Thursday, December 31, 2015

Moving Day! Again! On New Year's Eve!

Once again, Davidson Moving Company has been called into action. This time, it’s Lynnette and she’s moving offices. Steve is out of town, so his huge tank of a car was available. And so the move began.

Lynnette’s present office is in a renovated old house. Her office is on the top floor. While she only needed to move two arm chairs and a desk, the only way down was a Thumbelina-sized staircase. Which meant it was about three inches wide down the first set of steps before it made a u-turn to go down the second set of steps which were four inches wide. And did I mention that I don’t go down stairs unless I am holding onto the railing? Which may make it difficult if one is trying to maneuver a miniscule staircase while trying to balance a chair.

At any rate, we managed to get both chairs and the desk down the staircase and out on the porch, where we blocked one lane of traffic while loading it into the tank (sure, we could have taken it out the back door, but that would have involved taking the furniture down the emergency fire escape stairs – which probably would have resulted in a LaLa emergency).

We took the furniture to Lynnette’s house where we switched chairs and then left it all in the tank until Lynnette gets the keys to her new office. Did I mention the new office has an elevator?? Win!!
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Thankful today for: fun times moving furniture and maneuvering down the stairs; quiet New Year's Eve at home and sleeping through the fireworks

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Hiker Girl

This one likes to go hiking. It’s a good thing that her parents like to go hiking (they actually met while hiking the Appalachian Trail), because LaLa is not really a hiker-person. 

Maybe I just don’t have the correct cool hiking apparel …
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Thankful today for: Mathieu's hiking photos; cooler weather

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bobblehead Bookends

One thing that I gave Molly for Christmas was her own personal bobblehead. However, when I received it, the body was no longer attached to the base. I contacted the company and inquired as to what adhesive I could use to attach the body and base. Instead of giving me the name of an adhesive, the representative instead said they would send me another bobblehead. They did not request for me to return the first bobblehead.

Not knowing if the new bobblehead would arrive before Christmas, I decided to attach the first body and base together using some super-glue. It worked, and Molly got her bobblehead for Christmas. And then today the new bobblehead arrived. Now Molly has two. What one does with two identical bobbleheads, I don’t know. Bobble, I guess …
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Thankful today for: great customer service with bobblehead company; quiet day getting organized

Monday, December 28, 2015

Craft Time!!

I have a medal rack on which I hang my race medals. However, it has been getting kinda full. In fact, I’ve begun to worry that if I add more medals, the whole thing may fall down, and then my whole display will be a mess. So I decided I needed a new option.

Enter some photo I saw on the internet. It was basically some sort of rack on which people had hung their medals. I had a great idea – (maybe because it is the Christmas season) that I would do sort of the same thing – make a medal rack in the shape of a tree! And maybe I’ll have my Christmas tree ready, 12 months in advance!

I already had three unused tomato racks (that season is over). I went to Home Depot and got a huge pot and flipped it upside down. I then stuck the tomato racks on top, fastened them together and to the pot with fasteners, and started hanging the medals (in chronological order, of course). Eventually the medals will go high enough to hide the bunch of lanyards behind it. I’m happy with the way it turned out – now where to put it? Just hoping the cats leave it alone!

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Thankful today for: finding ideas on the internet; Sam helping cut the tops of the racks; family not laughing at my great ideas ...

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Movie Review Time!!

During the holidays I have managed to see a few movies – I know, I’m shocked, too. So, before I forget what the movies were all about, I thought I would review them for you. Just in case you might want to see them, too. Or at least to see them in order to understand what the heck my movie review is about …

“Joy” – This is the “story” about Joy Magnano, who created the “Miracle Mop” (google if needed). Apparently it was “based loosely” on her life. Which is a good thing, because her family be cray-cray. But she must also be a little cray-cray, because she keeps them around. But to put it in simple words, Joy was smart and creative when she was a little girl. Then she grew up and got married, had kids, got divorced (her ex lives in her basement) and Joy has a mediocre job and is unhappy. Her dad moves back in (and into the basement with her ex-husband), her mom is a recluse in the bedroom but falls for the plumber who comes to unclog the plumbing, and Joy’s granny who truly believes in the best of Joy also is around. Eventually Joy creates the miracle mop because she cuts her hands up while on the boat with her dad’s new girlfriend. Joy decides to sell her mop on HSN, with a few minor mishaps, and then due to her half-sister, she has to go to California to fix stuff. Eventually she becomes a mega-millionaire, all the while housing her cray-cray family. I just wish it had all been factual – now I don’t know what was real and what wasn’t. Oh, and I may have ordered a Miracle Mop … 

“Concussion” – This is the story of Dr. I-Forgot-His-Name who figured out that pro football players can get severe brain damage due to repeated hits during games/practices. Maybe if they had named the movie after Dr. ?? I would have remembered his name. Anyhow, it’s a really good movie. It has good parts, like how Dr. met his wife and how he figured out about the brain damage, and when he was recognized for his work. But there’s also a lot of sad parts, like the brain damage that the players had, and how the NFL refused to pay attention, and the crap that Dr. took in return for all his work. I liked the movie, and would have a real problem if I had a young son who wanted to play football. Sure, brain damage can happen in many ways, but it was just really sad to see how these players and their families were affected.

“The Big Short” – Accounting and finance were never my strong suit in college (I have an undergraduate degree in business). Watching this movie made me feel like I was in class. There was a lot of technical finance stuff and explanations and stuff going on. There were crazy characters and situations (financially speaking) and some young guys. There were some funny moments and there were celebrities explaining stuff (didn’t help me much). Basically I got the fact that banks were greedy and caused the collapse of financial stuff. I was afraid there would be a quiz at the end of the movie – which I probably would have failed. Anyhow, Sam and Steve liked it – whatevs. We’ll see how they like the next Melissa McCarthy movie.

“Spectre” – James Bond, 007. Daniel Craig. Does there need to be a plot? Good, because this one was a little bit out there. Basically, there’s a group of bad people wanting to do bad things. James Bond has a step brother or half brother or something who’s bad. There’s stuff blowing up and people getting shot.The 007 HQ gets taken over and Bond has to go rescue a lady. In the end, all is saved. And the bad people die. Or go to jail. Or get blown up. Supposedly this is Daniel Craig’s last foray as 007. Now I just have to wonder who’s going to take his place.

And so there you have it – my movie reviews. At least until I see the next ones …
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Thankful today for: movies and seeing movies with family; Molly drama but not drama about her whereabouts (she was in movie next door, not in cemetery as her phone seemed to indicate)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Car Hairs

I am not an old cat lady – well, at least not yet. However, I’m sure that I appear quite often with cat hairs here and there on my clothes. Mainly because a certain cat named Maggie likes to open the drawers to my bureau (hence the claw marks) and burrow into whatever clothes happen to be in there. Today it was my Raw Threads shirts, which happen to be soft and comfy. In fact, Maggie looks so comfy, I’m thinking maybe I should design a human-size chest of drawers that I could climb in to myself! At least it wouldn’t have claw marks …
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Thankful today for: Maggie who burrows into my clothes but also snuggles and purrs; quiet after-Christmas day


Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!!



"For unto you is born this day, 

in the city of David,

a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." 
Luke 2:11

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Thankful today for: a Savior being born, saving me from all that is, and loving me unconditionally and eternally

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve

What’s one to do when all the family Christmas festivities are over and everyone has other places to be? Why, get a personalized foot tattoo by one’s own personal tattoo artist, of course! Wait – did I give her an erasable marker or the Sharpie?!!
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Thankful today for: Everley time; Christmas Eve quiet

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Closet Fun

Tonight bad weather was supposed to hit Nashville. By bad weather, I mean strong winds and rains and thunderstorms. The local weathercasters on the news get all excited when bad weather approaches, I think because they missed predicting a huge tornado many years ago. Anyhow, they are ready for this one, predicting exactly when (and showing it on their maps) the possible winds and/or tornadoes will be hitting this area.

Everley happened to be at my house during this time. Maribeth called and said she would come over to pick her up in about 15 minutes, but that would be the exact point (according the the weatherman/lady and his/her charts and predictors) that the bad weather would be on top of my house (Maribeth lives about five minutes away). I told her to stay put until the weather passed over.

Normally I just wait the weather out. When I was growing up out in the country, we would go out on the porch and watch the thunderstorms, so bad weather doesn't ordinarily bother me. But with Everley here, I thought maybe I should do something. Especially since the weather people on tv were getting their heart rates up with the encroaching weather.

I suggested to Everley that perhaps we should get in the closet. By now the tornado sirens were going on and off, even though there was no wind or rain. I also wanted to be able to see the tv, in case they showed a photo of my house and there was a tornado behind it. So, Everley and I set up shop in the closet. She got snacks and pillows and DVDs (kids and adults in case I wanted to watch something) and the portable DVD player. The bad weather never did really materialize to anything in our area. But Everley and I sure had fun waiting for it!!

Choosing DVDs. And sporting a hat. In case the wind mussed our hair??

DVD player, snacks, rugs, pillows, and a blanket. Bring it on, weather!!
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Thankful today for: no bad weather; Everley time; Steve and Gdiz's safe road trip back to Columbus

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

We Have To Break Up

Dear Amazon,

I fear that it is time to break up - or at least spend some time apart. Yes, you have been my go-to during these last few weeks before Doikmas. Yes, you have been faithful in your promise to deliver my things in a timely manner just in time for me to hastily wrap them and put them under the tree for Doikmas delight. Yes, your prices have been fair and shipping and handling charges nonexistent. But we just can't go on like this - at least if our relationship is to continue.

See, there's another entity involved, and it's name is Disney Visa. You know Disney Visa - you have its number stored within you. And Disney Visa has been very good to me also. DV has not refused any of the multitude of requests I have made to reimburse you for your products. DV has not clamped down and said, "No, Luanne, you don't need that item." Instead, DV has obliged every solicitation made on our (that would be my and your) behalf.

Yet, DV is a bit weary now. It needs time to relax and replenish itself by going to the Regions Hospital of Financial Health. And you know what happens once RHFH is involved - there is always a debt to pay there!

So I must get off this treadmill of want and desire (and purchase and deliver) to enjoy the remainder of the holidays, as I'm sure you should, too. Besides, it appears I still have eight packages still to be delivered, so it's not like I'm going to forget you.

So thanks Amazon, for a cheery holiday season. See you next year (but only if I can hold out that long)!!
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Thankful today for: Lindley spending the day with me and doing some shopping; onion rings from Sonic; 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Playing Catch-Up

This is what playing catch-up looks like. You know what I'm talking about. And yes, chicks rock, especially when they have a method in getting stuff done. And I have a method. And each day I catch up, I get to mark off a day. Which is great, until I have to add more days at the end.

Oh well - chicks still rock!!
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Thankful today for: clean house after Doikmas; nice day at home

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Merry Doikmas!!

Yes, it's here!!  It's Doikmas Day!! Are you as excited as we are??

This year we've got a full house. We even decided to relocate Doikmas to the den, because it's a larger room and has more seating space. Along with the family, GDizzle is also here, and KB said she would stop by on her way home from Gatlinburg.

We started with the dinner, whose theme was red, white, and green food. We did pretty well, with cranberry meatballs, spinach dip, potato soup, sliced turkey sliders, green salad, green beans, green and red chips, mashed potatoes, and strawberries and grapes. Sure, the presentation left a lot to be desired (shout out to everyone else in the world who knows how to doll up a Christmas table - you know who I'm talking about - I've seen your Instagram photos!). At least there was enough variety for everyone to find something to eat.

Once dinner was done, we headed into the den for gifts. First everyone opened their stockings. This year our gift theme was "My Favorite Things," where each person had to think of something they really like, and that perhaps another person in the family might also like. This included getting things for everyone's stockings. Everyone pulled stuff out of their stockings, and seemed pretty happy about the stuff they pulled out.

Of course, it didn't matter if they didn't. As usual, we had the amnesty bin, where anyone could deposit anything they were not thrilled about. This year was going to be great, because if someone didn't like something and put it in the amnesty bin, it would be quickly retrieved by the giver - after all, it was somebody's favorite thing!!

Once the stockings were emptied, it was time for the gifts. There was a mountain of gifts, since everyone gets something for everyone else. Somehow Molly got roped into being the elf, and soon the gifts were flying about. Everley and Lindley were happy as long as they had something to unwrap, and everyone else tried to stay focused on what they were unwrapping and what someone else was unwrapping. Among the hits were: drones, flashlights, knives, bobble-heads, boots, earrings, binoculars, dolls, books, tiny models, and a whole lot of other stuff. I would have taken more/better photos, but it kind got a little cray-cray.

Eventually everything got unwrapped, and actually nothing got deposited in the amnesty bin. Guess we all did pretty good this year!!
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Thankful today for: family and Doikmas; Molly cooking/preparing most of the dinner; gifts of favorite things

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Traditions

I don't have a lot of Christmas traditions. I do try to put up a tree, and put up stockings on the mantel. And there's Christmas presents. But other than that, we don't have many traditions. However, there seems to be one tradition that I've managed to keep - more or less - for the past 25+ years. It's the sister Christmas card that Marilyn and I send back and forth to each other.

According to one of the early posts, the card was started in 1988, but probably before that. I'm not sure how, when, or why we started sending it back. But back and forth it goes, usually each year, as long as the holder remembers (a) where the card is stored, and (b) remembers to send it back.

Like a said, I don't keep a lot of Christmas traditions. But this one I like. Because it's a symbol of what Christmas is all about - love, family, and keeping in touch during the holidays.

The front of the card. Because we had three kids in our family growing up.
And now we each have three kids.
Keeping up with the changes - or lack thereof ...
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Thankful today for: Steve and GDiz's safe travel back to Nashville; Lindley and Everley time

Friday, December 18, 2015

It Wasn't On My List But ...

Apparently I'm getting a new HVAC for Christmas. And I'm certainly thankful that I am. Especially next summer when it will be 900 degrees in Nashville. Let me explain.

A few days ago, the Hiller people came by for our twice a year HVAC inspection. Dude came in with photos on his phone to show me all the rusty and rusted-out parts. Apparently our HVAC is terminal. It's eleven years old, so the warranty is out. And, as was the case for my corner cabinet door, I'm sure any parts that would be needed for a repair have long gone out of stock. I would tell you what all the rusty and rusted out parts are - if I could remember them. I will say they were bad enough so that Dude had to turn off the gas that goes to the unit (thank goodness it was one of those hot December days).

Anyhow, Salesman Dude came by and we agreed on a new system. Since things are a bit slow at Hiller (thanks to the warm December weather) Saleman Dude said they could install right away. I mentioned that Maribeth had a fancy internet thermostat, so Dude said he would throw one of those in for free. Which is sort of like spitting on a forest fire - does it really make a difference in the end? But I was thankful for any kind of price break.

And so today I am sitting in my house with my new HVAC system. It's not on yet, because it's still warm here. And I've got to figure out how to connect this thermostat thingy to the internet and then to my phone and then to figure out how to program it (who's dumb idea was it to get it, anyway? Oh, right ...).

So, just in case you're wondering what I'm getting for Christmas, it's warmth and cooling. Sounds like the best Christmas present ever!!
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Thankful today for: new HVAC and fancy thermostat; Steve's safe travel to GDizzle's; getting the house fairly straightened up

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Lights!!

A couple of weeks ago, Maribeth suggested we go see the Dancing Lights of Christmas at Jellystone Park. For those of you who might not be familiar with this event, it's basically a scaled down version of the Osbourne Lights at Disney World. And you drive your car through the display. Along with everyone else in Nashville who are driving their cars through the display. But let's start at the beginning ...

As I said, Maribeth got this excursion together a few weeks ago. We decided we'd have some pizza, load up her minivan, and head out. Tonight our group consisted of Steve (who drove), me, Maribeth, Mathieu, Everley, Lynnette, and Lindley. In other words, a full load. KB had given Everley and Lindley each a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, so we took the DVD along in the car to (a) entertain them, and (b) explain what a Charlie Brown Christmas tree was. And so, armed with a full tank of gas, snacks for the girls, and the DVD, we loaded up and headed out.

Normally it's a 15-minute drive. Jellystone Park is an RV park just past Opry Mills Mall. And it didn't take us long to get there. It was after we got there that time started to stand still. See, the line to get into Jellystone Park started on the road just past the mall - and creeped along at the rate of an inch a minute. Apparently tonight was the night that everyone in Nashville decided to see the lights.

So, we crept along until it was finally our turn to pay our $25/car fee and enter the line of cars slowly riding through and past the lights. And did I mention that the Jellystone people want you to turn your headlights off so everyone can enjoy the lights? Which is a great idea in theory, but a bit dangerous when you're trying to make sure you don't slam into the slow-moving-yet-might-be-stopping car in front of you. Oh, and did I mention that this was also the moment when Everley mentioned that she really NEEDED to go potty (I asked the money-taker-lady if there was a bathroom available, and she said there was - at the end of the show)!

So, for the next 30 minutes, we wound in and around the lights, with Steve super-vigilant to make sure he did not wreck the car. The lights are pretty cool, and dance around to the music that you tune in to on your car radio. The 30 minutes was also spent trying to distract Everley from her increasing need for a potty. Which looked to be about 1000 miles (and therefore 6 hours) away.

Eventually we made it to the end and to the potty - which were basically porta-potties stuck over to the side of "Santa's Village." That were lit by a single floodlight and were cold (this night was a cold Nashville night). I managed to locate one that was lit and helped Everley climb onto the throne, after she had perused the contents of the throne and said it was gross. Which it was. I took a picture of her, but decided against posting it - one day she may have to take care of me!!

Two Charlie Brown trees - they play music, too!!

Happy Christmas trees!!  And the light tunnel that was a big hit!

Dancing Lights!  Slow Cars!!  Fun for all!!!
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Thankful today for: family field trip to see the Christmas lights; Everley and the porta-potty; Lindley and Everley and their CB trees



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

All Things Come ...

Several years ago, the door on a kitchen corner cabinet came off because the hinge broke. As is the routine for anything I purchase, the cabinets are no longer made, and this particular hinge was manufactured in a remote cave by an alien who has since return to his planet. In other words, there has been no hinge to be found that will once again attach said door to said corner cabinet. And my favorite go-to-dude Bill has certainly tried to locate an acceptable hinge to fix said cabinet.

So I guess this is a lesson in waiting. Because today Bill came by with acceptable hinges and repaired the cabinet door!!  Granted, he had to make modifications. Which required getting some wood blocks. And I had to measure the door in order for him to obtain/make/whittle the aforementioned wood blocks. And the door had about five inches of dust on it from being stored in the laundry room next to the dryer (and nope, I haven't wiped it off yet).

But the happy news is that now I have a door to the corner cabinet. Now what's my excuse for not using the kitchen?
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Thankful today for: Bill fixing the cabinet door; Bill's homemade peppermint chocolate bark

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Countdown

Just so you know ...

There are 10 days until Christmas.

There are 16 days left in 2015.

There are 5 days left until Doikmas.

Amazon has 2-day delivery, and even 2-hour delivery for some items.

You're welcome!
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Thankful today for: calendars and counting and Amazon delivery; Hiller checkups on the HVAC (need a new one) and electrical (new outlet for the frig)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Recycle, Reuse, Whatever ...

Back in the day, when one vacationed at Disney World, one got into her room using a plastic credit-card type key. And after the vacation, one would bring those cards home and toss them into a pile. Perhaps one thought she would use them one day (although she was nixed on "wallpapering" a wall with them).

Fast forward several years, and technology advanced. Disney World started the "magic band" thingy where not only did you use these bracelets to get into your room, but you also used them to get into the parks and pay for all the stuff that you didn't realize you absolutely needed to purchase until you got to Disney World. And perhaps one decided that she would also collect these bands because they were cute and colorful.

Until perhaps one day one realized that she had quite the collection of magic bands. And even though she laced them like a construction paper chain, she still had no use for them. Until one day she say on the internet/facebook/whatever ...


So now perhaps one has a wreath of magic bands. Of course one has no idea of what to do with said wreath ... And is it a bad thing if there are still magic bands left over?
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Thankful today for: good checkup with the eye doc; lazy Monday

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The House Without A Christmas Tree

That would be my house - well almost. If Sam and Lindley had not come over and helped by getting the trees and decorations out of the attic, down the stairs, and set up and decorated, there would be no tree for Doikmas.

I'll blame it on too much travel and too much to do. All of a sudden, it's the week before Doikmas and no tree - should I even bother? Of course the answer was yes, but it would involved a lot of getting and moving and decorating - and the job kept looming larger and larger.

But once Sam and Lindley arrived and seemed eager to help, it was all a breeze. Sam put the tree together (okay, so it's a four-foot tree with two parts - it still has to be taken out of the box and assembled) and Lindley put on the ornaments. Soon my house had two functional trees - one in the living room where we usually have Doikmas, and one in the den where we have moved Doikmas this year (much more room for all the people).

This year's trees are small. They always look bigger in the picture on the box. I'm not sure if I like them or not. But the important thing is that for this year, they are up and ready for action.

Let Doikmas commence!!

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Thankful today for: Sam and Lindley putting up the Christmas trees; Steve's safe travel home

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Just Another Saturday ...

Molly and I were supposed to be in Atlanta this weekend, accomplishing the Jeff Galloway half-marathon and Barb's 5K. Unfortunately due to too much travel and too much to do, we opted to switch to the virtual races, which meant that we could send in times for the distances and still maintain our legacy status.

Since Molly is planning to do Dopey in January (for you novices, that means she will do a 5K on a Thursday, followed by a 10K the next day, a half-marathon the following day, and finish it up with a full marathon on Sunday), she needed to get in some miles (like around 10 or so). I volunteered to do a few with her (a lot fewer than 10) and arranged to meet up with her along her route and bring her some water and something to eat (and keep her going for a few more miles).

However, as I was headed to meet her, I got a text from Mathieu. Apparently Everley was tossing cookies (vomiting, throwing up, up-chucking, calling Dr. York - whatever you may term it), and he asked if I had any crackers to share. Since Maribeth was at work, I'm guessing the thought of taking a puking child to the grocery store was not on his list of things to do on a Saturday.

I found Molly and passed off her necessities and then headed for the grocery store (rats, no miles for me - insert happy face emoji here). I got crackers and Pedialyte and Gatorade and headed to Mathieu's, where he was brushing Everley's hair (after having given her a bath to clean up the latest vomiting episode). She seemed fine - no fever and didn't appear to feel unwell. I offered to stick around and watch television with Everley to give Mathieu some time to clean up himself (as would anyone who was taking care of a emesis-producing child). He was partial to the idea, and took some time to clean up various areas, as well as take a shower. Meanwhile, Everley and I watched a movie while she nibbled on crackers and took microscopic sips of Pedialyte.

Once Mathieu felt human again, I left them both (which would include a few more episodes of "coughing" as Everley called it) and headed back home to do other stuff. Which didn't include walking any miles not throwing up any food.

Just another Saturday in Nashville!!
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Thankful today for: supplying Molly with supplies as she got in her miles; sitting with Everley while Mathieu cleaned up; Everley and Lindley time

Friday, December 11, 2015

Opinions and Comments

I am often swayed by the comments and opinions of others. But it is never so evident as when I am Amazon shopping. Because once I find an item that I am considering purchasing, I go directly to the comments section. Because random, unknown people have a way of influencing my purchase decision.

My self-diagnosed, applicable when necessary, OCD compels me to study what other people are saying about the product. Mainly because I have pretty much determined that should anyone have an issue with the product, it will be me. Did someone's break? Then mine probably will. Did someone's quit working? Then so shall mine. Is this an ill-advised purchase? Super - those are my favorite kind of purchases.

And so I read the comments. Do I read the "happy and satisfied" comments? Heavens no - what a waste of time. I go directly to the 1-star comments. I put things in my Amazon shopping cart and take them out and put them back in. I read and ponder and put things in and out again. And eventually I buy it anyway. And then, no matter whether the product is wonderful or lousy, I never make my own comments. Why? Because it might influence someone else (not to mention if I really liked it, then the bad karma might show itself and the product would immediately break/cease to work/ explode).

Anyhow, I need to go read some more reviews and comments on Amazon. Not because I am making more purchases (although technically I will be), but because I could use a good laugh. And for that, I'm going to read this.  And you should too!!
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Thankful today for: Maribeth, Mathieu, and Everley's safe travel back home

Thursday, December 10, 2015

So You've Done Disney and Dollywood, Now What???

Go crazy?  Because Doikmas (Davidson Christmas) is coming soon and you have no idea what you've bought/wrapped/planned for your gifts for everyone? Sounds good to me!!

Sure, we have tentative plans for Doikmas this year.  The gift theme is "My Favorite Things" which was inspired by my friend Laura. Every Christmas she does this thing at some group (I don't remember all the details - just the important part) where she passes out her favorite stuff for the year to people (I don't remember who they are - old people at the nursing home, her society girlfriends, her book club, her knitting society - whoever). It sounded like a great idea, and when I proposed it to the family, everyone was onboard (at least the ones I proposed it to who were there at the proposal time).

The idea is that you think of your personal favorite things that someone else may also like and then give it to him/her. And the best part? It doesn't matter if that person likes it or not - YOU do, so if they don't like/want it, they can give it back to you and everybody's happy!!

Now for the meal part - this year's theme is red, white, and green food. Amazing, right? Of course, that might be a little scary if you're talking about green meat, but we'll work around that. There are plenty of green and red fruits and veggies, and even a few white ones. If nothing else, the table should look quite festive!

Now, back to finding those favorite things ...
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Thankful today for: quiet day making plans, google-ing red, white, and green foods, and shopping Amazon

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Oh, Hello Nashville!! I'm Baaack!!

This morning after having a bit of breakfast, Maribeth, Everley, and I decided to visit downtown Gatlinburg. This being the morning in the middle of the week, the streets were pretty quiet. Everley went into a candy store and decided she needed a Dum-Dum sucker. We took it to the register to pay for it (where you pay by weight), and since it didn't register any weight at all, the dude gave it to us free!  Score!!

The rest of the morning we walked around and decided to have lunch at Calhoun's, which was pretty good. Everyone was pretty done by then, so we headed back to the hotel. Maribeth and Everley decided to nap, so I decided it was time to return home. The drive home was quiet (at least until I found the 24/7 Christmas carol station), and soon I was back home. Of course, the cats are looking at me, probably thinking, "You again? How long you staying this time?"

Luckily I had no luggage to unload this time, just the stuff leftover from yesterday. I do need to start getting gifts and wrapping them - Doikmas is on December 20, and I believe there are people who are expecting gifts. Hello Amazon??
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Thankful today for: safe ride home for me; safe ride to Dollywood for Mathieu; Everley's fever clearing up; sleeping in my own bed (again)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hello Dolly!!

So I've been home for a day, so what should I do now?  I know - go to Dollywood (or at least close to it)!  Let me explain ...

Maribeth, Mathieu, and Everley had planned a trip to Dollywood to see the lights. The plan was that they would leave today and return on Friday. However, Mathieu had a doctor's appointment that he had to reschedule and tomorrow was the only day he could get in. Which meant either (a) messing up the vacation, or (b) having two cars in Gatlinburg. So, I decided to drive over today and spend the night with Maribeth and Everley, and then tomorrow while Mathieu heads to Dollywood, I would head back to Nashville.  Fun for everyone!!

The ride over went fine - at least for me. Maribeth and Everley are used to riding in their nice minivan with the DVD player, but we made do in my roller skate and a portable DVD player. The weather and traffic were fine, and we only had to make one bathroom break. At which point I realized that in the process of yesterday's unpacking, I had neglected to return my driver's license to its proper location in my wallet (it was in the side pocket of another bag). I texted Molly to go to my house, find the driver's license and take a photo of it, and text it to me, which she did. After Google maps directed us on some back road, we were soon where we needed to be - Sevierville.

Maribeth has been wanting forever to eat at Paula Deen's place, but every time we go, there's always been a long line. Tonight we decided to stop before going to the hotel - around 7:30pm, and there was no line. In fact, we even got a parking place close to the entrance (thank you, God). We went in, were seated right away, and started eating. Maybe because I was tired, maybe because it was late, but I was not super impressed. We'll try another day, Paula!

First there's the menu ...
Then the bread ...
Then whatever else you ordered.
By the time dessert arrived at the table, nobody wanted any. We took a bite, paid our bill, and headed downstairs - where Paula has everything and anything you could ever want that says "Paula" on it or about it. Everley decided she needed a stamp set, so as I paid with my credit card, the clerk asked if I had my driver's license. To which I replied, "Well, I do and I don't," and proceeded to show her the photo that Molly had sent. The clerk then said, "Will they (meaning the po-po, I guess) take that?" To which I replied, "I don't know - I hope I don't find out!"  And the good news is that I didn't!!
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Thankful today for: safe road trip to Dollywood; Molly finding and photographing and sending me my driver's license; dinner at Paula's; big nice room at Dream More

Monday, December 7, 2015

Hello Nashville!

Early this morning Molly and I headed for the airport for our 7am flight home. We were a little wary of our bag weight (that would be our luggage) because we had done a bit of shopping. But both came in underweight (I should be so lucky) and we were ready to go. Our flight wasn't full, so I had a row to myself (no, Molly and I don't always sit together - we both like window seats and she likes to sit up front, while I prefer more middle). It was a quick, smooth flight and soon we were back home.

Of course being back home means catching up - on everything. We had mailed a box home before we left on the cruise (thank you to Black Friday shopping), so there was that to unload, as well as my vacay suitcase (full) and various other boxes that were delivered in my absence and may contain certain Christmas gifts for certain people. In other words, I walked in to a big mess.

As per usual for my family, Steve left last night for Orlando (wait, wasn't I just there?), so he left the car at the airport. Don't even try to ask questions/understand how/why we can have vacations in the same place one week after the other. I could have possible stayed another week, but since I had already been gone 10 days, I sort of felt the need to return home. Because of the unpacking and paying bills (or at least recording them) and figuring out which presents got delivered and which I still need to purchase.  Whatever - I am home from Orlando and Steve is in Orlando. Go figure.

Oh, and tonight is Lynnette's birthday party at the Doik. Never mind that her birthday was December 1. I wasn't in town and could not be the birthday hostess. Which consists of asking the birthday girl what she wants for her dinner (Calypso Cafe) and making sure gifts are available.

So today I flew home, unpacked the car, unpacked the suitcase, unpacked the boxes, took the book back to the library, picked up a cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory, got everyone's order for dinner, and did some more stuff before everyone showed up for dinner.

In other words, just another normal Monday!
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Thankful today for: safe, smooth ride home; car waiting at the airport; getting lots of tasks accomplished; Lynnette's birthday party

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Run A Little, Swim A Little, Shop A Little, Nap A Little

So awhile ago when planning this Disney World trip, I looked to see if there might be a 5K nearby. And lo and behold there was! So I registered everyone and this morning we headed out to do a slow three miles. The good news? It wasn't a Disney race, so we didn't have to get up at the butt crack of dawn! The race was through the former Disney, still Disney-esque town of Celebration, and it was a lovely wog through the town.

Once we were done with that, we headed to KeKe's for some brunch. Because we had expended all those calories. While there, we discussed our plans for the rest of the day. Marilyn decided she would head for the water parks. Molly decided she would stay in the room and get some stuff done. I decided to head for the parks for some last-minute shopping. Eventually we all met up at Hollywood Studios for dinner and to see The Osbourne Lights, since this is the final year they will be on display.  And they certainly did not disappoint us!


Once we had had our fill of the beautiful lights, we headed back to our hotel for one last night. Tomorrow we head home - now where do I live???
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Thankful today for: beautiful wog through Celebration and fun race; shopping at the MK; dinner at Brown Derby and Osbourne Lights with Marilyn and Molly

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Let's Go To Disney World!!

After getting off the ship, our group of four got on the shuttle to the rental car place. Unfortunately the toll pass that we left in our former rental car a week ago had not been turned in. Nevertheless, we pooled our quarters for the toll booths and headed to the airport, where we dropped off Jessica and Katie. Molly and I then went to check in at the Swan and dumped our bags, and then returned to the airport to pick up my sister Marilyn, who was coming in for the weekend (because that's what we do).

Once we had returned to the airport and deposited Marilyn's stuff in the room, we headed to Epcot (which is quite handy if you're staying at the Swan). We had lunch reservations at France for a bit later, but when we stopped at the France podium, they took us in right away.

I had made reservations for the Candlelight Processional package. That meant that we got an appetizer, main course, and dessert. And so we did - and it was DELICIOUS!!  Which is high praise, considering that I had just gotten off a cruise ship. But everything I ordered (and what I sampled from Marilyn and Molly's plates) was absolutely wonderful. After eating we walked through Epcot and shopped a bit before the 5pm performance of CP. The deal with the package is that you got preferred seating. And apparently everyone lines up an hour before, even with preferred seating. So of course, we did too.

I had never really sat through this performance. I had been walking through many times while it was going on, but never really sat through one. Tonight's guest narrator was Whoopi Goldberg, and I will say that the whole thing was amazing. Truly the way to start the Christmas season!  The songs and singers and orchestra and music were beautiful, and it was wonderful.


After the show was over, we walked back to the hotel - being still full from lunch, tired, and full of the Christmas spirit, it was time to go to bed. Although we did manage a trip to Disney Springs to pick up our race stuff.  Did I mention we have a 5K in the morning?
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Thankful today for: seeing Amanda one last time at Cabanas; chatting with the rental car lady about her daughter; airport runs for Katie, Jessica, and Marilyn; room ready upon arrival at the Swan; lunch in France; Candlelight Processional with Whoopi and meeting some of the singers after

Friday, December 4, 2015

Castaway Cay!!

Castaway Cay - always a happy/sad place to be. Happy because, well - it's Castaway Cay!!  Sad, because usually it means that it's the last day of the cruise.  Oh well, we're here!!

Katie, Molly, and I decided to start the day with the Castaway Cay 5K. Mainly because we be cray-cray. Jessica, clearly the smartest one of us, walked off the ship with us and headed to Serenity Bay (the adult beach) where she scored premium seating with the hammock (premium meaning next to the bar for some of our group). Anyhow, the three of us "runners" managed to amble (thanks to me) through the 5K and finish. There was a guy doing the 5K who had had 11 bypasses and two knee replacements, and was doing the race with a walker, so I decided I needed to shut up and finish the thing.

Pretty much sums up today ...
Once done, we headed to the beach and met up with Jessica. I got in the water, which was delightful, and eavesdropped on the nearby cruisers. At least until one dude said, "Wow, that was a pretty big one!" Apparently he saw a shark. I didn't. But I did decide that perhaps I had had enough water for now and headed back to the group, who were enjoying their refreshments from the bar.

Soon enough it was time for lunch. The weather was getting overcast and windy, so we decided that this would be our last beach activity for the day. We ate and then headed for the ship. Katie and Jessica opted for a walk back to do some shopping, while Molly and I opted for the shuttle. I guess we won, if you count not getting caught in the rain winning. Once back on the ship, I washed clothes and we finished up the Star Wars marathon. The worst part?  They changed the last scene where Luke gazes upon his daddy and Obi and Yoda!  Okay, so maybe they changed it years ago, but it still blew me out of the bed!! Whatever. At least I'm ready for the new Star Wars movie. Which I probably won't see until next year ...

Eventually we had packed all our bags and put them in the hall and got everything ready for our debarkation tomorrow. We were watching something in bed around 10:30pm when the intercom came on. For those of you non-cruisers, the in-room never comes on after the first day, because they don't want to disturb anybody. The only time it comes on is when there's a "Bright Star" announcement, which means there's a medical emergency somewhere. So, Molly and I were expecting to hear the Bright Star announcement. Instead, Commodore Tom comes on and says the seas are going to be a bit rougher than expected, and they've closed the outside decks. So what do Molly and I do? Rush out onto our balcony to see what's going on!!  It really wasn't so bad, although the bridge report said the winds were coming at us at 50mph. And there may have been some pretty intense rocking and rolling (which puts me right to sleep, although Molly said she almost fell out of bed). At any rate, all was good as we sailed back to Port Canaveral!!
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Thankful today for: finishing the 5K; seeing the walker dude as he did the race; Jessica scoring us primo seats; lunch at the beach; watching the rain on Castaway Cay; chatting with people in the laundry; finishing the Star Wars movies; rocking on the seas!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

What's That I See - The Sea!!

Palo Table 1 - of several ...
Yup, another sea day. But today was a good food day - it's Palo Brunch Day!!  Again, after some rainforest room time, Molly and I met up with Katie and Jessica for brunch. Unfortunately Katie and Jessica were ready much earlier, as they had the time wrong, and showed up an hour too early!!  All worked out well, as they were super hungry by the time we were ready to chow down. Amanda was our server again, and we put her to work, bringing us all kinds of good things to eat.

As is the case with any Palo brunch, a nap is in order afterward. Molly and Jessica attended the Remy dessert brunch a few hours later and left feeling quite content (another word for full to busting at the seams). I think the rest of the day was spent digesting our food in a reclining position

And in Star Wars news, our saga continues, looking hopeful that we shall be all caught up by cruise's end.  Because it's important to achieve a goal on a cruise!!
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Thankful today for: brunch with the girls (including Amanda); Molly's and Katie's review of Remy; lazy day on the sea!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Another Sea Day!

Today we are back on the seas. The usual food and naps continue, and today we branched out a bit. We saw “The Good Dinosaur” in the theater with about 3000 children. While it isn’t my favorite Pixar movie, it was sweet and enjoyable.

Katie, Jessica, Molly, and I played movie quotes trivia and our team won! We ended up naming 17 out of 25 correctly, even guessing on several of them. After trivia, the girls went to decorate a gingerbread house while I went to play bingo, which unfortunately was not quite as winning. But it was fun.

Molly and I continued on our “Star Wars” marathon. While we started and got through half of Episode 3 (the first of the older three), we decided instead to start with Episode 1. We have managed to get through the first four episodes. Maybe we’ll finish before the new movie starts in a few weeks.

Molly and I ended the day by watching the latest Avengers movie in the theater at 10:30pm. Of course, it’s easy to have a late night when you get to sleep in the next day – it’s another sea day tomorrow!!
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Thankful today for: trivia with the girls; the girls' finished gingerbread house; Bingo fun but not winning; "The Good Dinosaur" with the girls

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Grand Cayman

Today was our second port day and the last one for this cruise. We have two sea days after this one, and then Castaway Cay day. And nope, I didn’t get off the ship today either. At this port, we would have to get off on a tender, which would be fun (Marilyn and I tendered once, and it was quite the experience), but I opted to hang around and experience the quiet.

Tonight our foursome dined at Palo. Our server was Amanda, whom I first met on our Bridesmaids Cruise and then had again on our Maribeth/Everley cruise. She was happy to see us and did a magnificent job of keeping us happy and fed.

Molly and I also started our “Star Wars” watching. I brought the entire set to watch. Why? Because We. Have. The. Time. To. Do. It. The only question was in which order to watch it – the three older ones first or straight through the set? Decisions, decisions.

Must dash, as I am sure there is something important I possibly need to do. Perhaps I should take a nap and sleep on it …

Grand Cayman - at least my view of it!!
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Thankful today for: beautiful, quiet day; movie watching day

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cozumel

So the second question I get a lot about cruising is, “What do you do in the ports?” And generally the answer is, “Usually nothing. I stay on the ship.” To which that person is either aghast, incredulous, or completely okay with it. And here are my reasons why …

Most of the time, I’ve been to these ports. And most of the time, the ports are in the Carribbean or Bahamas. And unless you’re going shopping or to the beach, they’re all very similar. And none of those port activities particularly interest me. Sure, sometimes I book an excursion that interests me that involves a Segway tour or a medium hike. And I always get off in an Alaskan port, because that’s my favorite. But generally, unless it’s a new port to which I’ve never been, I stay on the boat. And that’s because …

The ship is sooo quiet when most of my fellow cruisers are off the boat. The Rainforest Room is empty as is the adult pool and hot tub. The movie theater is empty and the dining rooms are quiet. In fact, the entire ship is quieter. And I like quiet.

And finally, I don’t cruise to get somewhere. If I wanted to visit a particular port, I would get there as quickly as possible and stay there. I cruise because I like being on the ship. I like the attention and care and pampering that I receive. That’s a vacation to me.

So, today we docked in Cozumel. I didn’t get off the ship. But it was a great day to be here!

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Thankful today for: peace and quiet on the ship; shrimp and more shrimp; beautiful day

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sea Day!!

Today was a lovely day at sea. Last night’s ride was a bit bumpy – just the way I like it (that would be bumpy while on the sea, NOT in the air). It sort of just rocks me to sleep. After breakfast at Cabanas, I headed for the Rainforest Room for a little hot tub and warm lounger time. The girls joined me and the morning melted into lunch. The rest of the day involved food and drinks and movies. And naps, of course.

Some ask me why I cruise (question number one – question two will come tomorrow). The answer is because I can do nothing and anything and everything with very little effort. There are activities in which to participate, there is a clean room and several other spots in which to nap, there are pools and splash areas in which to get wet, and there are plenty of places in which to obtain a bite to eat. I don’t have to think hard about it or spend time getting to any of it – it’s all here within a five minute walk. Someone cleans my room twice a day and generally everyone is pretty happy to be here. Especially me!!

My home away from my cabin - the beloved Rainforest Room!
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Thankful today for: wonderful day at sea; rest in the Rainforest Room; movies and dinner and naps - oh my!!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

I See The Ship!!

Today is the day our vacay starts!! Molly and I were up and ready to go – well after we dropped off the box of Black Friday purchases that needed to be mailed home (stuff that was needed, just not needed on this trip). Soon we were on our way to the port, after a stop at the airport to pick up Katie and Jessica (previous cruise mates turned family). They stopped to pick us up some breakfast, and soon we were on our way.

Just a short ride later we arrived at the car rental place to turn in the car. The last time Molly had a rental to return at the port, it took 45 minutes for her to catch a ride to the port. Today the cruise fairies were with us, and we got out of the car where a rental employee met us, she checked us in, and then directed us to the front of the building to await the shuttle (the last time Molly had to call for a cab). Sure enough, within 10 minutes we were on our way to our home for the next week.

We checked in and waited to board the ship. Once onboard, we headed to our rooms to dump our bags, and then to lunch. The rest of the day was spent getting settled (unpacking our stuff), taking a nap (in the Rainforest Room), and having a bite (or maybe several bites) to eat. The ship is decorated for Christmas and very festive – looks to be a great week to be on the ocean!

We were obviously third in line to leave the port!!

So long Florida!!  See ya next week!!
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Thankful today for: hotel hosts that took our FedEx box; picking up Katie and Jessica at the airport and their bringing us breakfast; quick service at the car rental place; Molly's check-in buddy at the port; getting on the ship!!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday - Not So Black After All

So apparently Black Friday also means Thursday night shopping, so today proved to be quite easy. Molly and I needed to pick up a car at the airport and Steve had a golf date, so all three of us went to the mall when it opened. I actually managed to snare some new sneakers (calling them running shoes seems a bit daunting) for an amazing price (as did Molly and Steve). Once that was complete, Steve dropped us off at the airport for car pick-up (our choice of transport to the port tomorrow). Once that was complete, Molly and I decided to head for the Animal Kingdom.

Usually AK is the least busy of the parks. If the crowds there today are any indication, the other parks must be crazy busy. There were tons of people everywhere. Once we had done what we wanted to, we decided to leave and head back to the hotel. We needed to get our things together for our boarding the ship tomorrow (Molly had purchased a new suitcase so Steve could take her other one to get repaired). Eventually we ended up at Bongo’s for dinner and then got back to the hotel in time to meet up with Steve and call it a night. Tomorrow begins the real vacation!

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Thankful today for: shopping with Steve and Molly; picking up the car and running errands and going to MK and Bongos with Molly; getting things together for the cruise!

 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving

Remember my recent tirade about all things Black Friday. Well, guess where I’m headed today – down to Orlando with Molly and Steve for Black Friday. I know – I am all that and more.

Again, I don’t do Black Friday. I just go because I have an alternative agenda (and I fly free with Steve). So while they do their shopping thing, I will be in the hotel napping and whatever else comes up (which won’t be eating a big meal, since everything is closed on Thanksgiving). Do I wish I were at home, watching the parades and putting up my Christmas tree? A little. But this is what I’m doing – this year, anyway.

But no matter where I am, I am very thankful this year for a year full of blessings. Blessings of family and friends, good health, trips here and there, and a life full of joy and love. If you are reading this, then you are one of those blessings. And I pray that in spite of all the hardships that come our way, that somehow we remember those blessings that come our way in between the bad times. Because in the end, those blessings are the things that sustain us and keep us moving forward.

Happy Thanksgiving!


In case anyone in the airport
was curious as to my destination ...


The view from our room - Sea World.
Which I shall not be visiting ...

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Thankful today for: safe, smooth, flight to Orlando; room ready upon arrival; quiet lunch in the hotel

 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Doiksgiving Plop

Since we won’t be together tomorrow for Thanksgiving, we decided to celebrate it tonight. Molly said she would cook the dinner in her crockpot, which would be a recipe she saw. Basically it’s Thanksgiving Dinner in a pot. Although I do not know the actual procedure or order, the premise is to put all your Thanksgiving meal components into a crock pot and cook it all together. This is a great idea if you are a Thanksgiving meal component combiner, but a horrible idea if you prefer your components to stay separated in their own little personal spaces. Welcome to Davidson Doiksgiving.

In the pot (as much as I remember and probably not in the correct order) were regular mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts (not a Davidson staple, but in the recipe and also a Molly staple), cornbread dressing, and turkey (and maybe some other items). The turkey is a turkey breast, possibly cut up, and it cooks along with everything else (if you want this actual recipe, contact me and I’ll pass you along to Molly).

It all got cooked, and Molly brought it over for us to consume, and it actually tasted quite good. Some critics suggested that it needed more seasoning and/or gravy, but for my bland food preferences, it was delicious (possibly tainted by the fact that I had to do nothing and since I do enjoy all my food in a pile, it was right down my do-nothing alley). We declared the meal a success, and Molly has now named her dish Thanksgiving Plop, because that was basically how it was served – scooped out of the crock pot and plopped onto our plates.

And that’s what I love most about Thanksgiving – being thankful for my family who loves each other enough to be together to enjoy a meal – plop and all!

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Thankful today for: Lindley and Everley time; Molly preparing Doiksgiving meal; family time

 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A New Door!!

Fresh off the heels of yesterday’s successful little library project, I was all pumped up about home projects. Thankfully I had already contracted professionals about today’s project – replacing the upstairs door. Let me explain …

Many moons ago when we purchased our house (and one of the main selling points) was that there were stairs leading to the attic. And by stairs, I mean a legit set, right by the front door that looked like it would lead to an upstairs. In this case, the upstairs was an unfinished attic that you could stand up in, but was unfinished nevertheless. Since we had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, we didn’t need the space, but liked the idea that there was space if (a) we ever needed it, and (b) we could ever afford to do anything with it. Unlike those House Hunter shows, when we buy a house, we barely have enough money leftover to purchase a can of paint, much less redo anything.

Anyhow, back to the door. The original door was great and served its purpose. While the upstairs was unfinished, the kids would go up there from time to time and play (it had electricity, just no heat or ac). The only problem with the door was that it opened onto the stairs instead of into the upstairs, mainly because the pitch of the roof was just as you walked into the room, and couldn’t accommodate a door opening into the room.

Fast forward several years (and an additional income), and we scraped together enough money to turn the upstairs into actual living space. We hired Sketchy Brothers Construction Company (advertised as “We Be Cheap”) and proceeded to allow them to makeover the upstairs (and subsequently disappear to some other city). We could only afford for them to put in walls and an HVAC, so any change to the roof line was not affordable. We kept the door for awhile, mainly because that was the only door upstairs. Eventually we took the door off (because opening the door required one to step down a few steps, open the door, and proceed up the stairs without falling down the stairs) and eventually replaced that door with a bi-fold, which meant you could open the door easily without falling backwards down the stairs.

All was good, until the recent remodel where we were able to pop out the room and really snazz up the upstairs (which was done after all the kids had flown the next, which they still question our timing). We kept the bifold door, because it seemed to work. At least until Minnie and Maggie cats figured out they could open the bifold door with just a little bit of concerted effort. Even this would not be a problem, except for the fact that one or both of them enjoyed going upstairs and finding a certain corner in which to poop (yes, they have a litter box, but they are cats – need I say more?).

I tried to remedy this situation with Velcro, failed door latches, stern lectures, and more Velcro, to no avail. Finally I called the professionals who had several suggestions, most of which I have already tried. We mutually agreed that a new door would be in order, one that actually closes with a doorknob, a skill that my cats have not yet mastered (yet that I am sure are contemplating). The good news is that now, with the popped-out roof, the door can open to the inside. Why I didn’t think of this when we were doing the remodel, I don’t know. Sometimes I don’t think as well as other times …

Anyhow, the professionals came with the door (that had to be trimmed to fit the short door) and within a few hours had it installed and ready to go. And I could be a little paranoid, but I think I saw the cats watching every their every step …

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Thankful today for: nice door installer dudes; Sarah and Melvin saving me a seat at Lindley's Thanksgiving program; Lindley performing in her program; seeing Lindley's classroom and meeting her teacher

Monday, November 23, 2015

LaLa's Little Library

A few years ago while doing our 3-day training, our group came across a “little library.” For those of you who don’t know, a little library is a small box put outside a home. The box is filled with books, and passers-by are encouraged to select a book and read it, either right then and there, or by taking it home and reading it. I thought it was a great idea, and thought I would like to have one some day.

Fast-forward a few years, and it seemed like the time was right to get this project started. I looked around at possible DIY plans, but decided against that – figured the eventual cost (mental, physical, emotional, and financial) would be exorbitant. I went to the best source I knew, Etsy, and studied a few different vendors.

I eventually chose a builder from Mississippi (my home state) who had several projects that he had completed in Mississippi State colors (that would be maroon and white). We corresponded back and forth, and a few weeks later my little library arrived in the mail (well actually in a huge FedEx box, but you get the idea).

The next step was installation. The little library came with installation instructions, which I naturally skimmed and put to the side. My first choice was for Molly to contact her friend Ashley, who does all kinds of DIY home projects, and ask her to install said library. Molly did, and Ashley said she would – on Wednesday. Of course I was impatient and would have preferred her to come right over that minute and do it, but since the alternative would be for me to do it, I agreed that Wednesday would work.

And then today turned out to be a beautiful clear day and library installation thoughts began to flood my poor little addled brain – after all, I had steadied and improved the mail box – certainly I could work wonders with this project. I started out by asking the family if anyone had a post hole digger (I was fairly certain that we had had one in the past, and perhaps had passed it along to someone). Alas, no one had a digger. So, off I went in my wee little car to Home Depot.

At HD, I had a list – a post hole digger, a bag-o-cement, a post on which to mount the little library, and some screws to secure the library to the post. The first two items were easy to procure – mainly because there wasn’t much of a choice to make. The main thing was selecting the post. First I looked in the mailbox section and really didn’t find anything to my liking. I wandered about in the wood/fence areas and finally came upon some mailbox posts and decided that I would go with the one that had a cross bar on it. I managed to heave it into the buggy, get the requisite (or so I determined) screws, check out, and wedge it all into my wee little car.

Once home, I had the foresight to pre-drill the holes in which I would be securing the library. Mainly because I knew my lengths of electrical extension cords would not reach from my house to the little library location (I am old-school and do not have one of those fancy big-battery drills). Once that was obtained, I got the digger, the concrete, and the post and headed outside (in several trips, mind you).

I knew that I wanted the library in the front yard, not too far from the street and driveway, but safe, and under a tree. Several hole attempts later, I found the location (mainly because it was the first place I attempted the hole where I did not run into one of the tree’s mammoth roots). I started the hole, and what seemed like years later, I actually had a hole that met my requirements (which I had questionably decided upon by some whackadoodle process inside after pre-drilling the holes). Anyhow, I dropped the post into the ground and started dumping the concrete in.

I had actually also brought out my level (mainly because the enclosed library instructions suggested it) and actually made sure the post was level (more or less) as I dumped concrete in. Once I decided it was level (more or less), I poured in the water, mixed it all about a bit, checked the level again, and decided all was good. Now all I had to do was wait for the concrete to set.

And so it did. I finished off the bottom similar to what I had done for the mailbox. Then I mounted the library onto its new home, filled it with books, and declared LaLa’s Little Library open for business! Now to see if I ever have any patrons …


Yup, that's where I live!!
Ready for checkout!!
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Thankful today for: fun times at Home Depot; successful installation of little library; super-terrific little library and dude who made it; beautiful fall day; chat with neighbor about little library; Everley time