Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lindley Day - And Baby's Day

After last night's sleepover, Lindley and I headed to pick up her mom to take her to the airport. Along the way, there was discussion of a Starbucks run - from Lindley, not her mom. Anyhow, after dropping Lynnette off, we headed for a treat. Which sort of also counted as breakfast. I mean, don't cake pops count as breakfast?

Later after we got back home, we decided to give Baby a bath. Baby is Lindley's doll. It's an original Cabbage Patch that she found while visiting her grandparents in Texas. And no, it's not an old doll of Lynnette's. Anyhow, after a year of constant attention and love, Baby had grown a bit dirty - shall we say filthy?  So I decided to give Baby a cleaning. Lindley told me repeatedly to watch Baby's eyes - because they could come off. With that admonition, I searched the internet for cleaning instructions, and did the best I could. Apparently it was a semi-success (she still had a few dingy spots), because Lindley said, "She has rosy cheeks!"  Now we'll see how long she takes to dry!!
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Today is a gift because: airport run for Lynnette; Starbucks with Lindley; cleaning Baby 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Yeah - They Went Without Me!!

Last night I took Maribeth and Molly to the airport. To catch a flight to Orlando. So they could spend the night at the airport. So they could get up today and catch the bus to the port. To get on the Disney Fantasy. Yes, you heard me. THEY ARE GOING ON A CRUISE WITHOUT ME!!!!

Day 1 - As will be the venue for all week ...
Are they bad daughters? No, not really. I'm sure I was asked to go (or maybe not - I wouldn't/couldn't go anyway). I think I viewed this as a time for them to be together on a sister cruise with no responsibilities as to husbands, boyfriends, kids, family, and/or friends. And I think they will have a great time (Rainforest Room, anyone?) The chance to do whatever you want without having to consider anyone else (this would include the sister with whom you're travelling) is a rest - and a treat!



Apparently tropical prints were all the rage
 back then ...
See, the idea of a sister cruise is not news to me. For many years (and cruises), my sister Marilyn and I have gone on sister cruises (and Disney World trips) with just the two of us (fortunately our wardrobes have upgraded a bit since then). And no, these weren't the gigolos we picked up on the cruise. We've had many fun experiences (drinking Tequila at a jewelry store and eating lunch in a chicken coop, to name a few). We've worn some ?? outfits (from mumus to hats to matching shirts) and met some interesting people (that we promptly discussed later in our cabin). But we've had fun and that's what is important.


So was I jealous because Maribeth and Molly got to go on a cruise without me? Maybe. But maybe not - I have a sister too!!  Bon voyage!!
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Today is a gift because: getting photos and stories from Maribeth and Molly's cruise; quiet day at home; Lindley sleepover


Friday, May 29, 2015

Facebook

I am currently in a love-hate relationship with Facebook. In many ways, I do enjoy it. I like catching up with friends both old and new. I like learning about people that I know and don't know (because the don't-knows have been linked to friends and I click over to the don't-knows stories and start reading because I like non-fiction and this is like reading a book). I like it because I learn stuff like hacks on everyday stuff and recipes that look delicious but I know I will never make. I like it because I see photos of people and I see sayings that I like. However ...

I don't like it because sometimes I agree to be friends with people that end up polluting my newsfeed with their rants and ravings that hurt my brain. I don't like it because I see old friends that look just like they did when they graduated high school (okay, so maybe it's a reality check I don't like). I don't like it because it takes up a lot of my time (okay, my choice, but still ...). I don't like it because people and places want to use it to sell me stuff (okay, so maybe Amazon pulls me in from time to time). I don't like it because sometimes people post things that are cryptic and I don't understand so my brain hurts again.

So what should I do? Quit facebook and not know stuff or read interesting stories? Clean up my friends - and which ones would that be? Limit myself to a certain amount of facebook time every day - will really need to work on my Evelyn Woods speed reading techniques.

Yep, it's going to have to be one of those. Now to figure out which one ...
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Today is a gift because: taking MB and Molly to airport; quiet night at home

Thursday, May 28, 2015

While In Line At Wendy's ...

As I was waiting for my cheeseburger, I noticed two birds on the awning ahead of me. And yes, I took their photo - it was that intriguing to me.

Granted, this photo is not superb. So I shall attempt to describe it to you. There are two birds, one in very close proximity to the other. As in VERY CLOSE. In other words, it looks like they are "knowing each other" as in the Biblical way.

Why did this intrigue me? Well, for one thing, I was waiting in the Wendy's line for my food, and it was taking some time. For another thing, I was unaware of how birds mate (if you don't know, go here). And yes, I was technically a Peeping Tom (or Peeping Luanne). And possibly even violating some bird law by video taping bird porn.

My only question is this - did the lady bird get dinner before or after?
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Today is a gift because: bird watching of a different sort

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Once Upon A Time ...

There was a little old lady. Who wrote a blog. Every single day. Well, at least most of the time. Sometimes she got too busy. Sometimes she forgot. Sometimes she got too lazy. Sometimes she just forgot. And so sometimes days went by before she wrote her blog.

It wasn't that she didn't know she didn't write her blog. I mean, she wasn't under any kind of undue influence (unless you count busy and lazy as undue influences). It was just for that day, writing and blogging just weren't simpatico.

And it wouldn't have been so bad, except sometimes the days strung together, one after the other, until the little old lady looked at the calendar and fully realized how many days had passed. She was shocked - not only because of all the days that had not been blogged, but also because of all the poundage that she had not lost. It seems that time has a lot of situations to answer for.

The good news is that the little old lady was very determined to catch up. With blogging, anyway. The poundage thing would have to be addressed later. Sometimes in an effort to catch up, the little old lady would search for cute videos - if she didn't have any of her grandchildren. She would also develop opinions - which she would probably change the next day. She would also write lists of excuses - until she ran out of those.

Anyhow, the moral of the story is that it ain't over until the fat lady sings. Although, with this little old lady, if she doesn't start working on that poundage, she may start warbling one day!!
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Today is a gift because: picking up Everley at school; accomplishing a task or two

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My New Aerobics Instructor

Or maybe my new dance instructor. Either would be a help ...

video video

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Today is a gift because: Everley time

Monday, May 25, 2015

And Then It Was Monday ...

I got in last night around 8pm after driving from Gatlinburg. While it wasn't late, I was pretty tired from our busy weekend, so I pretty much had a sandwich and headed to bed. Which I was happy to see after my "crunchy" bed this weekend (it was comfortable, just made a crunching sound everytime you moved).

Anyhow, since everyone else was out of town (either returning from Gatlinburg or Orlando) and Steve was headed out of town (California), today was a pretty quiet day.  I sorta managed to get my suitcase and dirty clothes into the house. I sorta did a few tasks that needed doing. I sorta got on the scales and decided that my Baby Ruth and Dr. Pepper weekend diet was probably not the best idea in the world.

In other words, just another Monday!!
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Today is a gift because: the rest of the family getting to their homes safely; a nice, quiet Monday at home

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Winding Down

Today is our last full day for our Lewis Family Reunion Family Vacay. Maribeth returned to the family fold last night, so once again, we had an agenda. This morning most of the crew loaded up and headed to Build A Bear for some minion stuffing and ferris wheel riding. Meanwhile, John and his assistants were busy cooking a huge lunch in homage to our mom Evelyn.  Or maybe his "assistants" were sitting on the couch watching tv offering moral support. Hey - everyone has a role!!

Once the minions had been stuffed, that tour group returned to the cabin in time for the humans to get stuffed. Then it was time for everyone's requisite post-lunch nap. Once that was complete, a few went out in search of a real hike up the mountain. Which might have taken longer than expected since it seems that a few in the lead might have taken a wrong turn. The good news is that they all eventually found the waterfall. And the way back to the car!!


Meanwhile back at the cabin, the little bits and their caretakers went in search of a park. Steve left after lunch to get back to Nashville so he could pack for work travel tomorrow. I left later in the afternoon while the rest of the crew will pack up in the morning and head back to Mississippi, North Carolina, and Virginia. The Original Three Lewis Siblings of Reed Road came to Gatlinburg to eat, visit, and have some fun. And I can safely say that a great time was had by all!!
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Today is a gift because: Molly's birthday!; delicious lunch prepared by John, Marilyn, and Anne; successful hike for some; playground fun for some; safe drives home for me and Steve; a great end to a great family reunion!


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday In The Mountains

Maribeth had to return to Nashville for work today, so since she's the main activity director, the day started off later than usual. Everyone got up pretty much whenever they wanted to and had breakfast at their leisure. At some point, a few decided to take a hike in the neighborhood while others decided to just sit and enjoy the view. Or watch Jeopardy. Or just rock and chit chat. Or get in some pool and hot tub action. Later on, a few decided to find the local putt-putt and laser tag, while others decided to turn in for the night. Another fun family day!








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Today is a gift because: beautiful day in the mountains with beautiful weather; lots and lots of family fun; loading the minivan after swimming

Friday, May 22, 2015

Gatlinburg Goings On

On today's agenda was an aquarium visit and then meandering around Gatlinburg. By this time in the family reunion vacay, my sister Marilyn and her husband had arrived, as had Michael, my brother's other son. Steve and Sam were due to arrive later this evening.

Once again, we loaded up the minivan but headed in the opposite direction from yesterday. We parked at the aquarium and headed inside to see sharks and rays and penguins, oh my! Well, along with several school groups, that is.





We left the aquarium and headed to downtown Gatlinburg where we saw the sights and did a little people watching. The brave ones decided on a sky lift ride while others stayed below to take photos. Those who were legal managed to find the moonshine sampling while the others listened to a little music. Then everyone was treated to a little ice cream. By that time, it was time for a return to the cabin for some naptime, perhaps fueled by activity, ice cream, and a little moonshine.





Once everyone had made it back to the cabin, it was time for a big family dinner and some hot tub time before bed. Another great day in the mountains!!



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Today is a gift because: family fun in Gatlinburg; lunch at Mellow Mushroom; music at the moonshine place; Maribeth, Everley, Lynnette, and Lindley riding the lift; family dinner

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Well, Hello Dolly!

I have to admit - I was only willing to go along with a trip to Dollywood because this was going to be a family reunion vacay. Being a strictly Disney person, I couldn't imagine Dollywood being anything except a glorified state fair. Okay, so maybe I underestimated Dolly - like by loads ...

I had purchased tickets for some of us via AAA, since I got a discount. The others were going to wait until we got there, so Maribeth could use her military discount via Mathieu. So this morning we loaded up the cars and headed Dollyward. Maribeth had her military voucher, so we got free parking and headed to the lots and pretty much parked where we wanted - no Disney police parking (although that might have been better than the willy-nilly system we engaged in today). We unloaded the adults, kids, and strollers and boarded the tram to the entrance.

Once we got to the ticket location, we noticed several people milling about. Soon we were approached by a woman wanting to know if we had our tickets. When we mentioned that some of our party did not, she offered to get them in free! Apparently the people had bought their tickets with some deal of getting friends in free, and it was going to expire, so they offered to get our folks in for free!  We're definitely not at Disney anymore!!

Once inside, we grabbed a map and headed for the carousel and the kids section. There are several rides for kids, and even a few that little kids can ride for themselves. We also got some little faces painted and had a bite to eat - fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese, anyone? We finished the day with a train ride, playing on the playground, and Lynnette riding some wackadoodle swing thing. By that time, it was time for our part of the group to head back to the cabin for some needed nap time.

First ride at Dollywood!!
Lindley and Lynnette are up there somewhere!






Lynnette's the one with jeans on.
Post-Dollywood Nap
So, how was my first Dollywood visit? Well, on the way out, I noticed that for only $37 plus tax, I could upgrade my ticket to a season pass. Yes, $37, which is less than I paid for today's ticket. And yes, I did upgrade and can go from now until January. And yes, I will be going (it's a 3.5 hour drive from here to there). So I just have two things to say to Dolly - you floored me with your park, and I'll be seeing you soon!!

Just wondering though, does this make me Dolly Disney now?
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Today is a gift because: great parking at Dollywood; rides and food at the park; lots of family fun

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Road Trip!!

Lindley's the drummer all the way right.
Today we head for the family reunion vacay in Gatlinburg!  But first was a stop to see Lindley's spring end-of-the-year music program.  She and her fellow classmates sang and danced and drummed and jumped and rang their hearts out. Afterwards we all watched photos from this year's class activities and had snacks.  It was a great program and a lot of fun.

Once that was over, it was time to hit the road! Due to varying schedules from the male members of our side of the family, there was some discussion and planning about who was going when and how.


Before the music program, I had packed my stuff in my little Prius, then picked up Lynnette and loaded their stuff into my little Prius. We had just enough room to squeeze Lindley in. Although Maribeth was planning to leave when we did, we weren't sure about when Mathieu and Everley would get back from a trip to Starkville. We weren't sure if Mathieu would be going with us. Once the music program was over, we checked in with Maribeth, and found out that Mathieu and Everley were close to returning home, and that Matheiu wouldn't be going to Gatlinburg until tomorrow. So Lynnette, Lindley, and I went to Maribeth's, unloaded all our stuff into Maribeth's minivan, and waited for Mathieu and Everley.

The are expressions of joy not terror! Really!
Once they arrived, we changed Everley's clothes (she had fallen asleep and needed a fresh outfit for the trip), made sure everyone had a potty break, and headed out. We had packed snacks for everyone with one exception - we had forgotten to pack drinks, which necessitated our first stop about 30 minutes later. And then our second stop was about an hour later, when we needed some food for dinner, which we ordered at the drive thru and ate in the parking lot (we didn't have time to have a playground break). Being fully fed and hydrated, we managed to make the rest of the trip without stops, and eventually landed at the cabin around 9 or 10pm (depending on which time zone you prefer). My brother John, his wife Anne, and their older son David (who planned this whole thing) were already there. My niece Lucy, her husband Jonathan, and their daughter Tilly got in before midnight. And this is about half of who's coming! The rest of the crew are coming in on Thursday and Friday.

Anyhow, once we all got in, we found our rooms and turned in for the night. Tomorrow we go to Dollywood!!
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Today is a gift because:  watching Lindley's music program; loading and unloading the cars; stops on the way; huge cabin and finding our rooms on the bottom floor

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Time - How It Does Fly By

It's been many years since I've attended the graduation of a child of mine. Tonight I got to relive that experience as I listened to Sam speak at his high school alma mater. I got a little teary as I watched those young men and women march into the ceremony, so young and full of promise. And I couldn't help but remember how just 16 years ago, my son was one of those marching in. And I imagined how 63 years before that, my father-in-law received a diploma from the same high school

It seems as though yesterday Lindley was born, yet she will start kindergarten in the fall. In thirteen years, she will be marching to the sounds of "Pomp and Circumstance" as she goes to collect her high school diploma. And as I wonder where she will be and who she will be at that point, I also wonder where and who I will be.

Sixty-three, sixteen, thirteen. Just numbers in some ways and lifetimes in another. But when you really come down to it, it's only today that matters. So make the most of yours as I will of mine, because in just about a minute, it's going to be a memory. Make it a good one.
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Today is a gift because: getting our Sounds shirt at the game then picking up Lindley and Lynnette, then going to Hume Fogg graduation and listening to Sam speak

Monday, May 18, 2015

Just Another Pint, Please!

Once again it was time for a Red Cross donation. And it was really pretty easy today. I checked in, skimmed the required reading materials (they haven't changed since the last time), passed the iron, temperature, and blood pressure checks, and answered the questionnaire on the computer (I haven't changed since the last time). There wasn't a wait, and the tech who was assigned to me was super good - no bruise afterward. We chatted a bit about cruising (always a good topic) and soon it was over. I stopped for a minute in the canteen to make sure the blood was flowing to my brain and left - not a bad way to spend the morning!

I am very blessed in the fact that I am able to donate blood. Many of my family and friends can't due to medications they are on or they don't weigh enough (I know - can you imagine?). I will probably never know where my donation goes, but I have faith that it will help someone in some way. And if it's this easy to help someone else, how can I say no?
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Today is a gift because: giving blood and chatting with the sweet tech lady; getting ready to go out of town

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Ssh! It's Sunday!

This week we're headed to Gatlinburg for a Lewis Family Vacation. My sister and most of her family and my brother and his family are all going to spend a few days together - in one cabin. Sure, it has eight bedrooms, but that's a lot of Lewis in one house!

Anyway, there's a lot to pack up for this trip. There are clothes and all the stuff that one needs for a home away from home. The most important part is to have enough for the kiddos to do (there will be three little ones - a five-year-old, a three-year-old, and a 22 month old. And then there's the big kids, so we're also taking games, although the biggest deal will be trying to keep them awake!

Here is my activity box for the little ones. Now to figure out what to put in the big people boxes!!
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Today is a gift because: a quiet Sunday


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Finally!

With a name like mine, one rarely sees it on your standard name-personalized products. You know, your pens and keychains and such. Sure, you can get stuff personalized, but it's not like walking up to the rack and seeing your name there. And while we're on the subject, why are Luannes never the smart business executives in movies? Why are they always the ignorant Southern woman with loud clothes on (usually bright florals) and a canned drank (that's how they pronounce it) in her hand - wait, let me look in the mirror - never mind.  Excuse me, I digress.

Anyhow, last year when the personalized Coke products were all the rage, of course there were none with my name on it. So imagine my happy surprise when, as we were walking into the Sounds baseball game, Maribeth noticed that there were Coke machines where you could get your own personalized can!  And free at that!!

Immediately, Maribeth and I beelined for the machines and took full advantage to get some names that are sadly lacking in the Coke realm. After careful inspection later on at home, someone noticed that the machine actually prints out a sticker than some Coke person puts on the can, but a personalized can is a personalized can!

Will we ever consume this beverage? Who knows? But my personalized can will be with me forever. After all, good things do eventually come to those who wait!!

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Today is a gift because: Everley sitting at the Doik; personalized Coke cans; Sounds game with Steve, Maribeth, and Everley

Friday, May 15, 2015

One Way To Spend A Friday ...

So it started out as a regular Friday. Marilyn and Eddie were still asleep when I left to go sit with Everley until she woke up and we headed to school. Once that happened and was finished, I headed home and was there a short while until I got a text from Lynnette, asking my opinion on a subject. She had gotten a call from the school saying that Lindley had fallen on the monkey bars, and they were unsure if she needed stitches or not. Lynnette forwarded me the photo, asking if I thought she should take Lindley to the ER or to the pediatrician. I suggested calling the pediatrician, since they would still be in the office (my kids always waited until after hours on a Saturday night before inflicting stitches-possible injuries). She did, the pediatrician had an opening, and I told Lynnette I would meet her there.

We met up there, with Lindley holding a compress to her chin. Once inside the office, the doctor looked at the injury and determined that it could be remedied with glue (have you ever tried to explain the efficacy of glue on a wound when all she can reference is Elmer's?). Thank goodness, no shots or stitches!!  After treatment and a few stickers upon exiting, Lindley decided to go to my house, while her mom went to Sonic to get lunch and an M&M Blast for the patient (this may or may not have been prescribed). Anyhow, after the blast and a nap, and except for a glued-together chin, all seemed right with the world once again.


Meanwhile, Marilyn, Eddie, and Cindy (Marilyn's college and life-long friend) had returned to the house after their errands. They are all in town to give a wedding shower for the daughter of another friend Peggy. Since neither Marilyn nor Cindy live in Nashville, but the daughter does, they asked to have the shower at my house. Which, if they didn't care, I certainly didn't. So now it was time to decorate for the party.

They had decided to have an evening party outside. And while the rain was holding off, the wind wasn't. Which wasn't helping trying to put tablecloths and such on the tables. At some point, Steve and I left to pick up Everley at school and take her to her house (Maribeth and Mathieu were both working). Once we had deposited her, we decided to go to a movie, and afterwards decided to go have a bit to eat - date night?  As it turned out, we decided to go to Shoneys, as a sort-of recreation of our first date about 39 years ago. We returned home to enjoy some dessert from the shower and bestow best wishes to the engaged couple.

Anyhow, as you can see, it was a pretty full Friday. Hope Saturday is a little quieter!!
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Today is a gift because: Taking Everley to school; Lindley's chin not needing stitches; Lindley time at the Doik; getting ready for the shower; rain holding off for the party; picking up Everley and taking her home: "Pitch Perfect 2" and Shoneys with Steve; peach cobbler at the party

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Getting Ready

Marilyn and Eddie are coming into town today. Marilyn is planning a wedding shower with her friend Cindy for their mutual friend's daughter, who lives here. I'm doing nothing for the party except providing the venue. I know, a party at my house - the neighbors will be shocked. But I figure, if they don't care, why should I? I did help out by getting soft drinks at Kroger last week when they were on a super-sale. Hey - everybody has their role in life!

Anyhow, one of the things that Marilyn had planned for the party food-wise was peach cobbler. They wanted to have local vendors for this party, and Marilyn had found out about a place called The Peach Cobbler Factory and thought it sounded good. And I had found a Groupon for the place (I told you everybody has a role), and everything was looking promising. Until Marilyn called to reserve the cobblers. The lady on the phone had asked for the Groupon number, which I had but Marilyn didn't. By the time I had given Marilyn the number and she tried to call the number back, Marilyn couldn't get anyone to answer (although I think she left messages).

Now, to pick up the cobblers, one has to go to the Nashville Farmer's Market. Since Marilyn and Eddie weren't due to get in until after the cobbler place's hours were over, things were getting a little dicey, because Marilyn was wanting to make sure her order was in and everything was going to be ready for Friday. So I volunteered to go to the Farmer's Market and make sure everything was copacetic (today I was clearly going to be using all my talents - driving, talking, Groupon-ing).

I headed down to the Farmer's Market around lunch. I had never really been there at lunch on a weekday, so I was no prepared for the (a) crowd, and (b) no parking. Since the market is located close to downtown, apparently everybody who works downtown and around head to the market for lunch. And once I had found a parking place and walked in, I knew why. If you want something fresh and yummy to eat, the Farmer's Market is the place to be. Even Batch has a store there!

I walked in, looking for the cobbler's store. What I found was that the store was actually a card table with pies on top. The guy behind the table was really nice, and after a bit of talking and explaining and Groupon-pulling-out, we made sure the order was on track.

I returned home, Marilyn and Eddie arrived, and they left to pick up Cindy and have dinner. Time to get ready for the weekend!!
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Today is a gift because: taking Everley to school; fun at the Farmer's Market; Marilyn and Eddie arriving in town