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; 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Back In The Saddle Like Chester!

Maribeth is working every single day this month, so that means I'm on morning day care bus duty. Which isn't a bad thing, unless you knee is acting all crazy. In that case, it's a fun adventure of how to get stuff done.

The knee seems to hurt less each day, but I will be calling a knee doc later today. I think it's time to know for sure what the deal is and how to make things better. Anyway, back to the daycare bus ...

Maribeth left her stroller for me, which is a great stroller - if you drive a regular size car. To fit said stroller into my car, one has to wedge it in the front seat (carefully leaving space to shift the car from park into drive) or edge it in the back hatch part. And still leave space for the two day care bags that need to go. Somehow I managed to get it all in, along with both Es and headed to school.

Once there, it was time to unload the stroller, unload the bags, unload the kids, load Ems into the stroller, grab the bags and sling them over my shoulder, and keep Evs from playing in traffic. Step One complete, we limped toward the front door, pushing the stroller (which was actually more like a walker for me). It kinda looked like Chester from "Gunsmoke" - if any of you actually have any idea of who that is.


Anyhow, I got to Emmatha's class, put on my booties (they have a clean room with no shoes allowed), and hobbled into her room to drop her off, promptly telling her teachers that I had injured my knee (in case they thought I had started drinking really early). Next it was time to drop Everley off, which was even better considering the steps I needed to navigate down to get to her room. And then navigate up again to leave.  With both girls in daycare custody, I grabbed my walker the stroller and headed back to the car. To shove the stroller back into the car. Once home, I found my lovely bed waiting for me to recline and prop the leg back up.

I was also on afternoon daycare bus duty, but Maribeth finished her route (with it being the day after a holiday, she thought she might have a lot of mail) and picked the girls up. So my bed-lolling-about could continue.  And I did get an appointment with a doctor for Thursday - get I'd better figure out a way to shave my legs!!
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Today's blessings include: getting the girls to school with no major problems; resting my leg; Lynnette and Lindley coming over after school/work; Maribeth picking up dinner; Molly's safe travel to NYC; getting a Thursday appointment

Monday, September 5, 2016

Back To It

With today being Labor Day, Everley and Emmatha have no day care. So, it's LaLa Daycare, since Maribeth has to work delivering Amazon packages (what kind of people order all this stuff - of wait, that would be me ...). Steve volunteered to take Everley to the YMCA pool for the day (not sure who was more pleased about that), so it was just me and Emmatha at home.

And yes, the knee still is in limbo. It's somewhat better than yesterday, but still tricky, mainly when I get up from a seating position because I have to figure out how to distribute the weight on which leg and decide which leg will take that first step. And yes, I've done all the RICE techniques. Now it's just a waiting game to see if it gets better on its own or I decide to call a doctor. The decision is already made for today, since I would imagine that knee doctors are taking this holiday off, too.

Anyhow, Emmatha decided to use today to take several naps, which worked out perfectly for my decision to sit down a lot. Sure, it's sort of the opposite of "labor" for Labor Day, but that's how we're rolling today!!


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Blessings today include: rocking and playing with Emmatha; quiet day at the Doik; Steve's burgers on the grill for dinner

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Sitting Out Another One ...

That would be another half marathon. At Disneyland. The other one being in May when my right knee revolted. Anyhow, today would be another skip for me, and another finish for Molly - yay!!

I got up when Molly did (that's what happens when you go to bed before it gets dark). Although I had no intention of attempting to see her anywhere before the finish, I also didn't plan to go back to sleep. Instead, I got up (if you can call my hobble that), got a shower, packed up my stuff, and did some work on the computer.

After a while, I started tracking Molly, so I would know how close she was to the finish. The finish line is right outside our hotel, so I figured I could at least limp to see her there (or get Goofy to push me in a wheelchair). RunDisney has a new thingy where they have a map that points out where your runner is. I decided to also track our pal Tammy, and noticed that their "points" were close together (MD = Molly, and the big orange square = Tammy). I asked Molly if she could see Tammy, and lo and behold they were actually together at that point, which as you can see is somewhere between miles 11 and 12.


Once they reached Mile 12, I decided to head down to the finish line, actually the .1 miles between Mile 13 (beside our fave spot Earl of Sandwich) and the actual finish line. Pretty soon, here they came! They actually both looked pretty good, considering the fact that it was a bit warm today.

Once Molly and finished and received her medals, she returned to the room and we got ready to go to the airport. After a pleasant Uber (or was it Lyft) ride to the airport, and a terrible decision to eat at the worst McDonalds ever (after we had inspected and evaluated every other eating establishment in the airport), we were soon on our way. After a brief stop in Houston for our second leg of the trip, we were headed home.  Steve picked us up and I pretty much dove into my bed.

All in all, it was a fun weekend - if you just leave my knee out of it.
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Blessings today include: getting some blogging done; seeing Molly and Tammy at the finish; Molly taking care of ride to airport and nice driver; airport eating decisions; empty middle seat on second leg of trip home; sleeping in my own bed

Saturday, September 3, 2016

And Then There Was A "POP"

Today started early since we had a 10K to do. After yesterday's no-problem 5K, I was kinda looking forward to today's race, to see how that was going to go. We were in our corrals and ready to go for the 5:30am start.

I was doing fine, keeping a slow albeit steady pace. Just after I had reached Mile 4, I heard a definite "POP" behind my left knee. Or maybe I felt the "POP." At any rate, there was a definitive pop and the race took an ugly turn. Of course, this is not the knee that was a mess in May. Did it hurt? Yes. Could I still walk? Slightly. Was it time to quit? That's what I started debating in my head.

Horrible photo.
But you get the drift
 of how I was feeling.
In any race, sometimes I reach that point when I wonder if I will be able to finish. Today I for sure hit that point, and started composing my blog "DNF" - which means "did not finish" for you smart people who stay away from these activities. I kept hobbling along, mainly because there were no medical stations right at that point. Molly caught up to me (her corral was behind mine and she started eons after I did, but caught up with me). She could tell by my limp (and not my usual goofy gait) and my expression that all was not well. I explained my injury and told her to go on ahead. Several walkers asked how I was, and one lady gave me some sport beans while another offered me Bio-Freeze and some Tylenol. The next thing I knew, Tammy came up behind me (she started in several corrals behind me, probably starting six hours after I did, and had caught up to me). I explained what had happened and told her to surge ahead.

Ice, ice baby ...
Soon I could see Mile 5, and knew I had only another mile to go. I knew the route - around Fantasyland, through the castle, down Main Street, and the finish through Downtown Disney. I felt like I could finish - Molly had told me how far the balloon ladies were behind me, and I felt confident that I could get in before they caught up. I texted Molly as I passed each marker so she would know I was moving forward, and eventually I made it to the finish line and got my medal. I then headed to medical, where they iced my knee. They would have checked on it more, but I was sitting next to a woman who had decided we would be best friends and was going to talk my ear off. I decided I needed my ear so I got up and left.

What is my injury? According to Dr. Google, it could be a tear and might heal on its own. I shall consult a flesh and blood doctor, if it doesn't feel better by Wednesday. At least I wasn't planning to do the half marathon tomorrow anyway ...

After the 10K, we cleaned up and met Tammy for a movie, this time it was "Light Between Oceans." Tammy's sister had recommended it, and the previews looked good, so we sat down for some entertainment. I will give the movie two S's - slow and sad.  There was a story, but it was kinda depressing and sad. And I couldn't find any character that I really was rooting for. Oh well, check movie #5 off the 60 Movies list.

The rest of the day was spent in bed, propping my knee up. We were going out for dinner, but I decided any extra walking would be a bad idea, so Molly went out and brought some back. I knew I bring her along for good reasons!!
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Blessings today include: fellow walkers who are so kind; seeing Molly and Tammy after my injury; finishing the 10K; movie time  with Tammy and Molly; Molly bringing back dinner

Friday, September 2, 2016

Busy Friday!!

First there was the 5K, Molly hung around with me the whole race and we got some cute photos (speed is not an issue in the 5K). I did okay with no major ankle trips or knee issues. Could I be healed from that May knee/IT issue? At any rate, I finished and received my metal medal - the first 5K Disney medal to be made of metal and not plastic (a big deal if you're a Disney race goofball).

After the race, we cleaned up and waited for our brunch reservation (keep in mind that the race starts at 5:30am, so even at my slow place, we're done before anything opens up). Today we ate at the Carnation Cafe. We planned to eat around 10:45, hoping to have a choice between the breakfast and lunch menus, but alas, we were only allowed to choose from the breakfast menu. I had the Spinach and Tomato-Egg White Frittata, which was fine but nothing to write home about (okay, maybe write a blog about).

We then decided to see a movie. On my "Sixty Things" list, one is to see 60 movies. These movies can be on the premium movie channels on cable, or on DVD, or at the theaters. They just have to be movies I have never seen and cannot be interrupted by commercials. So far I have seen three, which I shall quickly review ...

#1 - "Grandma" - interesting. I like Lily Tomlin, hence the reason I chose to watch it. It's about a grandma whose granddaughter needs money for an abortion. Grandma used all her money to pay off her debts, and has no extra money, so the movie is about the two of them going different places to get money (grandma also cut up her credit cards). I saw this on HBO. Like I said, it was interesting, although not particularly one of my faves.

#2 - "Florence Foster Jenkins" - Meryl Streep - need I say more? I will anyway. Of course, Meryl was outstanding as a rich woman back in the day who loves music but cannot carry a tune. Nevertheless, she performs for her music club, who ignore her ridiculous singing (Meryl is amazing as a bad singer). Anyhoo, she decides to play Carnegie Hall because she has the $$ to do so, and it all falls apart. The movie was super slow, but slightly entertaining. Marilyn, Maribeth, and Molly (I only was movie-watching with "M" people) saw it with me at the movie theater and Molly was not a huge fan ...

#3 - "Creed" - Rocky lives. I saw this on HBO and of course had to, since Rocky (and not too many of the sequels) is a fave, since it was the big deal back in my day. Although Creed Jr. has a lot of angst and Rocky has health issues, it's still a basic good old boy fighter story. It was good enough.

#4 - "Suicide Squad" - So Molly and I had talked about going to the movies while we were here, and the two that we had picked were "Light Between Oceans" and "Suicide Squad." Today I thought we were going to see "Light" and was mentally prepared for that movie, when after the movie started, I realized it was "Suicide." This movie was definitely not a fave - weird, kinda gross at times, lots of bad guys trying to do the right thing, lots of not-making-sense stuff, witches, supernatural - yeah, not my cup of tea. But I saw it, and won't have to wonder what it's about.

After the movie, we did some other stuff and had some dinner with our Run Disney pal Tammy before turning in - tomorrow's the 10K!!


Finished the race - and got our metal medals!!

Met up with this dude somewhere ...

Had to get a photo with Belle for my friend Elizabeth's birthday (Eliz is secretly Belle).

The question is - am I pushing Molly or is she pulling me?

My castle - which you really need to see in person ...
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Blessings today include: finishing the 5K with Molly; brunch at Carnation; photos with Woody and Belle; movie with Molly; dinner with Molly and Tammy

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Restaurants

One of my "Sixty Things" is to eat at 60 restaurants at which I have never eaten. And McDonalds in a new city does not count. Today was #2 on this list, and since I did not tell you about the first new restaurant, I will tell you about both today.

New Restaurant #1 - Tupelo Honey Cafe.  I ate there last Saturday with Marilyn (who was in town for the weekend), Molly, Maribeth, KB, and Emmatha. It was super delicious, since we started with fried green tomatoes and okra. Then I had the Super Southern Breakfast Bowl, which consisted of: Salsa verde black-eyed peas and SC stone-ground goat cheese grits layered with two all-natural, farm fresh over-medium eggs, apple cider bacon, cheddar and salsa. In other words, yummy yummy! And yes, I shall be visiting this establishment again.

New Restaurant #2 - Carthay Circle Restaurant at California Adventure Disneyland. Molly and I have debated eating here before, and decided to do it this weekend. It's a really lovely place - and they certainly didn't mind that I was in my grandma uniform (tshirt and capris). We started off with their Carthay Signature Fried Biscuits (oh my goodness - the goodness!!) and then I had the Grilled Angus Tri Tip (because the waiter said it was delicious and he certainly didn't lie about that!) and then we finished with dessert because we had a minuscule amount left in stomachs that needed to be filled. So I had the panna cotta. Which just slid down my throat. It was a great place to eat (although a bit pricey) and was totally delicious. Now, to save my $$ for that next visit ...

Our next new restaurant will also be at Disneyland, in the Disneyland park. We'll be eating at Carnation Cafe. I'll tell you all about that tomorrow!
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Blessings today include: expo-ing with Molly and getting our race stuff; shopping Disney style; eating and chatting with our waiter; falling asleep early!