Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Gift Play Time


Today Lindley spent the day with me. She decided to open one of the toys she had received for Christmas (well, technically Doikmas since Christmas hasn't officially occurred). Anyway, it was a box of gears and levers and motors that one is supposed to put together and create a machine that, when the motor is turned on, turns all the gears and levers. Which sounds easy, except there are no directions. Which sounds creative, until you realize that the circle things have to hit just right or they just get all clogged up. And even though there is a photo on the front of the box, the colors of the parts don't exactly match up so you have to figure it out and hope for the best. Luckily, the first grader is very smart, and eventually got the whole thing put together. And when the motor turned on, it moved levers and gears!! Next time I think we'll just make do with crayons and paper ...
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Blessings today include: spending the day with Lindley; putting things together; airport run

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Merry Doikmas!!

Merry Doikmas to Everyone!!  Of course, do I have any photos? Of course not! It gets too busy and loud and crazy to stop and take photos. Next year. Maybe. Anyhow, here are the highlights ...
  • Menu was Merry Quichemas and a Sloppy New Year. That means we had several different quiches (from Puffy Muffin) and Sloppy Joes. Because that seemed right. We also had marshmallows for dipping and other stuff, but again, in the heat of the festivities, a lot gets lost. We also had our own personalized drinks. In other words, it makes Doikmas a lot easier if you can order out for stuff.
  • Gifts - there were a lot of them. Nobody draws names, and this year you could get anybody whatever you wanted. We did make a smart move and let the little girls open theirs first so they could play while the adults opened theirs. And the other smart move was hiring Melissa to play with them during that time. We get better at Doikmas each year!
And here are the photos ...


Our Doikmas Welcome Sign by Lindley.
Obviously if your name was not on the sign, you weren't invited.

Maribeth's contribution to the meal was cheesecake -
From Junior's in NYC.
Ordered out and sent in.
Brilliant!  And delicious!!

Multiply this number of gifts by 10 and you have an idea
of how many gifts there were. A Lot!!
Our Doikmas Drinks - adults only!!

Doikmas fun!!

And the Doikmas Dinner!
Or at least the remainder ...
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Blessings today include: family time Doikmas; Melissa coming over to help; delicious dinner and dessert; terrific gifts

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Photos From A Saturday

Emmatha in her new room -
Construction on the rest of the house is almost done!

Guess who's home for good!!

Whaddaya mean, I didn't get to go to the airport?!?!
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Blessings today include: Melissa, Lynnette, and Molly finishing cleaning up MB's house; Mathieu getting home; MB and family getting to sleep in their own home

Saturday, December 10, 2016

American Girls

Today Lindley was invited to a birthday party - at the American Girl Store!!  Each girl was also invited to bring her own American Girl doll if she had one. And if she didn't, she could temporarily "adopt" one at the store for the party. 

Although I didn't attend, I can certainly see that American Girl throws a nice party - for everyone (including the dolls)!!

Lindley and Bitty - and their matching shirts!

Lynnette was also invited - I guess this is three generations?

Is this not the cutest thing ever??!!
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Today's blessings include: Lindley's American Girl party pictures; Everley and Emmatha time

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Meet and Greets

Today are Emmatha's photos. Here she is meeting Piglet. Everley seems excited? Was Emmatha? If you were to see her face, you'd have that answer! And that answer?  NOOOOOO!! And a Mickey waffle is little consolation when meeting a giant pink pig!


Princesses are much easier to meet and greet. Especially if PawPaw is holding you!

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Thankful today for: happy photos of happy babies; quiet day at home

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Everley in Disney World

Everley, Emmatha, and their mom are spending some time in Disney World with PawPaw. Everley is making some new friends. Or maybe just visiting some old friends. No matter, it looks like everyone is having a great time!!

Everley Belle and Dale - can you tell Chip and Dale apart?

Everley and Mickey - the Mouse in charge

And of course, you have to visit the Pirates League for a little decor!!
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Blessings today include: fun photos from Disney World; Lindley pickup at school

Monday, December 5, 2016

Army Men


Sometimes when your dad's in the army and you're waiting for him to come home, you kinda want to hang around with any army people you might encounter. Especially if they just happen to be at the Happiest Place on Earth!
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Thankful today for: Everley's fun at Disneyland; Emmatha time

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Really Lazy Sunday ...


You know those Sundays when you want to just take a nap? Or maybe have a bowl of Cheerios? Or maybe a pack of muffins? And then just curl up with a warm blankie and doze the afternoon away? Well, in case that isn't your Sunday, apparently it did become Everley's Sunday. Jealous?
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Blessings today include: Everley and Emmatha time; naps on Sunday afternoon

Monday, November 7, 2016

Yup, It's Me Again!!

Yes, I am at this point again. Behind in blogging. Again. I don't know what to say except that it seems like yesterday I was caught up (relatively). And yesterday Emmatha was born. And tomorrow it will be Christmas. In other words, time is cruising right on by, and I just seem to be running in circles.


Oh well, not to fear - I shall get caught up again. I shall start by getting caught up for the past six weeks, and then get caught up for all of last summer. I thought it might be odd to get caught up for time so far past, but then I realized - you read history books, right??

Anyhow, here we are again. Catch you on the next circle!!
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Today's blessings include:  waking up in my own house and snuggling with my bed buddy for the night, Everley; getting caught up with stuff before the next trip

Monday, September 26, 2016

I Watched The Presidential Debate ...

Actually, I couldn't say if one candidate was better than the other (although I had my favorite). And actually, I didn't watch the debate in its entirety, because it did start to get on my nerves. And I really don't like arguing/debating anyhow, so when two adults start interrupting and saying stuff just to be heard, it really gets on my nerves. And when the moderator doesn't take charge and keeps mentioning a time limit but doesn't enforce it, my nerves have had enough.

Is there going to be another one?
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Today's blessings include: Ms. Indira taking care of Emmatha's "code brown" upon arrival at school; spending a lazy zero day at home; planning for Disney races/trips; Steve's safe travel to Memphis and then Birmingham; Catching up on blogs for September 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Busy Sunday

Steve has been in Boston for the weekend to watch Mississippi State play football. The game was yesterday (MSU won), and Steve took the early flight back this morning. He even managed to pick up doughnuts on the way home from the airport! Which worked out well, since Everley was awake by the time he got home.

Tomorrow is Steve's birthday, but since he is going out of town, we decided to have his party this evening. Sam's gift to him is twofold - #1 is getting rid of the monster tv in the living room. It's an old (relatively) big screen tv that's about five feet wide and three feet deep. Steve has maintained it for years with new bulbs and whatnot, but I'm ready for it to go (maybe it's my gift). Sam volunteered to put it on Craig's List and get rid of it. His #2 gift is to upgrade the wifi router thingy so hopefully our internet will be better - but since I am rather technologically illiterate, I'm not sure how that's going to happen - maybe with a magic wand?

Anyhow, Lynnette and Lindley were out running errands, and stopped by for doughnuts. They had a Mother-Daughter book club (part of Lindley's 1st grade class) before Steve's party, so they left for a while. Meanwhile, Dude saw the tv on Craig's List and contacted Sam to pick up the tv. Maribeth needed to meet Renee, the person in charge of deciding finishes for the house remodel, at Maribeth's house, so she and I loaded up Everley and Emmatha in the car to meet Renee. While we were there, Dude came by to get the tv, and Steve and Sam then left to get a new tv. Which ended up being just as wide, just not as deep. It does have a nice picture, though.

Anyhow, eventually everyone ended up back at the house to celebrate Steve's big day. Sam cooked burgers on the grill, and we had Rotel dip, baked beans, and mashed potatoes to even out the dinner. For dessert we had old-school chocolate cake, which Everley and Lindley helped me make. After opening gifts and playing with the packing styrofoam from the tv box, it was time for everyone to head back to their houses.  It's been a good Sunday!!
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Today's blessings include: Steve's safe travel home and picking up doughnuts on the way home; Everley, Lindley, and Emmatha time; Lynnette bringing Panera lunch; Sam getting rid of old tv and going with Steve to pick up a new one; meeting with Renee and Maribeth to go over house layout

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saturday

After last night's BuJo party, you might think I would be all tuckered out today. And maybe if I had actually BuJo-ed, I might be. But I didn't, and so Saturday was here for me to do stuff. And so I did.

Molly came over with breakfast because we had some future vacations we needed to make plans for. While she was here, Lynnette and Lindley stopped by to pick up Everley, who was going to play at their house for awhile. When they got ready to leave, I went with them in order to pick up Mathieu's truck at the car place (it was in for maintenance). Once I got back to the house, Molly and I looked at flights and car rentals and other vacation stuff.

By this time, it was lunch time. Neither of us had a plan for lunch, and shot down several ideas before decided to just get in the car and go eat Mexican. We got in the car, but decided to just drive until we found something. We are both on a mission to eat at new places, so we were hoping that some place new would appear before our eyes. And then Molly suggested Gabby's Burgers and Fries.

Neither of us had ever been there before. I had never heard of it, but Molly said she had wanted to eat there for awhile. And so we went there. I think it would qualify for the show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" - I'll let you decide which category Gabby's would qualify for. We went in, ordered our burgers, and sat down to eat. Emmatha was with us, but doesn't eat burgers yet, and doesn't exactly sit in a generic restaurant high chair yet, so that added an extra special touch to lunch. Soon our burgers arrived, and I have to say it was pretty good! I guess I would go back - apparently there is a "secret menu" that I might need to know about.

Gabby's is #4 on my new restaurants list. Yesterday Sam and I ate at Elliston Place Soda Shop for lunch. It's an iconic Nashville spot, and I pass it frequently as I head downtown. It's one of those places that I have said I wanted to eat at, and just haven't managed to. Sam had suggested lunch, and I decided that in my quest of new restaurants, this might be a good one. I think my expectations were a little to high. Maybe I thought I would be transported back to the days of the soda shops of the 50s. While some of the decor suggested that, it just wasn't quite as special as I had hoped. The food was fine - just nothing spectacular. Maybe I should have ordered the special for the day ...

Anyhow, the rest of today was spent quietly, as you can see below. Hooray for Saturday naps!!

When Emmatha naps, everybody naps!

And when Emmatha is awake, Maggie Cat gets a massage!
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Today's blessings include: Molly bringing breakfast and planning vacations; Lindley and Everley time; lunch at Gabby's with Molly and Emmatha; naps with Emmatha and Maggie Cat

Friday, September 23, 2016

Bullet Journaling

I am fortunate that I have daughters who let me know what the latest thing is. Of course they also let me know when my things are ridiculously out of date/style/whatever, but that's a different story. Today is about their new latest thing - bullet journaling.

Of course, do I know anything about it? Of course not. But apparently it is the newest coolest thing to do in order to organize oneself. Even though I was not shall we say, "enthusiastic," they decided that we needed to have a bullet journaling get together. Lynnette was also intrigued by the idea, so since Steve was out of town this weekend, tonight was our BuJo party (see how cool I am already?).

Apparently when doing BuJo, you need a lot of supplies. As in a journal, markers, stickers, pretty tape, a ruler (or a t-square if you're Maribeth), stamps, and whatever other things that make you happy. Once you have it all assembled, you start BuJo-ing. Which looked like scrapbooking to me, but what do I know? I decided I would rather rock Emmatha in the other room, which I did. I apparently have friends for whom this is a wondrous thing, since we texted Pam during the party.

Anyhow, the party was deemed a success (possibly because Rotel dip and chips were involved also), and everyone went home having happily and successfully BuJo-ed. And as for my BuJo?  Ummm, yeah - I'll need some time and special remediation on that ...

The work table. There's a lot going on here! Including Rotel dip!

Maribeth's BuJo work in progress. Apparently BuJo-ing is a lot of fun.

Even Lindley and Everley got their own supplies for their own BuJo.
Lindley is drawing a cruise ship.
Maybe I can get into BuJo-ing if cruises are involved!
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Today's blessings include: lunch with Sam at Elliston Place Soda Shop; BuJo party; Steve's safe flight to Boston

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Throw Back Thursday for Breast CancerT

I've done six Breast Cancer 3-Day Walks. They were all great experiences - now that they're well in the past! Each has its own memories and stories, so today I decided to share some of my favorite photos from some of the walks. And yes, looking at the photos kinda brings up a twinge to do another - but so far I've been able to resist that twinge!!

This was in Atlanta, October 2001. My friend Emily said she would do it with me.
Instead of walking, she worked on the medical staff (she's a nurse), popping blisters
and other medical stuff. We shared a tent, even the night that it poured rain.
We didn't see each other much, but I was so thankful to have someone there with me!

This was in the Twin Cities, August 2007. I wanted to do something special for my 50th birthday.
Lynnette said she wanted to do one, and did it with me.
This was at the finish. We were very happy to be there!!

This was in San Diego, November 2009. Marilyn wanted to do one, so I said I would do it with her.
It was a beautiful course, and a real experience for Marilyn to spend two nights in Tent City.
She didn't sleep so well, but of course, I slept like a baby!!

This was in San Francisco, September 2012. Molly, KB, and Sharon said they wanted to do a 3-Day.
Karen and Jo (not the bra girls above) also joined our team, but they walked way faster than we did.
We had a great time in our little tents, and four of us decided to do it again!
Of course, that could have been the post-walk wine talking ...

And so here we are in Washington, DC, October 2013. Because she was now a breast cancer survivor,
Marilyn wanted to do one more. And Sharon's husband Bruce came along, too!
We like to call this photo, "Bruce and His Sista Wives."
This was in our hotel lobby, because by this time we all were very smart -
and decided hotel sleeping was much better than tent sleeping!


And then finally, we finished our walks in Philadelphia, November 2014.
While we again hotel-ed it, this one almost did us in.
Each of  us had our down moments, and rode the sweep shuttle.
But we had a great time - and swore we'd never do another!!
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Today's blessings include: happy memories of breast cancer walks; getting Everley to school ready for school pictures; first day of fall

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Gifting

"A Choreographer is a poet. I do not create. God creates.
I assemble, and I will steal from everywhere to do it."
- George Balanchine -

Personally, I hate surprises. For myself, I do not like surprise parties, or surprise guests, or pretty much surprise anything. I'm sure there are many psychological reasons for this, but there are so many psychological reasons for everything I manage to do that I'll just go with the theory that surprises are a personal "hate" of mine.

However, I do like to surprise other people. Not a shocking surprise or a surprise visit, but more of a happy surprise. Like finding something that reminds me of someone, and then sending that something to someone. But I will be the first to admit this - it's really not my doing at all.

I believe that God puts the surprise thing and the surprise person together for me, and then gives me the task of getting that surprise thing to the surprise person. Sometimes it's via the mail, sometimes it's via a personal delivery, and sometimes it's via an anonymous conveyance. But every time, it's really not me who's the giver - it's all God and what He wants to give to someone here on Earth.

How do I know this? Because I'm not that nice of a person. I know it's God because I will see something and immediately someone comes to mind. Sometimes I have to think about whether I will get the "thing" and get it to the person. I mean, what if that person thinks the thing is silly and dumb? What if that person thinks I'm silly and dumb? What if that person considers calling the men in little white coats to come and pick me up to take me to the funny farm?

And then I remember Who is in charge of it all. I remember that I'm not the giver, I'm just the messenger carrier. I remember that it's not about me, but about God and the person. And I remember that all good things come from above, so I say a prayer and send the thing on its way. And then I let it go, because how the receiver feels about the thing is not my concern - my job was just to get it there.

So, if you ever get something from me, and you're wondering why, just remember this - it's really not from me at all. It's from God, and He just wanted you to know that He's thinking of you and loves you very much!
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Today's blessings include: quiet Tuesday at home; getting a slow mile done on Belmont 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

To Do Or Not To Do

Actually, there is little discussion or consideration on my part on whether to do something or not. It would seem that either I get something done or I don't. Lately it seems that my motivation to do anything seems to be waning. Or lacking all together.

I know this is shocking. I mean, I've only discussed this malady sixty-eleven times. The only thing I've figured out is that talking about my lack of motivation/progress does absolutely nothing in getting me moving.

So I shall return to the only way I manage to get anything done - my daily list of tasks. I try to accomplish 10 things a day. I just need to find my pad of paper in which I list those 10 things. The pad which is probably under the pile of stuff on my desk that needs to be cleared off.

Oh well, at least I have Task #1 figured out ...
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Today's blessings include: getting a mile in this morning; taking girls to school with Maribeth and then MB and I having breakfast at Pancake Pantry; big progress at MB and Molly's remodels; chatting with Chris and Renee about Maribeth's house; Everley's new bed; Maribeth picking up dinner; texts about bullet journals; catching up blog posts for September 17, 18, 19, and 20

Monday, September 19, 2016

Emmatha Monday

Today was the day for Emmatha's school picture. Maribeth had left the outfit of choice, along with some backup outfits. After Emmatha's early morning bottle, she decided to blow out her diaper (one of her finest talents) which required several thousand handi-wipes, a chux to protect the bedding (learned that lesson twice the hard way), and something to entertain Emmatha in order to prevent her busy little hands from making matters worse. I was just glad that she had decided to do this while still in her sleeper rather than once she was all dressed up.

Once she had been sanitized, I started dressing her in her photo outfit. This consisted of a onesie followed by matching leggings and finally a denim jumper skirt. Of course once I put on the jumper skirt and pulled the straps through the holes, I realized that there was no "attaching" for the straps. Clearly something had come off or was not included. So what was I to do? The only thing I could think of was to use safety pins, which seemed ill advised at her age. So I did the only thing I could, which was to take the choice outfit off and put on Backup Outfit #1 (which was basically white, which meant Backup Outfit #2 was necessary, in case Emmatha decided to perform her finest talent a second time).

Anyhow, we got to school and I dropped her and then Everley off and then went on my merry way. The photographer was getting ready to take the photos as I was leaving, so I thought everything would be great. Emmatha looked quite adorable to me (duh!). As it turned out, by the time the photographer got all her stuff together and returned to the baby room, all the babies were either hungry, tired, poopy, and/or a combination of any and all of these conditions. So much for picture day. They decided to try again tomorrow, which will work out well, since Maribeth informed me that those pesky straps were supposed to be pulled through the holes and then tied - in a cutesy fashion-forward way.

Anyhow, tonight Emmatha has developed a new talent - splashing (yes, we take pride in many things in this family). Now that she has decided that sitting up is preferable to laying down, she has found that bathtime can be a lot of fun. And LaLa has decided that perhaps a poncho is in order for bathtime!

video


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Today's blessings include: Emmatha having a poopalooza diaper before school; Emmatha looking adorbs for photo; splashing fun in the tub

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Revenant

Last night I watched movie #8 - "The Revenant." I knew the general gyst of this movie, having heard all about it when it was at the movie theaters. I knew it was graphic and violent, which is a big reason why I decided to wait until it was on DVD/the movie channels. Last night it premiered on HBO, so I decided to give it a go.

The good thing was that I could pause it while I went for snacks or to fold the laundry or do other things. It gave me a break in between the graphic violence and blood and guts. Basically the movie is about this trapper dude who gets badly mauled by a bear. This is after his hunting group gets attacked by Indians and they have to escape via their boat. Which they abandon in order to hike back to the fort. Did I mention this took place back in the 1820s?

While there was action, I wouldn't describe it as an action-packed movie. There was sadness and revenge and meanness and hate and love and compassion and and cruelty and death and murder. Did I like it? I don't think this is a movie that one "likes". It was gross and bloody and sad. Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar for his performance, as did the director. The movie was critically acclaimed. I'm glad I didn't see it at the movie theater - it would have been hard to take my needed mental breaks.

But I'm glad I saw it, mainly so I can say I saw it. I did wonder about the title of the movie, so I looked up the definition of "revenant." It means to return after death or a long absence. Since Leonardo's character kinda did both, I get it. And now I've seen it. Done.

Still waiting to see Bridget and her baby - time to lighten up a bit!!
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Today's blessings include: fun with Lindley and Everley (once they returned from their swim/slumber party

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fun With PawPaw And At The Gas Station.

Steve had a free night at a Marriott, so he decided to use it locally so Everley and Lindley could have a swim party (the Y pool is closed now). Of course today started out raining, but eventually the clouds parted and Steve and the girls checked in for some swimming and fun.

The trio returned to the Doik after lunch because Lindley had a birthday party to attend. Sam came by to pick her up and took my car, since his car had about 20 miles of gas left in his tank. Oh, I didn't mention this weekend's gas shortage? Well, let me take this moment to enlighten you ...

Apparently somewhere in Alabama there was a problem with a gasoline pipeline leak. The story was that this problem would cause shortages and outages of gas at the gas stations. And at some point, Tennessee was mentioned as one of the places that would have these outages. And then the Governor of Tennessee got on the media and said that he was allowing gas truck drivers to drive extra hours to make sure Tennessee had plenty of gas. And therefore causing the Great Gas Shortage and Panic of September 17, 2016.

Was there really a gas line problem? Yes. Would it affect Tennessee? Apparently not. But that didn't stop the good folks of Nashville from panicking about not having gas in their vehicles. It's like when we hear there's snow a'comin - we must all rush to the store for milk and eggs. Because our omelets are at stake.

Anyhow, this morning I decided to go get doughnuts for Everley and Steve. And since we had heard of the possible gas situation (which we thought was a problem until later we found out it wasn't), I went ahead and gassed up Steve's car and Molly's car (which we had this weekend while she was out of town). I went to the pumps at Kroger at 7am, and while there were no lines, there were people at every pump - which I did think was unusual.

Anyhow, back to Sam. He took my car and he and Lindley proceeded to the party. I decided to take his car to get gassed up - after all, I had gassed up the other two cars - what was a third to gas up? So off I went to get gas.

First I went to Kroger - no gas. No gas either at the Mapco across the street, or the one down the street. I went to Ben Little's gas station - no gas. There was gas at the Mapco and the Shell across the street from each other, but as you can see, there were lines and rain, and I decided I would look elsewhere.

I proceeded across town (I was now down to 10 miles of gas left) to another Mapco - and another line for one pump out of six. I decided on one last station, and when I got there, I got in the line and hoped there would be gas by the time it was my turn (I was down to five miles of gas left).
Now I have never been in a real gas shortage. I have never experienced the craziness of people wanting gas. Until today.

The issue arose when people would turn directly into the gas station and pull right in front of the people in line, not caring if their gas tank spouts were on the wrong side. As soon as the person in the front gas bay left, these meanies would tear into that spot, preventing us "line waiters" from having our turn - because those yokels took our turn.

I was behind Mary Kay Lady. When it was her turn, she didn't pull up to the first bay, possibly because of one of the yokels. When she finally left and it was my turn, I was going to pull into the first bay - until Jerk Boy pulled in at about 90 mph. His girlfriend/wife/baby mama/whatever had been standing by the pump, saving it for him, I guess. Once he stopped his car, she told him that he might have to pull up the car. To which he replied as he got out of his car, slammed the door, and headed into the minute market, "I ain't got to do nuthin' for nobody." Which apparently also included pulling his britches up over his butt. So rather than antagonize this wonderful specimen of humanity, I backed up and pulled into the second bay and got my gas. Which had gone up fifty cents since this morning.

Of course, once I had filled Sam's tank, it because difficult to leave. Why? Because more yokels were trying to pull into the bay that butt-pants boy had just left. Because they wanted to stick it to the man, and in doing so, stick it to us line-waiters. By cheating the line, it blocked up the lanes to leave. At this point, I just wanted to return home, which eventually I managed to, since people realized that in order to break line and get to their cheating pump, they were going to have to let me out.

Anyhow, Sam and Lindley returned from the party and PawPaw and the girls left for the Residence Inn for some more swimming and a slumber party, all of which was made possible because PawPaw's car had gas!!
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Today's blessings include: nice ladies behind the counter at Krispey Kreme; Steve arranging for the girls to get to swim; fun at the gas pumps; finding gas for Sam's car

Friday, September 16, 2016

It's Friday!!

Today Everley decided that she and Emmatha would dress alike in their pretty blue outfits. Since they looked so cute, we had to have photos!  And Moo went with us to school, since LaLa had to take her to the airport afterwards. Clearly, a good start to Friday and the weekend!!

Somebody always has to see what the big sister is up to.
Because she's always up to something!!

PawPaw hadn't had his morning shower yet.
But these two don't care!!

Moo got to visit the girls' classrooms.
Clearly Emmatha isn't too impressed.
Or she is trying to see what the big sister is up to - again!!
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Today's blessings include: cute girls; daycare and airport runs; getting caught up on September 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 blog posts; getting packages in the mail for future events; Molly's safe travel to Philadelphia

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Pasta For All!!

This morning Maribeth texted me (actually it was a group text) with a link to a giveaway from Olive Garden. The giveaway is a "Never Ending Pasta Pass" which means the pass gives holders access to unlimited pasta, soup, salad and soft drinks, for seven weeks beginning on October 3. I think this is the third year for the giveaway, and Maribeth has tried to get one, to no avail.

Anyhow, she sent the link to see if we wanted to try. There was a countdown timer, and I had about 15 minutes to decide, and decided why not - I have experience entering RunDisney races!!  And so, I got ready to try. Apparently once the timer has counted down, it turns to a "Buy" button that you have to click to get a pass. So, about 10 seconds before the countdown ended, I started clicking. And guess what - I GOT ONE!!  I know, I was surprised, too. Anyhow, the pass isn't free - it's $100, but the money goes to Feeding America. And, according to somebody's calculations, each pasta meal would normally cost about $10, so I will need to go the Olive Garden ten times to break even. 

Not everyone in the family likes Olive Garden, which is fine, because the women do, and we do like a girls lunch/dinner. And while nobody else will get their pasta meal free, they do get free drinks if I go with them. The only other wrinkle is that there is no Olive Garden super close - the closest one is about 20 minutes away. But for free pasta, I think I can manage.

And while I was feeling pretty good about scoring a pass (Maribeth did not manage to get one - but then again, she was in the middle of delivering mail in the boonies with limited cell service), I felt really good today, when I found out that all 21,000 passes sold out in less than a second!!

However, I have a feeling that seven weeks after October 3, I will have had my fill of Olive Garden pasta ...
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Today's blessings include: nabbing a pasta pass thanks to Maribeth; getting my car inspected and tags ordered; Sam bringing Firehouse Subs for dinner; Lindley and Everley time

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sully

Today Maribeth had the day off, so she suggested we go to the movies. She also suggested that we meet at Pancake Pantry for breakfast after she dropped off the girls, so it seemed like today was going to be a good day (forget about the bazillion things that I need to be doing at home). So, around noon, we headed for the movie theater.

Maribeth had chosen the movie "Sully" to see. I wanted to see it, and hoped that it would be good. Keep in mind, I am not a fan of flying, and a super not-a-fan of airplanes crashing. But since I knew the outcome of this particular flight, I decided it was a go. And it was a great choice.

"Sully" is the story of Captain Chesley Sullenberger and the flight that he ended up landing in the Hudson River. Tom Hanks plays Sully and the movie is directed by Clint Eastwood, so it's got to be good, right? And right you would be. While the movie skips back and forth between the events before and during the "water landing" (not crash, as corrected by Sully) and the resulting NTSB investigation, it wasn't distracting. In fact, it helped me understand it all better. While there was some tension (although not truly accurate) with the NTSB, the movie moved along with its storytelling. Sully, as portrayed by Tom Hanks, proved to be a competent, human, and honorable man, ultimately giving all the credit for the success to his crew, his passengers, and the emergency departments of NYC. It is probably one of the best movies I've seen - I totally recommend it!

This makes movie #7 on my 60 Movies list. Last week I watched the movie "Sister" on one of the movie channels. It's the story of a family whose dad died in a wreck. There are two adult siblings, and a younger daughter who has problems. By the way, the mom is kinda bi-polar. After the funeral, the mother loses it and sends the daughter to stay with her adult brother. The rest of the movie is about the connecting of the brother and sister (he originally wanted nothing to do with her) and how he helps resolves her problems. It's has a few funny moments, and some poignant moments, and ends up with a happy ending, especially if you gloss over the questions you might have. My review? I didn't regret the time I spent watching it, but I'm also glad I didn't spend money to watch it.

So far, I'm one-tenth of the way to my 60 movies. "Bridget Jones Baby" comes out this week, so hopefully that's on the agenda!!
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Today's blessings include: corn meal pancakes at the Pantry with Maribeth; "Sully" with Maribeth; leftover burgers for dinner

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pickup

Today I was on duty to pick up Lindley from after-school. Everley had arrived at the house just before I was going to leave, so she asked if she could go with me, to which of course I replied yes, and we headed out.

Sam had told me that they had a new system in place, which requires fingerprints, so I was prepared with my driver's license when I entered the school (since at Everley and Emmatha's school one lady thought I was the nanny, I wanted to make sure I established my identity). Everley and I headed back to the after-school area to get Lindley.

Once I made my way through the throngs of children, I found a lady who looked like she was in charge. I told her I was there to pick up Lindley Davidson, to which she replied that Lindley was still in art class and wouldn't be finished for another 30 minutes. Apparently somewhere I did not pay attention as to when I was supposed to pick her up. Big shocker there. I was happy just to remember that I was supposed to pick her up, period.

Anyhow, this left a dilemma for Everley and me. Thirty minutes would not be enough time to go home and do anything and return. Everley's idea was to sit in the car for thirty minutes - which I vetoed due to the heat. She also volunteered that we go to Target, but since those are generally half-day affairs, I also vetoed that idea.

We finally decided that we would go somewhere and get snacks. Did we go to the CVS that was down the street? Of course not - instead choosing to visit the Walgreens across town. As in across rush-hour traffic in Nashville, where bumper-car attractions probably got their start.

After countless waits for red lights and endless waits for incompetent drivers to decide which lane they preferred (and changing their minds mid-lane change), we finally arrived at Walgreens. There was a shopping basket that Everley determined we needed to wheel back into the store, which she would push. At least until she pushed it off the sidewalk. LaLa rescued the basket and wheeled it successfully into the store, convincing Everley that we did not need to actually return it to the shopping basket bin.

After carefully perusing the food aisle, we finally decided on two sleeves of mini-doughnuts, a package of Combos, and some mints (which were horrible). By this time, it was past time that we needed to return, so we hastily returned to the car for the interminable return to the school (encountering the same goofballs who were still trying to pick a lane).

We returned to the room and I found another adult that I assumed to be in charge (she had a walkie-talkie in her hand). I explained who I was and who I was there to pickup and that I understood that there was a new system for pickup in place. To which she replied that Ms. BlahBlah would help me with that. As if I knew who Ms. BlahBlah was.

Not knowing, I decided to go stand by the check-out ipad thingy on the wall. Of course last year there was a passcode which I didn't remember, but since I knew this, I had the passcode saved in my contacts. Which didn't matter, since there was going to be a new fingerprint system. Anyhow, eventually Ms. BlahBlah shows up (or I assume that's who she was, since she came to talk to me). I explained that this was the first time this year I was picking up and didn't know the new system. She said that was okay, since I was not in the system yet. Today she would check Lindley out for me, and next time I could hopefully get in the system and do whatever I am supposed to do. For the new system.

I just hope I arrive at the right time next time!
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Today's blessings include: picking up Lindley at school; Walgreens shopping with Everley; Steve's burgers on the grill for dinner

Monday, September 12, 2016

Readers, Readers, Where Are My Readers?

I've worn contacts since college. Several years ago, due to my advancing age and astigmatism, I've needed the use of "readers" to help me read print that is up close. For a time, I used one "near-sighted" contact in one eye and a "far-sighted" contact in the other. While it helped me not have to use readers, my distance sight was compromised, so I stopped doing it.

Which brings me to today's subject - readers. Mainly, my use and misuse of them. For starters, I have lots of readers. I have them stashed in nearly every room in the house (and in some rooms of my children's homes). I know - why do I have so many, and how can I afford them?

First of all, I have so many because I could never find them when I needed them. Sure, I could wear them on an eyeglass cord around my neck (and I have a Disney cord just for that purpose). But that method would assume that (a) I could find the cord and the attached readers, and (b) I would remember to wear it. Fail on both those accounts. So instead, I have pairs stashed everywhere - in the den, in the kitchen, in my nightstand, in the bathroom (yes, the reading room), in my sewing kit - anywhere I might need to read something.

Now, how can I afford so many readers?  Two words - Dollar Store. There you can purchase these little gems for $1-$2, depending on the style. And so I purchase them by the gross. In fact, one year KB gave me a box full of them. This is also handy since I am pretty rough on readers and tend to break them on occasion (this has nothing to do with the Dollar Store quality, I'm sure). So now, whenever the leg breaks off one, or the screw goes missing, I no longer have to put the readers back together with a paper clip and/or masking tape (because I will still use them in that condition). Instead I can let them go, and go forth with a working set.

The only problem is when I put on the den set of readers and walk to another room, taking the readers with me. Then the next time I need my den readers, they aren't there!! Chaos and anarchy!! I have to go to the "readers" drawer and re-establish order.

So now you know my reader story. Except for today's. I was doing something and went to pick up my readers, which of course were no where to be found. So I pulled out another set, did what I needed to do, and folded them to clip inside the neck of my shirt - right next to the missing ones!!
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Today's blessings include:  Fun day car bus duty with the Ls; quiet day at home

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I Remember

September 11. Certainly a day that people of this generation will never forget. We will remember where we were and the moment we realized that this was no accident. We will remember all those images and the stories that went with them. And as we remember, we will offer a prayer for those lost and those who live without them.

I read that this year's high schoolers will be learning about September 11 as a part of history. I guess that's one way we age - as our life events slowly fade into history. While we remember vividly the events and moments that shape our lives, we somehow hope those feelings will transfer to the next generation. And sometimes we feel sorely disappointed when they don't.

But maybe that's the whole point of events and memories and history. While it stays current and important to us who experienced it, it doesn't and can't to those who only know it through history. For me, I don't remember the JFK assassination or Pearl Harbor or D-Day. But I know those who experienced it as a current event, remember it with all the emotions that they felt when it was fresh.

So what do we do with our life-altering events that others will only learn about as historical events? We remember. We hold those events close to our hearts and mourn those lost. We share our feelings and thoughts and memories with those who will listen, and attempt to relay what it was like on that day.

Because in the end, history will duly record those events and experiences. It's those of us who remember them that will cherish and honor and remember all that they involved. That's our responsibility as those who were there in those moments - to remember and never forget.

 
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Today's blessings include: quiet Sunday at home

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Saturdays, Supporters, and Lab Babies

On Saturdays, I have the Es all day while Maribeth delivers the mail. Some Saturdays we get out of our pjs, and some we don't. Some days we just watch movies and find people to bring us food.

Steve is in Columbus for the MSU vs South Carolina football game, so Emmatha decided to be a fan supporter and dressed the part. Well, actually LaLa decided that she could be a supporter, since PawPaw decided against actually taking Emmatha to the game - go figure.

Anyhow, apparently being a fan is very hard and tiring work, since a nap was required later. And Maggie Cat decided to also be a supporter - of the nap idea.

And so there is our Saturday - Go Bulldogs!!

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Today's blessings include: quiet Saturday at home; MSU win over SC

Friday, September 9, 2016

Bumbos For All!!

Maggie - different day.
Same cat. Same Bumbo.
So the bumbo is getting a little more acceptance from Emmatha. Maybe it's because Maggie Cat keeps getting into it to show Emmatha the pleasures one can derive from it. Maybe because Emmatha has decided that she's going to get plopped in it anyway, so she might as well make the best of it. Maybe because she has decided it's not so bad after all, since it does keep her from toppling over when she's bored with sitting up by herself. But today there may be a new reason - sibling rivalry.

Everley in the bumbo.
Maybe making up for
time she missed as a baby?
This happened when Everley decided that she would sit in the bumbo - and fit perfectly. Keep in mind that Everley is four, nearly four and a half. However, Everley also is thin and wiry, and has a small butt, so I guess sitting in the bumbo was not that big of a deal. Especially since she managed to get out by herself without requiring a crowbar.

So I guess the bumbo is a multi-age, multi-species contraption. Except for LaLa. There aren't enough bumbo ingredients for that!!
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Today's blessings include: Friday night dinner decisions with the girls; happy Friday!!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

And The Verdict Is In ...

At least the ortho doc's verdict that is ... And the verdict?  No major tears/damage to my knee!! Hooray!! The good thing is that now I know for sure. And the other - I have got to get serious with the training and PT and strength training if I want to avoid this in the future.

Dr. Joe Gannon -
McDreamy back in
my day ...
Dr. Young and Handsome (he had some other name, but it really didn't matter) was very nice and thorough. First I had my knees x-rayed. Then Dr. Y&H came in and we discussed the x-rays. He said everything looked good, maybe a little arthritis, but nothing serious. Then he had me stand, then stand on each leg, then bend the knees this way and that, then looked at my arches, then looked at the back of my knees, and then did some strength tests. All in all, for an old lady my age and size, he seemed to think everything was in decent working order. He suggested a few sessions of PT to make sure I had some idea of what to do to get my knees/legs in better shape. He did say my left IT band (the leg that I have not been using the foam roller on) was a little tight - guess it got jealous from the attention I was giving my right leg. So I will be dual foam rolling from here on out. He also suggested continuing OTC pain relief and ice as needed. So all in all, a good visit, especially since he said to come back if things got worse.

So now it's time to get busy doing the right stuff for me knees. And the rest of my body. Which I will do, just as soon as I get my afternoon nap!!
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Today's blessings include: valet parking at Vandy; nice xray lady tech; Dr. Y&H; good news from the knee visit

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Bumbo Fail - Kinda ...

Emmatha is a very strong baby. She prefers for you to hold her in a standing position rather than sitting. And while she can sit up on her own, it's not for very long before she topples over. For months we have debated on whether to get her a Bumbo. The other girls used them, and it seemed like Emmatha would benefit from having one, if nothing else, to keep her sitting up while watching Lindley and Everley play elsewhere in the room.

So today while Maribeth was picking up some things at Target, I told her to go ahead and get one. She did and brought it home. And here are the results ...

Maggie Cat was a fan. 

She was also a fan back in 2010 in Lindley's Bumbo.
Emmatha?  Not so much a fan. She kept trying to figure a way out.
So do we keep the Bumbo for the cat???

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Today's blessings include: happy morning and afternoon daycare bus duty; nice insurance lady telephone chat; getting caught up on bills and other paperwork; telephone chat with LaLa2;