Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Just Another Night At The Sounds Game

Tomorrow I am going out of town. South. To that little place where Mickey lives. But tonight, since I relatively packed, we went to the Sounds game. Everley went with us, which meant Dippin Dots, watching a few innings, and then running on the grass. Tonight was a little different, because we discovered the game area. Which Everley played until some dudes came and asked if they could play next to us. And apparently they are serious game-playing dudes, which meant the bean bags were flying fast and furious. Which meant it was time to go find PawPaw and head for home.

And yes, Everley had on her Disney attire, but no, she's not going with us. We will meet up next week at Dollywood!!
Today is a gift because: Steve taking GDiz to Columbus and returning safely; Sounds game with Steve and Everley; getting packed on time

Monday, June 29, 2015

Another Project Complete!

I am really on a roll these days, just completing things right and left (no comments, please). Sure, they've been projects that are years old, but completion is completion, right?  Today I finally managed to complete another one - Disney pin presentation.

Here's the story ... One of the many ways Disney manages to take my money is the pin process. This is a scam process whereby you buy Disney pins (that they sell everywhere) and then keep them or trade them for other pins. Like all other Disney things, I have about a gazillion. For awhile I displayed them on a canvas board, but when I started on my third gazillion of pins, I just started tossing the pins into a bin. Sometimes I would go through them to trade or give to friends for them to trade. But mostly I would just toss them into the bin.

During this tossing period, my friend Kat who is a quilter extraordinaire, made me a pin hanging. I think I hung it, sans pins, until our house remodel, when it went into a box with other stuff. One Christmas she also made me a Mickey snowman wall hanging. Which also went into the box. When the remodel was finished, the bin of pins and the box of quilt hangings just sat around. Because I had other things to do. Like watch "Law and Order."

Anyway, a few nights ago, some friends came over, and two of them, Grace and Mabry (and their mom Lisa), wanted to see my pins. So I dragged out the pin bin and Grace and Mabry started going through them. Mabry found one she liked so I told her she could have it (three gazillion minus one, now). After they left, I sort of got motivated to go through the whole mess, and so I did.

I got out the pin quilt hanging and the Christmas Mickey hanging and an old fish extender from a transatlantic cruise Molly and Maribeth and I did many years ago. I went through all three gazillion minus one pins, sorted them, picked out which ones I wanted to keep, pinned them on the three hangings, and hung them on the wall. Disney race pins are around the border on one with other pins I like in the black middle. Christmas pins are on the Snowman Mickey, and cruise pins are on the fish extender. Voila!!

Of course, now I have a group of pins that I really don't want, so I think that means I need a Disney trip - don't you?!
Today is a gift because: getting pin project complete; lunch with GDiz and Steve

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Terror In The Toilet

It seemed like an ordinary day. Getting out of bed, doing some things that needed doing, and then retiring to the Reading Room for getting a few other things accomplished. The first photo, while seemingly innocuous, was just a portent of things to come ...

Oh Geeze - the toilet roll is getting a little low.
And then it happens, just like in a horror movie, when the spooky sound builds up and the shadows get murky, and the inevitable catastrophe happens!!

(Insert sounds of shrieking and wailing and gnashing of teeth)
(Insert more sounds of despair, including schlumping on the floor, kicking)
Of course, this is a real dilemma, but since I am secretly Super Mom, I somehow manage to get in my super roller skate of a car and make it to Kroger before all the toilet paper is sold because somebody heard it might snow in Nashville (never mind that it is in the middle of a very hot summer - in Nashville we take our snow very seriously).  Moments later, not only have I managed to procure, pay for, put in the car, drive home, unload the car, and unpack the toilet paper, I have also managed to reload the supply. Peace and security reigns once again in the toilet.

(Insert smiles and sounds of contented flushing)
Today is a gift because: GDiz and Steve's trip to the flea market and purchases of glider and picnic table; Lindley time

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Short Story. With Pictures.

Once upon a time, a little girl was born in late June in a little town named Starkville. She thought she would be the only child of her parents, and lived with this blissful delusion for several years. Until her parents had another daughter. And then two years later had a son. Despite this setback due to supreme disappointment, the little girl managed to grow up remarkably unscathed by this brutal life reality.

The little girl and her sister went many places and got in many interesting situations. Eventually , sometimes they even pulled their brother into their escapades, although being a dude, he didn't always appreciate the adventure of it all.

In the end, while the little girl probably enjoyed her three years of quiet solitude, she had to admit that having siblings was okay, too. Probably because she got two of the best ones anyone ever had.

Because as Forrest used to say, "Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get." And the little girl knew in her box, she might have gotten a few nutty ones!
Today is a gift because: it's Marilyn's birthday; GDiz and Steve's safe travel to Nashville

Friday, June 26, 2015

Happy Ketchup Day!!

Yeah, you know what that means. A lot of reading and listening to old lady diatribes and seeing lots of photos of adorable children. And maybe a kitty video. Or two. Oh well, at least I have my day planned ...

And before you ask about zoodles, here's the scoop. And yes, they were quite tasty!

Today is a gift because:  Molly cooking zoodles at the Doik; family girls night

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Yes. We're Here Again. Get Over It.

One day you will wake up, get on your computer, read somebody's blog, and find that today is indeed today. 
And that's all I'm going to say about that!
Today is a gift because:  managed to get some packages complete and in the mail

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hey Luanne - You Finished A Task! Now What?!

Yep, going there. Next week. Because the Fourth of July fireworks are amazing. And because there will be sixty-bagillion people there. And it will be fiery hot and humid and possibly rain every afternoon. And then when my plane gets to Nashville, I'm going to Dollywood. Because I have a season pass for there too. And they have fireworks. Hey - it's summer. It's vacay time!!
Today is a gift because: Everley time

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Big Project - Complete!!

I have lots of big projects I need to do around the house.  Besides the usual cleaning and such, there are closets to clear out, junk to clear out, freebies to get rid of, many other assorted tasks to complete. Today I managed to actually complete one!

This one involved photos. We have a lot, because we have three children and all that is related to them in terms of events and people. We have a lot of photos because back in the day, one could not store them on a computer. One had to print them out. Of course some people kept the negatives (look it up if you don't know what those are), but I managed to get rid of those a long time ago. And yes, I can no longer print those out, so I have obviously recklessly discarded memories. Whatevs.

Anyhow, I have tried over the past 38 years to store these photos in a variety of ways. First there was the old school albums that had a sticky page and a clear sheet that you put over them once you had put them on the sticky page. Which was fine until our photo collection started gaining speed as we moved from place to place and had kids. I got different photo albums that had individual slots for photos and started using them. At least until the photos kept falling out. I tried photo boxes, but the more experiences and kids we had, they kept getting jumbled up.

Finally, a few years ago, I got some albums with the individual slots, labeled each album with a person's name, and sorted the photos into albums. Well, most of the photos. And I taped each individual slot shut so the photos would stay in their places. That worked, until I would want to use a particular photo (you know, like for a blog) and have to untape the slot, get the photo out, and then put it back and probably not retape the slot, which meant the photo was going to fall out. I grew weary of this system, so I took all the pages out of the albums and put the pages in a big box and sold the albums at one of our "last one ever" garage sales. Okay, so I gave them away. Okay, so I foisted them on some unsuspecting person.

Anyhow, my plan was to go back to the photo boxes. I was just waiting for a good time to start using them again. Apparently 2013 and 2014 were not the good times I was waiting for. However, this week Michaels had the photo boxes on sale, plus I had a coupon, so off I went for boxes. Once procured, I labeled the boxes (sorry if your name isn't on one) and spent the better part of a day sorting photos. And I finished!! Now I can possibly locate that picture for that blogpost that I am behind on.

My only question is this - since I actually did complete this task, does that mean I'm good for completing tasks in 2015??
Today is a gift because: Lindley and Everley time; going through old photos

Monday, June 22, 2015

My Movie Reviews

With my movie pass, I've seen a total of four movies - probably the sum total of all the movies I've seen in the past several years. So since I'm becoming quite the movie buff, I decided to give you my reviews of the movies I've seen so far. You're welcome. Oh, and since I've already told you about "Inside Out," then you get only three reviews. I obviously need to see more movies ...

Movie #1 - "San Adreas." And to answer the movie poster, I was with Molly. Sometime last week. Here's the basic story - some dudes at Cal Tech (or some California college) have figured out a way to predict earthquakes. They go to the Hoover Dam and a big earthquake happens, destroying the dam and one of the scientist dudes. Meanwhile, The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) is an emergency helicopter pilot who has been rescuing some chick because her car is hanging off a mountain. He's also about to get divorced and his almost ex-wife has moved in with their college-aged daughter to the ex-wife's rich boyfriend's place. Back to the earthquake predictors - they are now saying that "the biggest one ever" is about to happen in San Francisco, which just happens to be where Rock's daughter is with the mom's new boyfriend, enroute to college. The earthquake happens, and the rest of the movie is about how Rock drives a helicopter, a plane, and a boat to rescue the daughter (he had already rescued the almost ex-wife). Disaster movie? Yup. Action movie? Yup. Gory? Not really. Not even after the earthquake and resulting tsunami when Rock and company have to boat around a flooded San Fran looking for the daughter - no bodies floating anywhere. If you like action movies, go see it. If you are wary of earthquakes, don't go see it. If you want to suspend belief and watch the Rock do a lot of many things, then this is your movie!

Movie #2 - "Spy." I will pretty much see anything with Melissa McCarthy in it. I just love her! And this is certainly one to see (can you tell I liked it?). Melissa rocks her part - she's funny, she's smart, she's cute, she's everything. And her wardrobe is quite fetching, especially the cat t-shirt! It's funny and it also has a pretty good storyline about spies and stuff.  Jude Law is in it as well as the meanish girl from "Bridesmaids" who is also kinda funny. And the other secret agent dude is funny, in an arrogant kind of way. The story is basically that Melissa is a spy who works behind her computer helping out Spy Jude, and then has to go after the nuclear weapon that Meanish Girl's daddy devised, because Spy Jude killed daddy, and the Meanish Girl killed Spy Jude (yes, they have names, but why bother?). Other Secret Agent Dude wants to save the day, but his ego keeps getting in the way, which leads to funny stuff - especially if you stay through the closing credits. Anyhow, if you like Melissa, go see it. If you like funny, go see it. If you like spy-type movies, go see it. And be sure to wear your cat shirt!

Movie #3 - "I'll See You In My Dreams."  After seeing two action movies, I was not prepared for the glacial pace of this movie. Sure, it was good. Sure, it was worth watching. But it was like watching paint dry - that slow and I was glad it finally ended. Here's the story - Blythe Danner is a widow of 20 years. She lives in her house, although her best girlfriends life at the retirement development (I guess in houses or condos). Her dog dies. Blythe makes friends with her young pool dude, and goes to sing karaoke at a bar one night. She plays bridge at the retirement place with her buds and meets Sam Elliott in the parking lot. She goes to 5 minute dating at the retirement home. She goes out (and eventually sleeps) with Sam Elliot who is soon out of the picture. She goes with her buds to the grocery store (the best scene in the movie). She meets up with her friends for some more bridge and they decide to take a cruise. Her pool dude comes by and sings her a song he wrote. The movie ends. I'm sure it's meaningful (at least it was to the ladies behind us) and poignant and heartrending, but I kept waiting for Melissa to come in with her gun or The Rock to swoop in with his helicopter. Anyhow, if you want to rest your brain and think meaningful thoughts, go see it. I did.

Well, that's all for now. I will go see something else soon - just taking a break after "Inside Out." Not sure what will be next - stay tuned!!
Today is a gift because: quiet Monday at home thinking of stuff I should be doing

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Today

According to the almanac, today is the first day of summer. Duh. Here in Nashville, it's hot. And humid. Which are two things of which I am not very fond. Sure, last winter when I was very cold, I might of spoken about summer and warm days, but I was delusional. Now that it is very hot and humid, I yearn for those frozen days. As will I yearn for warmer days this winter (notice I said warmer, not hot and humid). Maybe today should be "Thank Goodness For AC" day.

In another note, today is also Father's Day. I know that sometimes I poke fun at dads and their dad duties, but today I say "Happy Father's Day." And for the three dads shown below, thank you for making my life so blessed!!

Today is a gift because: Steve cooking burgers on the grill; Lindley and Everley time

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Just Checking In On Me

When my blog is a bit delayed (like weeks), sometimes my friends check in on me. I understand this, because I have a friend whose blog I read who hasn't blogged in nearly a year. I'm a bit worried about her, but unsure as to how to proceed. Should I check on her? She lives far away and isn't on facebook, so I'm not sure what to do. But today, as if to say, "What are you doing," a little butterfly perched outside my window. The very window that is by my desk, where I sit sometimes, wondering what to write about (or perusing the 'net searching for inspiration). This little butterfly seemed to say, "Stop your lollygagging and get to writing!" And so I shall. Because if a butterfly in on your case, you really need to get busy!
Today is a gift because: quiet Saturday at home

Friday, June 19, 2015

Movie Review - "Inside Out"

Tonight we (that would be Steve, Lynnette, Lindley, and I) had plans to see the Sounds play baseball. However, the weather looked iffy - there were clouds about and rumblings of thunder. And while sitting in the rain watching baseball might be a delight for some, it is not for me. So I texted Lynnette and suggested an alternative activity - going to the movies to see the new Pixar flick, "Inside Out."

It's not like I didn't know what it was about. There has been plenty of publicity about it. And in case you don't know, it's about a little girl named Riley and all the emotions that are going on in her head. It looked really cute and fun, and it's Pixar, so we decided it was a go. I also texted Maribeth and told her about our plans, so she and Mathieu and Everley decided to join us (even though Maribeth and Everley had seen most of it before - at least up to the point that Everley had decided that she was tired and wanted to leave).

We got to the theater early, since we wanted to make sure we got good seats (no more sitting on the front rows for me). This wasn't a problem, since the movie was on in about half of the screens in the complex. Anyhow, we found our seats and sat down and waited for the movie to start. After about a zillion previews.

So how was the movie?  I thought it was cute. Everley seemed to like it. And I think Lindley liked it, once the traumatic parts of the movie were over. She got really worried about what would happen to Riley and all her feelings and memories (there was a chance of her losing them). There were many tears and a lot of sitting in mom's lap to get her through that part. But in the end, everything and everybody turned out happy, so all was good and she said she would probably see it again.

As for me, I liked it. I like the idea of little emotions playing out in my head. Now I can think of who's manning the controls in my emotion center, and maybe things don't seem so bad. Hey - it's one way to get through the day.

And if you go to the movie, the last part just before the credits is the best, as you get to see the emotions in other people's heads.

I give "Inside Out" two thumbs up - or maybe that's just Joy that's doing it!!
Today is a gift because: "Inside Out" with Lindley, Everley, Lynnette, Maribeth, and Mathieu

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Free Stuff

Tonight at the Sounds game, they were giving out free Sounds tumblers. And while we have free tickets, we try to make sure we are always there for giveaway night. Why? Because we like free stuff. In fact, as we are going through the entrance, I'm wondering if I can get more tumblers. I didn't try, but it didn't stop me from thinking about it. Yes, I have a problem with free stuff.

Maybe it goes back to my childhood when I didn't have a steady income and I got my first free photo of Robert Conrad in his "Wild, Wild, West" outfit. Finding out that I could get stuff for free was amazing. Unfortunately our internet was super slow back then, maybe because it didn't exist, so my experience of getting free stuff was rather limited. Unless you count green trading stamps you got from the grocery store, or free stuff you got when you opened a checking account, or stuff like that. This went on through my childhood and into adulthood, and became very prolific when I was a teacher. Because, as you should know, public school teachers have very little and no money to buy stuff, so free stuff was a godsend! And if you want to know just how creative a teacher can be, give him/her a bucket of stuff - there are teaching and learning experiences in that bucket just begging to be developed!

Anyhow, this was the seed that has sprouted into my "if it's free, I want it" addiction. Do I need the free stuff? Not neccesarily, but it's free!! And so I want it!! Shampoos and stuff from the hotel (the expendable stuff, not the light fixtures and bedding) - yes, I want it! Anything given away if I'm the first 2000 in attendance - yes, I'm there! And like all addictions, there is a price to pay. Free stuff that I don't really use that clutters my home.

I'm trying to curb my habit - really. But there is still that thought that says, "Take it - you will use it in some way." And so I do. I have blankets and towels and tumblers and Disney stuff and odds and ends and nicknacks and such all over my house. And someday I will use it/give it away/donate it to Goodwill. Really - I will.

But I have to go now. I think it's free t-shirt night at the Sounds!!
Today is a gift because: free tumblers at the Sounds; delicious chicken at the game; "See You In My Dreams" with MB

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Then and Now

History repeats itself. Just an aunt and her nieces, a few decades apart ...

Today is a gift because:  finding treasures in old photos

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

And Here We Are Again!!!

Well, at least I am ... But not to worry - we'll be current again soon!!
Today is a gift because:  "Spy" with MB; Everley time

Monday, June 15, 2015

Friends, Friends, Friends

This week, a friend of mine and three of her co-teacher friends are at Disney World. As I looked at their photos on Facebook, I was reminded of a similar trip that three of my co-teacher friends and I took many, many years ago. I remembered the fun times we had and the memories we made, just as my friend and her friends are making. And I realized just how important and precious having girlfriends and making memories are.

I began to think about my groups of girlfriends and the memories and experiences we've found ourselves in. So today, I'd like to say thanks to a couple of them.

The Three Amigos. Friends since our kids were preschoolers. We all lived in Florida at the time and went to church together. Eventually two of us, Emily and I, moved away and Jeanne stayed in Florida, but we've always stayed friends. We haven't always been in close touch with each other, but we always know that we're not far apart. We're always close in heart. And sometimes we get together for some new fun. We'll just keep quiet about what that may look like ...

Then of course, there's my 3-Day crew, all incarnations and members of our crew (including our sister husband, Brucie). I couldn't find a photo of my first 3-Day with Emily (that was before digital, people, and of course do I have any negatives - nope).

Anyhow, each 3-Day had its own experiences and friends and challenges. When you train with your friends in the sweltering heat in the summer, and then bunk in a tent, you truly appreciate your buddies.

My Double-Nickel crew and their caretaker has been especially fun with the crazy training (or lack of) that we tried to do (including several stops for breakfast. Or for a call for a ride home).

And we won't even talk about the experience on the actual 3-Day route, like people falling down, or surprise guests, or torrential rain, or purchasing alky-haul from the 7-11. Or skipping the prepared lunch for Johnny Rockets. Not that we did any of those ...

We won't discuss trying to keep someone from wandering into traffic, or walking single-file on the last day because we preferred not to speak anymore, or the mountains of bandaids and moleskin and Tylenol that were used.

Nor will we discuss the fact that we swore we would never do another. Or hold another garage sale. Or train another mile. The good news is that we're holding steady in those pledges for 2015. And hopefully into 2016.

Of course there's my race girlfriends, who will dress up in tiaras and sparkle skirts, and get up at butt-crack early in the morning to go do 3.1, or 6.2, or 13.1 miles, sometimes on the East and sometimes on the West coast. We have fun eating, and getting in corrals, and being together at the start, and then finding each other at the finish. Sure, we all finish at different times, but we're always together for our team photo!!

In about two months, I'm getting together with another group of friends. We were all in a wedding together - Pam was the bride and Laura, Elizabeth, and I were bridesmaids. This was in 1977. We grew up together and went to the same church together. After Pam got married, we all went different ways. And although we haven't lost touch, we haven't been together in about 35+ years. Sure, we've seen each other here and there (well, maybe some of us have), but it will be the first time in a long time that we're together. Think we'll have anything to chat about?

The bottom line is that I'm so blessed to have so many great women in my life.  Thanks ladies!! I love you all!!
Today is a gift because:  sort of swimming laps at the Y; picking up Lindley and Everley from school

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Thanks. Again. And Again.

Usually it's easy to be thankful for things - when they are current or very recent. But what about being thankful for the things that we have received, sometimes a while ago? Shouldn't we be just as thankful, even if it's been some time since we've been blessed?

Here's what brought me to this thought - the cough I had this winter into spring. The other day I was just thinking how great it is not to be coughing all the time. Back then, I would be happy to get through the night cough-less, and through the day if I could get through an hour without coughing. And now, I don't cough - at all. I realized I was taking this cough-less existence a little for granted. And so I thanked God, for His guidance through the minute-clinic-experience and for His healing. Sure, it's been awhile, but maybe I'm even more thankful today than I was back then. So why not give a prayer of thanks to where it is due?

Maybe I should be thinking of this more often. Maybe I should be thanking people for the gifts and blessings and courtesies that may have happened in the past. Maybe I should thank them because I'm still enjoying their kindness, and they should experience the joy in knowing that the blessing they did for me back then continues to this day.

I guess what I'm saying is that gratitude has no expiration date. It also has no limit on the number of times it can be expressed. The first one should be timely and is important. But so is every single one that we utter after.
Today is a gift because: Steve's safe travel home; brunch with the Udderly Pink Double Nickels and their brother husband and their caretaker; Container Store with KB and Molly

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Goin' To The Pitcher Show

Yes, that's what we called it in the olden days. Back then, we'd go to the movie theater on Saturday afternoons for the matinee. It costs fifty cents and you got a little paper brochure that would tell you about upcoming movies.

There were two movie theaters in our town of Starkville - the Rex and the State. Later when I was in high school, we got a multiplex movie theater - two screens! Going to the movies was a main staple of date nights - there wasn't a lot of anything else to do.

However, as life goes on, so did my going to the movies. Once marriage and kids came into the big picture, the movies took a back seat - waay back. And as movie prices kept getting higher and HBO and then Redbox became available, then why spend so much to see a movie? I would just wait until it came out on cable or Redbox (and for some movies, it didn't take very long).

I would probably say in the past several years, I have gone to the movies maybe once a year. However, that is about to change. Why? Because Maribeth got me a MoviePass. Basically it is sort of a credit card that you pay a flat fee for each month, and you can see as many movies as you want during that month. The only exceptions are that you can see a movie only once, and that you have to wait 24 hours in between movies.

Today I received my official Movie Pass in the mail, and Molly (who also has a movie pass) and I went to see "San Andreas." Molly saw "Spy" last night and we have a tentative plan to see "The Avengers" tomorrow night. Then Maribeth (who started this whole thing with her movie pass) and I plan to see "Spy" sometime this week. In case you're adding all this up, that's my equivalent of threes year's worth of movies - in one week! According to Maribeth, if you see three movies a month, you make back your money's worth.

Sure, I could save money by not getting the pass and not going to the movies. But it's nice to get out and see a movie on the big screen. It's nice to get out with family and friends and enjoy some time together. It's nice to see a movie when everybody else is seeing it and talking about it.

So now you know where to go for your latest movie news. Some movies I will not see for any reason (scary and supernatural) and some I will see but not quite understand (anything technological and a twisty turny plot) and some I will see and absolutely love (anything with Meryl Streep in it). I guess this will make me a movie buff. At least I will be "buff" in some aspect of my life ...
Today is a gift because: Three hot miles in the 'hood; going to the movies with Molly

Friday, June 12, 2015

Once Upon A Time in San Diego ...

Since I'm not doing one of these this year, just thought I'd go down memory lane and share one of my favorite 3-Days ...

Today is a gift because: Safe travel to Columbus for Steve; afternoon rain; leftover shrimp for lunch; quick visit from Maribeth

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Cut it!!

There comes a point when I am sick and tired of putting my hair in a pony tail and/or bun because it's out of control. I have whackadoodle hair that has a mind of its own, and quite frankly, that mind is completely whackadoodle. When this point occurs, I do the same thing every time. I head for the nearby Heads Up beauty parlor (that's salon for you young 'uns) and tell the person to whom I'm assigned to "cut it off."

Of course they always ask me "what I want." As if I knew. What I want is beautiful hair that will always look cute no matter what I am doing. But since they do not have magical powers, I give them all the instruction I can muster. And that would be, "Cut it off in layers."

I don't know why I always specify layers, except that seems to help give my hair some sort of shape. And maybe because whenever it isn't cut into layers, it sort of just hangs there looking confused. At least when it's in layers, each of the layers think they have a purpose.

So anyhow, today was hair-cuttin' day. I went to Heads Up and requested a haircut. Yes, I have been here many times. Yes, I know the names of some of the people that have cut my hair. Do I request them? No, because I am in hair crisis and I need the first available hair cutter available. It's sort of like walking into the ER - I need help NOW!! It's sort of uncomfortable when my former hair cutters walk past and look at me like they know me and their hearts are probably breaking because I have seemingly rejected them (or secretly relieved that they don't have to tackle my hair disaster).

Today Kim cut my hair. She did a pretty good job. I would guess she cut about four inches off. It feels good - I just can't tell you if it looks good (as if I care). And no, I will not be posting a photo - although it sort of does resemble the 'do in the picture above.

So now I'm ready for summer with my short summer 'do. And my pony tail holders get the summer off!
Today is a gift because: Kim and her cutting skills; swimming with Sam, Steve, Lindley, and Everley; boiled shrimp for dinner

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Sometimes I wonder why cats are always intent on getting in a container, no matter how small. And then I think back to all those clothes I try to squeeze into that I really have no business squeezing in to. And then I decide that cats are my heroes after all. Because they squeeze and they fit and they don't care what you think about it!! Keep squeezing, friends!
Today is a gift because: swim time with Everley and Lindley; Steve picking up Chicken-Fil for dinner

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Summer in the '60s

This is an actual pattern
of an outfit my mother
made me one summer.
She made me the pink
checked one with the ruffles!
Back in the Dark Ages when I was a kid, summer was magical. For one thing, it meant school was over for the next few months (we didn't go back to school until after Labor Day). We cleaned out our desks (which was extremely satisfying to me) and took all our school supplies home, which meant I could use them and play school at home (because that's what we did back then). There were so many things to look forward to, such as ...

  • Swimming at the city pool. Of course this also meant swimming lessons and/or swim team practice and swim meets. I'm not sure if it was more of a "time out" for our mom or she thought it would be a great idea, but we did spend some time at the pool. Sometimes she went with us. She didn't know how to swim, but eventually took lessons herself. On a rare occasion that the pool was open at night, sometimes our father would go with us after he finished his days work (he was a farmer and milked cows as well as all the usual summer farm activities). He had a lot of fun, and it was quite humorous to see his "farmer's tan" - pasty white skin everywhere except for his face and arms.
  • Homemade ice cream. This was made the old fashioned way with a crank machine. Ours was green, and one child always had to sit on the top to hold it down while an adult cranked the machine. Then the crucial part came when that adult (usually my dad) took the crank off and the lid off to see if the ice cream was ready. Why? Because he used a lot of rock salt to keep the ice cold, and heaven forbid any of that salt make its way into the ice cream!!
  • Watermelon. It's just a summer thing. Especially in the South. Basically you get a big one, slice it into eight pieces, and eat it outside with no utensils. You had to eat it outside, because where else are you going to spit the seeds? Of course you had to use salt (at least in my family).
  • Produce from the family garden. Sometimes we planted seeds. Sometimes we picked the corn. I don't remember working a lot in the garden, possibly because my parents doubted my gardening skills (with good reason). But once the peas, butter beans, and beans were picked, we would sit outside under the shade tree and shell/pick/snap those veggies. We'd also shuck and silk the corn. Sometimes our mom would let us cut the corn and fill the bags to freeze the veggies.
  • Freezing in our bedroom. Forget central ac. My sister and I shared a bedroom and had one of the window units in our room. Yes, it was freezing at night, but also quite wonderful after a hot afternoon of picking/shelling/shucking and the sort.
  • Vacation Bible School. Back then, VBS lasted two weeks. We learned Bible stories and verses and always had two cookies wrapped up in a napkin for our snack. We did crafts such as a plaster nativity scene (my sister carefully painted hers - I think I just slathered black paint all over mine) and book marks and stuff. Later in junior and high school, I went to band camp.
  • Vacations. Sometimes our dad would get somebody to look after the farm, and we would go on a vacation. Sometimes to Daytona Beach to visit my aunt (where once my brother and I were caught up in a rip tide and my mother came racing to our rescue). Once we went to Atlanta (hey, it was a vacation). Usually we took our aunt or our grandmother with us - six of us in our Cheverolet, with the unlucky one in the middle in the front - right next to our cigarette-smoking dad.
  • Reading books and doing the reading program at the public library. I loved to read, and having few other things to do, this was right up my alley. 
  • The smell of silage. My dad spent the summer preparing food for the animals in the winter. And let me tell you, if you've ever smelled silage, you've not lived. Through summer, at least.
  • Sleepovers with friends. And slumber parties. My friend Kelli would come over and we'd get a drink and pastry from the family store and then go wait for the mailman to come.
Yep, summers were pretty fun back then. And to think, we did it with only two channels on our television, no internet, and no video games!
Today is a gift because: pool time with Lindley and Everley; Everley sitting at her house

Monday, June 8, 2015

Headin' Home

I thought I would get an early start, but I didn't. It was around 7:30am before I managed to get out of bed and into the minivan for the trip back to Nashville. Did I consider calling and saying that I was extending my vacay for a few days? Certainly. But I knew I had scads and lists of things to do back home (whatever they are - but I know they're there). So I loaded up and headed North.

It was a fairly uneventful trip. Boring, yes. There were no ipads to fix, no arguments to settle, and no Disney movies to watch/listen to. There was no Molly to find trivia games to play and no discussion about where to stop. There was no one to consult about bathroom breaks and no one to be on the lookout for amusements along the road. It was just me and the interstate and the minivan.

I stopped a few times, for gas and nourishment. And maybe once for a power nap. There were no major wrecks or traffic tieups or construction projects to slow me down - just a highway patrolman every now and again to remind me to look at my speed (within 5 miles of the required limit, a rule suggested by Maribeth).

Eventually I made it back home just in time for the rainstorms. I pulled into the carport, unloaded several bags, and headed for my bed.  All in all, a good, safe trip. But next time maybe I'll take Lindley's advice and fly for two hours instead!
Today is a gift because: Safe travel home; Zaxby's lunch stop; QT gas stop; seeing Bonnaroo setup for the weekend; sleeping in my own bed

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Last Disney Day ... And Universal

This morning we got up and headed to Universal. Since I haven't been in about a billion years, I just followed Maribeth and Molly. Our first and main objective - to get on the Minions ride thingy. They all went to get in line while I procured a stroller (we had one, which could not be divided between two little girls, one bag of emergency clothing and food, and one backpack of other necessary essentials). By the time I had the stroller parked, I could easily find the others in line and joined them (ignoring any possible dirty looks from the others in line). We rode the ride, which is basically a 3D simulator. It's all cute, unless you are prone to dizziness, so I closed my eyes as soon as we headed down the "roller coaster" and was fine for the rest of the ride, having no clue what went on. Lindley was not thrilled at the start, but grew to like it by the end. Everley loved the whole thing, from beginning to end.


Next on the agenda was to get to Island of Adventure, which was either a walk or a Harry Potter train ride. We opted for the train ride, which was pretty cool, especially considering that I have never read the books or seen the movies. Once we debarked there, Molly went in search for a butter beer, and Maribeth and I and the girls had a snack break (keeping them fed is essential to happy demeanors). Then we headed to Dr. Seuss land, rode a few things, and called it a day, since it was very, very hot, and a cool swimming pool sounded great to several senior members of the group (one of whom happened to be driving the van).

Once pool time and lunch were over, Steve and Sam joined us, having finished their golf weekend. Everyone else was taking a 6pm flight and I was staying to drive the van home tomorrow (solo). Lindley had decided last Wednesday that she was flying back with her dad, once she had learned that it was a 2-hour flight versus a 12 hour drive (she is very smart, you know). Everyone put their bags and golf clubs and whatever in the car and we headed to the airport. Everyone got home and slept in their own beds - my turn tomorrow!!
Today is a gift because: Universal Studios fun with the girls; swim time; safe travel home for everyone who flew

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Bobo and Moo Are Here!!

Once they had been ejected off the cruise ship, Maribeth and Molly boarded a bus for our resort. We met them at the front, took them to our room, and then of course, went swimming.  After lunch and naps, we had to decide what to do next. Was there a park visit in store?  Why yes there was - but to Universal Studios (I know - I am branching out in my old age).

There was some flume riding (like maybe three times in a row) and some roller coaster riding and some splash area splashing and some space coaster riding and some pizza eating and oh yes - a bit of rain. But it was fun and we're headed back tomorrow morning!!

Today is a gift because: Maribeth and Molly's arrival; swim time in the pool; Universal with all the girls

Friday, June 5, 2015


Today as I was walking out of the main building at our resort, I noticed a lot of people gathering outside. And then I saw it - the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen. And then I saw it was a double rainbow. The pictures don't do it justice - it was so vivid and clear and beautiful.

Sometimes God says, "I love you." And sometimes He says it with exclamation points!!

Today is a gift because: swim time with the girls; Downtown Disney, Wolfgang Puck, and Lego Store with Sam, Lindley, and Everley; rainbows