me to download a Mondo patch and that should fix everything.  I do as he says and then follow Mondo as it says.  And then I click on Quick who says I need to restart Windows.  Which I tell Hector and also tell him that if I restart Windows, it will end our cyber relationship.  He gives me a parting tip and says good luck.  And so I restart Windows.  And I click on Quicken.  Who tells me to restart Windows.

Instead of throwing my computer out the window, I decide to return to Quicken Support.  This time I get somebody called Desdemona or something, who basically gives me advice such as how to turn on the machine, did I input my correct user name and/or password, and could I explain what the problem was, etc.  I get pretty sick of her and try the Mondo patch again and restart Windows again and get Desi out of my life.

This time my computer goes all ape-crazy and tells me there is some huge problem and it needs to fix itself.  Then it says it needs to restore back to a time when it didn't have this problem (don't we all).  Not seeing any other choice, I tell it to go ahead.  This time when it restarts and I click on Quicken, I find that Quicken is gone.  Completely.  I guess Hector and/or Desi decided to take my Quicken into protected custody.

I decided to return to Amazon where I purchased Quicken to re-download it.  Which I kind of do, only it just keeps spinning.  So I try various browsers to download it.  But one says I need to download an Amazon downloader, but the browser thinks it's too dangerous to do so and refuses to do it.  So basically I have no Quicken.

But then I remember that my laptop has Quicken on it.  But I don't like keeping my books on my laptop because I have a history of laptops eating all my files and then die a quick death, thus deleting my history.  Nevertheless, I manage to pull up Quicken on the laptop, and begin to download my online files (thank goodness I decided to do this awhile back).  Except that apparently whatever password I used is nothing that I can remember.  So Quicken Online and I sent several emails back and forth to reset and send passwords.  Eventually I got my data, got on Quicken, and updated my numbers.  They were as stellar as I expected...

So as of this writing, I have Quicken, just not where I want it.  I'm sure there's a way to achieve this, but it shall have to wait until another day.  I'm sure there's something waiting to break for tomorrow's fun ...
Today was a great day because:  Quicken problem solved, just not the way I wanted it to; laundry completed; Everley spending the night

Thursday, June 5, 2014

And That's The Way I Roll ...

If there's an easier way to do something, I'm pretty much going to do it the most difficult and convoluted way possible.  Here's today's example ...

As I was sorting the clothes in the laundry room, I noticed that the floor was a bit tacky and the room was a bit warm.  I also noticed that there was a whole lot of lint material stuck to the cabinet by the dryer.  I pondered these facts for a bit and proceeded to investigate this phenomena.  As you might have been able to surmise by now, my dryer vent hose had a split in it, thus spewing hot air and lint into my laundry room (yes, with these highly honed investigative skills, I should have been a detective).  Obviously my next step would be to replace the defective hose.

The first step was to get a replacement hose.  Being easily swayed by appliance delivery people and appliance repair people, I remembered one of this group of professionals once telling me that I needed the super-duper special metal hose pipe, as the usual curly/Reynolds wrap type hose would probably set my house on fire whether the dryer was actually in use or not.  And never mind that is the kind of dryer hose that I have on my current dryer (and probably every dryer in history).  Anyhow, I convince myself that I will put on the super-duper hose.  Just as soon as I purchase one.

I head off to Wal Mart, where all things are purchased.  It is a small Wal Mart and it took me awhile to find the dryer hose department (which is actually three boxes of hoses on a top shelf).  Unfortunately it is not the super hose I am searching for, but the regular type.  Rather than go ahead and get one anyway, I decide to leave the store and instead head down the street to the upscale shopping mecca of Home Depot.  I find the hose that I desire and head for the checkout lane.  With my newly paid-for hose in hand, I get in my car and head home, after a chat with my pal Emily in the parking lot (whom I haven't seen in ages).  It started to rain and we both headed to our respective homes and home projects.

Now comes the fun part.  First I should describe my laundry room.  Basically it's the size of an old-timey (think 50s) back porch that was enclosed back in the 70s.  In other words, it's roomy but not spacious.  In this room I have a front-loading washing and dryer (not stacked), a big hot water heater, and two-door cabinet next to the washer that has a counter but the inside houses the litter box, and a small one-door cabinet next to the dryer.  The hot water heater is in the corner and the dryer is to the right and the washer is to the left.  There is still enough room for three laundry sorting bins and for me to turn around to load and unload the machines.  Oh, and did I mention that the dryer hose snakes through the little cabinet to the outside part?

So I get out the new hose pipe and get to work.  The first problem is getting behind the dryer to attend to the desired location.  To do this, I have to maneuver the dryer out.  But the washer is large and I have to maneuver it so that there's room for the dryer.  But the sorting bins are sort of in the way.  And when I eventually get the washer moved and the bins moved and the dryer moved, there's no room for my fat fanny to get from behind the dryer to go anywhere.  And because I am a boot camp dropout, I have no upper body strength to booth my bodacious butt over the tops of the machines.

Nevertheless, somehow I get behind the dryer and take off the offending hose, noticing the gash in the hose that was spewing the hot air and lint into the laundry room.  I also had to empty out the small cabinet to unhook the hose from the outside housing, when I notice another gash spewed lint all over the beach towels that are housed there (thank you for the now-extra load of laundry).  I unhook the hose, put the linty towels in the appropriate dirty clothes bin and begin the task of hooking up the new hose.  Which is made of firm steel or aluminum or some other metal - it doesn't matter which because it doesn't want to bend like I would prefer.  Instead it prefers to cut my fingers.

Nevertheless, I continue to try to bend and pull and adjust the pipe - while I have my broad shoulders shoved into the tiny cabinet (which is shrinking by the minute).  The pipe doesn't bend or fit around the outside housing.  I bend and pound the push and prod, but nothing happens.  Except for the cutting of my appendages.  I come out of the cabinet periodically for fresh air and return to this futile operation.

Finally I admit defeat and somehow shimmy out of my hole and return to Wal Mart.  I have on my lint-covered pants, my hair in wild disarray, and scratched up hands - clearly I belong at Wal Mart.  Anyhow, I buy the hose that I should have bought two hours ago and return home to start over.

Basically in the next 15 minutes I have the fire-causing hose attached, all machines back in their places, all the lint cleaned up, the bins returned to their positions, and the first loads of laundry in their cycles.  All is right with the world. 

At least as long as I have the fire extinguisher handy ...
Today was a great day because:  I managed to get Everley and Lindley to school even though I left both in tears and I had to return to home and then school to get Lindley some different shoes because her new sandals hurt and Everley just kept saying she wanted to go to LaLas house; I got the dryer hose changed eventually; I got to see Emily and chat a bit

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Slarty at LaLa's

Lindley's parents are out of town, so she was going to spend tonight with me.  Since there are some days I take Everley to school this week, I offered to let her spend the night, too.  Since Steve is out of town, the whole slarty (slumber party) seemed a no-brainer.

We started the party with my picking them both up from school.  Of course I had snacks for them in the car.  We came home and promptly used the foam out of their chairs (so I could wash the covers) to make forts and cars and things for jumping on and off.  Then we jumped in the trampoline for awhile.  Then LaLa made mac and cheese for dinner, along with leftover cornbread, applesauce, grapes, and whatever else they could find.

Next it was time for baths, which they both love, so that took up some time (since they're both bigger, I don't have to stand lifeguard every second - I actually get the opportunity to run to the washing machine to throw in a load).  After almost an hour, they consented to get out, mostly because Maribeth had come over to visit.

After putting on pjs (actually nightgowns), everyone got in my bed to watch "Monsters U" and hopefully fall asleep.  Which they did.  Guess my turn is next.  Now all I have to do is figure out what to fix for breakfast ...

Oh, and I got my suitcase unpacked today!!  At least the big one ...
Today was a great day because: picking up L and E at school and chatting with Ms Lui; unpacking my suitcase; running a few errands; Steve's safe travel to Boston and Sam and Lynnette's safe travel to Orlando; slarty with the girls

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Post-Travel Day

  • Suitcase - still packed.
  • Got up to take Everley to her first day of her new school, which is also Lindley's school, which makes pickup for both super-easy now.  Decided to cook crock-pot beef for dinner for family.  Also decided that since I had to pick up Everley, I would also pick up Lindley.
  • Ate too much of the chocolate treats that I didn't eat on the ship and instead brought them home.  And now have promptly eaten most of them.  Should have eaten them on the ship.
  • Got a trenta passion tea lemonade from Starbucks.  Had to.  Delicious.  Especially since I requested light ice and I had plenty to last more than five minutes.
  • Suitcase still packed.
  • Weighed in at Fleet Feet for community weight loss thingy.  Not as bad as I expected, but bad nevertheless.  Went home and ate more chocolate.
  • Picked up girls at school.  Happy times since it was a surprise for Lindley, whom I haven't seen in over two weeks.  Came home and finished dinner.  Maribeth, Molly, and Lynnette came over.  Ate dinner.
  • Put L and E in bathtub (their choice).  Got them and their hair washed and found acceptable clothing (after Lindley eschewed Maribeth's choices and found clothing more to her liking). 
  • Eventually everyone went back to their respective houses.  I cleaned up kitchen and watched shows I apparently recorded in my absence.
  • Suitcase still packed - have to save something for tomorrow!!
Today was a great day because:  taking E to new school; picking up L and E from school; having dinner actually planned and cooked

Monday, June 2, 2014

Travel Day

One of the not-so-fun things about leaving Vancouver is the flight arrangement back home.  Basically, the earliest flight we can make is at 2pm.  And you can't check in at the airport until three hours before your flight, so you get to spend a lot of time sitting in the main lobby of the Vancouver airport.  It isn't so bad because it's big and roomy and has a lot of chairs.  But it marks the beginning of a long travel day.  Here's how ours went:

*We left our cabins for the last time this morning at 8am.  We had already had breakfast at the buffet, so we were ready to go, not to mention that Disney Cruise wants everyone out so they can clean the rooms for the next inhabitants.  From there we went to a lounge to wait for our luggage tag to be called.  Every passenger was given luggage tags to put on their luggage the night before (and put out in the hall).  We were purple Minnies.  Everyone waits.  And waits.  Luckily ours was the third luggage tag to be called (an hour and a half later).  Once we got into the luggage retrieval room, we understood why it took so long.

*Basically, there's about 60 trillion pieces of luggage in this one room.  Add to that the 60 billion overfed tired travelers in the room, looking for their luggage.  Along with their strollers and small children, none of whom stay together in a group (I directed Maribeth and Everley and stroller to stay THERE and we would get to them).  So you have all these people milling over all this luggage looking for their bags.  Add the sound effects of unhappy people and crying people, and you might understand the craziness.  They can't call more than one luggage tag at a time because that's all the luggage this one room can handle.

*The last time Molly, Charity, and I did this, we stood in a taxi line forever.  Hoping to forgo this, I decided that getting a porter would speed things up (and get us in a quicker taxi line).  The only problem is that there are only four porters.  For a gazillion people and their luggage.  So Steve and Mathieu and I got the little wheelie carts (free in port) and loaded up our luggage.  And then headed to the long taxi line.  But then we saw Porter #3 with an empty cart, and nabbed him to take all the luggage (about eight bags - half of them BIG bags).  He did take us to a shorter customs line and manhandled his way to a short taxi line.  SCORE!!

*Apparently in Vancouver, the cabs can only hold four people.  Which means we needed two cabs.  Which Porter #3 got us.  Once we got the bags distributed (we were going to check two of Maribeth/Matheiu/Everley's bags because we would get them checked free) we were off to the airport.  Which didn't take too long, and then settled down for our wait for the counters to open.

*Eventually the counters opened, and we got in line to check in.  Steve is an AA fancy pants, so we got in the fancy pants line (since I was on his reservation, I could get in line with him even though I am lowly scum).  He has requested (I don't know exactly the AA Fancy Pants lingo) to get upgraded and he got the email that he could, but when we got to Judy the AA Ticket Lady, things got a bit complicated.  Apparently he needed to more stars to get upgraded because he had four but would need six to do the entire trip from Vancouver to Nashville (with a stop in Dallas).  He said fine and then he was set.  Then they couldn't do the upgrade for me, because I had no stars.  So he bought some more stars, but then the stars were put on his account not mine so they had to be taken off his account and put on mine and his credit card had to be refunded and then charged again.  It was complicated and time consuming and irritating to the lowly scum who were waiting in line behind us.

*Eventually it all got worked out and Steve and I were upgraded to Business Class (more on that later).  Meanwhile, Maribeth and family were over at United checking in (yes we were on different airlines so that Steve could use his frequent flyer miles for us.  MB and Co would get in earlier to Nashville than we would, though). 

*In Vancouver, you have to show your boarding pass and/or passport about sixty-eleven times.  First, to get your boarding pass.  Next to get pass the gate agent.  Next to check your bag (once you get through the gate agent you have to haul it to a different location to get it to the plane). At each point they're checking to make sure you're you and you have the number of bags you said you did.  There's a lot of scanning going on.  We had the free rolling carts, so it wasn't too big of a deal and we eventually got the four bags into their checked location. 

*Next stop was security.  There was no TSA Pre line - at least as far as I could see.  We made it to the actually scanning part, where you show your boarding pass/passport to the screening lady who lets  you proceed to the xray thingy. 

*Next stop is USA Customs.  That's right - you get to the USA while you're still in Canada.  You scan in your passport in the little machine and it takes your picture and shoots out a receipt.  Steve's receipt had a big X through it, which meant we had to go through the Customs Dude With A Big Desk.  Apparently, he thought Steve looked okay, so in a matter of minutes (and after a couple of hours) we were actually in the airplane part of the airport.

*This part of the Vancouver airport is very long and large.  Our gate was twenty miles (give or take) down the path.  Past lots of shops and restaurants and stuff.  At our gate area there was a small playground.  About 9000 kids where there playing, and I think they were all just off the Disney Wonder.  At one point, some 10 year old boy slid down the slide right into a toddler girl, whose father had a conniption fit, screaming, "WHOSE KID IS THIS?"  So much for the Disney magic ...  Eventually the rest of my crew arrived, and Everley had fun playing (with no 10 year old boy collision drama).

*Soon it was time to board our respective planes, which took off pretty much at the same time.  Maribeth and Co were going through Chicago with a short layover while Steve and I were going through Dallas with a longer layover.  As I said, Steve got us upgraded to Business Class, which I've only done maybe once in my life (mystery upgrade with MB and Molly on our flight back from London many years ago).  Anyhow, that meant we got to board quickly.

*Things about Business Class:  since I usually fly Southwest where we are all one class, I didn't know what to do with the leg room.  I mean, usually my knees are right up against the seat in front.  With BC, my legs were all just flopping around.  Also, apparently we get our own flight attendant, who although she appeared to be about 80 years old, was still very agile about bringing us hot towels and lots of food.  Speaking of food, it started with a drink (of whatever she had in the BC frig - alcohol and all) and the bowls of hot nuts, which were about 100 times the number of peanuts I get in my SW bag-o-nuts.  Since they were free and hot and Steve didn't want his, I ate almost all of both bowls of nuts.  And then promptly decided I would never eat another nut again, hot or cold.  Grandma brought me another cran-apple, then it was lunch time (what?  but I already ate lunch in the airport.  what?  it's included in the price of BC?  bring it on, grandma!!).  I had the salad with chicken on the top in a bowl that would probably serve my whole family while Steve had a cheeseburger.  Then it was time for the warm chocolate chip cookies (grandma must have had an oven up in her BC kitchen up there).  By this time the movie had started ("Jack Ryan, Secret Something Or The Other") and I was stuffed, so the rest of the long flight was sufficiently occupied.  And smooth.

*We landed in Dallas and got on the shuttle (hey DFW - why the long shuttle loop to nowhere land?  are you going to build another terminal?  how about cleaning up parts of the one you have) to our terminal.  And then descended into the bowels of the terminal to the AA part (I describe it this way because it felt this way - sort of dingy and dusty - sort of the way I felt).  It was 8pm-ish and our flight didn't leave until 10.  Meanwhile, MB texted saying they were on their way to Nashville, and that their pilot said storms were headed into Nashville.  They should beat them but the storms should be arriving by the time our plane arrived.  Fantastic.  I am not a flying fan, and especially not a flying-into-stormage fan.  So the next two hours I practiced my Lamaze breathing trying not to erupt into a full-blown panic.  Meanwhile, the AA dude kept announcing that the flight to Little Rock would be boarding as soon as the plane got cleared for whatever fixing needed to be done on the plane.  Because the fixers felt like everything would be okay.  All I could think was that if our plane was going to get announcements like that, I was going to search for (a) drug dealers and (b) the nearest bar.

*Our plane was clearly visible, and it looked little.  Great.  Little plane headed into big storm.  Boarding started, and again we boarded first because we are BC.  Luckily, no "fix-it" announcements were made.  This time, our flight attendant is Great Uncle Joe.  However, this time, I didn't want anything he had to offer.  Unless it was a life jacket and parachute.  We took off from Dallas, and after about 90 minutes and only a ripple here and there, landed in Nashville.  God is good, and we talked a lot during the flight - a story for another day.

*We grabbed our four checked bags and headed home after dropping off Maribeth's two bags at their house.  Eventually we got home and unloaded and into bed around 1am.  After a long travel day, it's good to be home!!  And I think Maggie and Minnie cats were glad we were home!!
Today was a great day because:  AA lady at ticket desk; safe, smooth rides home for everyone; Steve upgrading us to BC and all its amenities; getting home and sleeping in my own bed

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sea Day!

Today was a pretty quiet day.   We are on our way back to Vancouver.  We are still seeing whales here and there.  It's getting warmer as we travel southward, but I still can't imagine real heat, like in Nashville.  I fully expect a sinus revolt once I get back home. 

Anyhow, today we did much of nothing.  We had to pack up our stuff (thank goodness for extra bags).  I saw the movie "Maleficent" which I liked, but will not take Lindley to anytime soon (it's sort of dark and scary - not Lindley's kind of movie).  I also saw it in 3D and the glasses (on top of my other glasses) get a little annoying after awhile.  Angelina is amazing as Maleficent, so it was a good 90 minutes.

The most interesting thing was when we passed a cruise ship headed North.  Sure, I've passed other cruise ships on other cruises, but usually they are way far off in the distance.  This was pretty cool to pass one this close.

Steve and I had dinner in Palo's tonight, then finished packing.  Everley spent her last night in her bed with the princess sheets.  It's been a great cruise!!
Today was a great day because:  getting everything packed up; seeing the other cruise ship; watching "Maleficent", dinner at Palo and Toni our server