Thursday, April 27, 2017

A New Toy - Relatively Speaking ...

So I decided to get a new step thingy. The fitbit I had was great, except for two things – one, the time display was at an angle which I really didn’t like. And second, it was not waterproof. Oh yeah, and it needed to charge on a regular basis.

So I decided to go with this Garmin. I like the display and I can wear it 24/7 for a year in all kinds of water. It tracks steps and distance.

There’s only one hitch – I actually have to get out and use it …
Blessings today include: getting the Garmin, actually reading the manual, and actually learning how to use it

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Road Trip!!

I wasn’t sure how early I would get up today, but my internal body alarm woke me before 5am, so I went ahead and got up to leave. I had loaded the big suitcases into the car last night (I volunteered to take Molly’s so she wouldn’t have to bother with it on her flight), so all I needed to do was get the leftovers and head to the car.

When we picked up the rental car, we decided to do the option of pre-purchasing a tank of gas and returning the car empty. The only problem with that is knowing when and how much to fill it up (while I had about ¾ of a tank I was still going to need gas along the way). Molly’s theory was to drive a bit and then fill it up, which I did.

As I neared Nashville, I kept track of the gas gauge. And sure enough, it kept creeping closer and closer to empty. Was I going to make it? Would I need to call AAA for a fill up before turning the car in? Sure enough, I ended up with enough to make it home, unload the car, and turn the car in. It was a good plan – just not sure if I’ll do that next time.All in all, it was a good trip home. And I’m glad to be home!

Blessings today include: safe road trip home; not running out of gas; great driving weather

Monday, April 24, 2017

Disney World - All By Myself!!

Since Steve and Molly left yesterday, I had today all to myself. I ended up going to a couple of the parks, walking around, eating a bit, and just sitting around and watching. It was quite a nice day, since I had no one to watch or consult.

Eventually I had to return to the resort to pack up everything for my departure tomorrow. I’m hoping to get up early and get started on my road trip. It’s been a fun weekend with family and friends – just like one should be when you’re at Disney World!
Blessings today include: quiet day people-watching; getting everything ready for my road trip

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Star Wars Half Marathon Day

Today was the half marathon for Star Wars Weekend. Although we had registered, Steve and I decided to play our “old folks” card and not participate. Katie and Molly did, so Steve and I did our part and cheered them along on the course - which was made easier since the course goes right past our hotel!

Anyhoo, once they were done, Molly came back to the hotel, cleaned up, and we went to eat at Freddy’s. Eventually Steve and Molly headed to the airport for their flight home. I’m staying until Tuesday. And driving home. Anyhow, here’s a couple of photos from the runners:

Katie trots past. They people look H-O-T!
And I don't mean it in a good way!

Molly stopped for a doughnut.
I'm sure it helped her get to the finish!
Blessings today include: seeing Molly and Katie along the course; lunch at Freddy's; a quiet night alone!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

10K and Flower and Garden Eats

Today was the Dark Side 10K. I was supposed to participate, but decided that I just didn't want to do it. And so I didn't. Kate met Molly in the lobby, and they headed off to the bus. At 4:00am for a 5:30am start. Ugh!

This 10K course is a little different, It started in the MK parking lot. It winds around a bit, eventually going past Boardwalk, which is where we are staying. I tracked Molly and Katie and got to see them when when they passed.

Once finished, Molly caught the bus back to the hotel. She cleaned up and we decided to to Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival (mainly for the food kiosks). Since we're staying at Boardwalk, it's just a walk over. We didn't count on it being hot and sunny, which makes the walk not so great. And once we got to Epcot, it was still hot and sunny. However, we managed to stop at a few of the food places and eat - I guess I should have taken photos ...

Anyhow, it didn't take long for us to decide that perhaps we were not enjoying the hot and sun, and decided to make our way back to the hotel. Once there, we cooled off, took a hot-weather-induced nap, and then headed to Disney Springs for our third movie. This time we decided to go fancy and go to the "dine in" theater. Basically this means that you sit in big recliner-type chairs with a table and you order food (for a price) which they bring to you. So it's kinda like eating at home! We ordered loaded tater tots and a chicken tenders. It was all pretty good, especially if you don't like your food steaming hot. Molly mushed up the tater tots which made them a little better. Anyhow, it was a fun way to watch a movie.

This time we decided to see "Fate of The Furious" which is apparently the eighth installment of the "Fast and The Furious" franchise. I have seen none of the previous movies, nor has Molly. It didn't make a difference to us, but if we had, we would have been as audibly excited when certain characters appeared on the screen like our fellow movie-goers. Basically the plot goes like this - there's a group of men and women who can steal, fix, operate, and do missions with cars. In this case, Vin Disel is on his honeymoon with one of the girl car people when Charlize Theron (who is bad) convinces him to join her in her bad mission. She's a big computer person who wants to steal a big bomb, the Russian nuclear codes, and a Russian nuclear submarine. Vin goes along, but Kurt Russel gets the rest of the car group together to stop Vin and Charlize. There is a lot, a lot of car chasing and crashing and fighting involved to try to catch Charlize before she does her nuclear thing. There is also a baby involved. Eventually everything gets worked out and the baby is fine. Apparently a lot of characters from former movies showed up, as evidenced by the gasps when they appeared on screen. I would give it a thumbs up - perhaps two if I had seen the other movies.

We headed back to the room to settle down for the night - Molly has a half marathon tomorrow! I'm not doing that one either!!
Blessings today include: seeing Molly and Katie on the Boardwalk; eating at the F&G kiosks; going to the movies with Molly

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dark Side 5K

Time for a 5K! Katie met us in the lobby (she and Nancy are staying at a nearby hotel) at 5am (yes 5am). We decided to drive to the start rather than take the bus, so we have a quick ride after the race. Once we got to the parking lot at Epcot, we sat for a bit (the race didn't start until 6am) and then headed to the corrals. I was in a corral ahead of Molly, and Katie decided to join her (because they both knew they would catch up to me rather quickly). Anyhow, it wasn't long until the race started and we were off!

The course is the usual 5K course. Of course I was going as slow as molasses, but so were my peeps around me. Molly and Katie eventually caught up to me. They stayed with me for the last part of the race, and we spent the time figuring out how to make the best photos. Which, as you can see, we managed to do. Eventually we made it to the finish line and got our medals, our post-race snack boxes, and another photo or two.

Once we were back in the car, we decided to drive by Chick Fil A to pick up some breakfast. We phoned those non-5K-participants back at their respective hotels and got their orders. Since the phone app wasn't working, we actually had to drive up to the drive through window and vocally make the order. Tough times, I know! Anyhow, we got our order (and a bag of honey for Nancy) and headed back to the hotel. We dropped Katie off, parked the car, and headed to the room. We ate, showered, napped, and then decided to go see another movie.

This movie, "Unforgettable", was basically a Lifetime movie that somehow got a real movie debut. Basically, if you couldn't predict every next move in this movie, then you clearly have not seen enough Lifetime movies and need to go binge watch some. Here's the plot: Katherine Heigl was married to beer dude (who was Mary's husband on Seventh Heaven). They have a young daughter. They got divorced. Beer Dude meets Rosario Dawson and they decide to get married. Heigl is crazy. She decides to sabotage Dawson. Lots of deception and evil acts (which are totes predictable). Heigl is cray-cray because her mom (Cheryl Ladd of old-school Charlie's Angels) is also cray-cray. Final dramatic scene (also totes predictable) clears it all up - until last scene when cray cray makes an appearance. I might have watched on Lifetime, but in the movie theater was a little over the top for me. No thumbs - up or down.

Once we were done, we headed back to the hotel to meet up with Steve who had procured dinner from Giordanos. Time for bed!!
Blessings today include: 5K fun with Molly and Katie; movie watching with Molly; Steve picking up dinner

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Molly's Here!

As usual, Davidson travel plans are fluid. For example, Molly was originally supposed to come on the late flight tonight, getting in around midnight. But yesterday she went to the doctor for her allergy crud and got a steroid shot and a z-pac and decided what the heck, she would just come early today. So Steve and I picked her up, we all ate at KeKes for breakfast, Steve dropped us off at the expo to get our race stuff, and then he headed back to the hotel to go swimming/golfing. While we were at the expo, we met up with our cruise/race buds, Katie and Nancy. We lost them at some point, so Molly and I caught the bus back to the hotel to take a nap.

Once we were rested, we decided to go to Disney Springs to the movies to see "Gifted." This movie is about Chris Evans who is raising his niece who just happened to be a math genius. By the way, she's 7. Eventually you get over the fact that Captain America is now living in Florida working on boats and get involved in the story. Uncle Chris decides that niece needs to go to regular school (he had been home-schooling her). Once she's at the school, the teacher and principal discover she's gifted and want her to go to smart school. But Uncle Chris says no, so they track down the grandmother, which is when you find out all about the family dynamics and why Uncle Chris has custody. Eventually things get worked out in spite of the family issues. I would give this a total two thumbs up - I liked it a lot. All the characters were good and I quite enjoyed it.

Once the movie was over, we met Steve at Wolfgang Pucks for dinner and then headed back to the hotel. We have a 5K tomorrow!!
Blessings today include: picking up Molly and eating at KeKes; going to expo and seeing Katie and Nancy and Aisling; watching the movie with Molly and then having dinner with Steve

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

And It's Travel Day!!

Today (technically this afternoon), Steve and I are headed to Disney World. Shocking, I know. This weekend is Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend, and there are intentions to do a couple of the races. Molly is coming down tomorrow and will also be doing the races. So, most of my day was spent doing two loads of laundry and putting them away, doing a load in the dishwasher, making sure the litter box was cleaned, and attempting to straighten up the house. Amazingly, I managed to get it all done in time to leave for the airport.

We had a nice flight down. We decided not to take the early flight and this flight was just right. We arrived in time to eat dinner at Freddy's and run by Publix for some groceries. While we were leaving Publix and putting our groceries in the car, a mom and her teenage kids stopped us and asked us where the nearest "Wendy Burger" was. She wanted to know if it was within walking distance (it isn't). We directed her to Freddy's, which was just across the parking lot. She then informed us that they were from England, and Wendy Burger was the thing to go to here. Hope she wasn't disappointed!

We got to Boardwalk and got a cart dude to get all our stuff. Our room was ready and I headed there to wait for the bell dude while Steve went to park the car. Of course, when I got to the room, my Magic Band wouldn't work. Steve came up and his wouldn't work either, so I sent him down to the desk to figure out the problem. Meanwhile, the bell dude arrived with our stuff and didn't seem to happy that I couldn't let him in - luckily Steve was right behind him and all was resolved.

By the time we got unpacked and the groceries put away, I was ready for bed. Molly decided to come in on the early flight, so we need to be up to go get her!
Blessings today include: getting the house ready for my departure; safe, smooth flight to Orlando; dinner at Freddy's; Publix run and chatting with the English family; Steve getting the Magic Bands resolved; seeing video of Emmatha's first steps walking

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday. Because It Comes After Monday.

Emmatha was recovered enough to return to school today, so I wasn't called in. Also, Maribeth didn't get called into work, so she was on call if needed. So I decided perhaps it was time to get a few things done - did I mention that I'm going out of town tomorrow?

Anyhow, I went over to help Maribeth hang a bulletin board in her laundry room. She was busy assembling a bench for the same room, so we both had our tasks. The idea for the bulletin board was to put a USA map on it so Maribeth and Co could put pins in places where they've traveled. We measured the board and I headed for the Parent/Teacher Store to procure a laminated USA map that would fit. The saleslady and I studied the maps on hand and I left with a map and push pins.

Of course, regardless of our measurements, once I returned to Maribeth's, the map wouldn't fit. And attempting to cut it down would make it look terrible, so I returned to the store with map and pins (because she already had push pins). I got the second map, which included a world map, which technically wasn't needed but it came with the first map, so whatever. Anyhow, once I returned again with the map, it fit and was installed. Maribeth was also finished with her bench, so we moved it into place.

Feeling somewhat accomplished, I headed to Kroger to get food that we needed - Steve had volunteered to cook steaks and we needed a few sides. I returned home, did a few things, made a few sides, and soon Maribeth, Everley, Emmatha, and Mathieu came over for dinner. Once everyone was full, they went home and I cleaned up.

Guess I should pack a bag now ...
Blessings today include: nice saleslady at the map store; helping with projects at MB's; Steve cooking steaks on the grill; Dinner with MB and family

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday. Again.

Thanks to Nashville's lovely pollen, Emmatha (along with the rest of us) has been dealing with the sinus/nasal plague. The bad thing is that her school does not wish for her to attend when she has grossness coming from her various orifices. Maribeth got called into work, so backup daycare was called in - aka LaLa. I went over early in the morning and both girls were still snoozing. Emmatha got up first and we cleaned her orifices up a bit and had some breakfast.

A little later Everley got up - in pretty much a Monday mood. She had no intention of attending school, until I suggested that if she went to school, then she could go to the Sounds game later with PawPaw. After some nourishment and a change of clothes, we made it to school, where she stayed and Emmatha and I returned to the Doik. Where this happened pretty much all day:

Well, there was also rocking and wiping noses and changing diapers, and the such, but other than a long nap, we played a lot. After work, Maribeth picked up Everley from school and they came to the Doik. Then, after school, Lynnette picked up Lindley and they came to the Doik. Steve made it home, and then it started to rain, so the Sounds game got cancelled. Luckily it didn't matter, as the big girls played and Emmatha found adults to entertain her.

Eventually it was time for bed and everyone went home to sleep in their own. Not bad for a Monday!
Blessings today include: taking the Es to school; spending the day with baby E; Lindley, Everley, and Emmatha time

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!!

We decided to have Easter brunch at the Doik today. Steve is in Columbus, but most of the rest of the crew were available, so we assembled here. I had the brunch catered by my favorite chef, Molly, who brought it all over and finished preparing/cooking her deliciousness. And there was plenty of deliciousness! KB also came over and then the rest of the crew came over. At some point there was an Easter Egg hunt and more eating and naps. Maribeth had to work but eventually even she made it over.

I've never been one to do the Easter basket route. I felt it was too hard to reconcile the Easter bunny with the concept of what Easter is all about.

So instead, we celebrate spring and new beginnings and the fact that life is eternal, thanks to the love of God and His Son. It's a day to remember the ultimate sacrifice that one can give, and to attempt to understand what sacrificial love is all about.

And today, it is all about being blessed because I had family all around me.
Blessings today include: Easter time and egg hunts with the little girls; Molly preparing and serving dinner; family at the Doik

Saturday, April 15, 2017

New Eatin' Place

So, one of my "sixty things" is to eat at 60 new restaurants. I've either been really slow on this, or I've forgotten to log them, because I'm only at five. And the fifth one was yesterday. Clearly I cannot blame my lack of weight loss on eating at new places!

Anyway, yesterday when I dropped off Everley at Lindley's house so they could play at the park, I told them I would be back in an hour (Sam was taking them to the park - I wasn't leaving them on their own). I figured I would go eat dinner somewhere. So what did I decide? Jimmy Johns.

Jimmy Johns is a subway sandwich type place that is probably everywhere. I've seen them from time to time, but never at a time (or with people) where I wanted to eat there. Even though I'm not particularly a huge fan of sub sandwiches, I like the name of this place. Why? Because it's also the name of one of the nicest dudes I know, Jimmy Jon Josey, who is also my cousin and was an usher in my wedding. So even though he's not the Jimmy Jon of Jimmy Johns, every time I go past one of these places, I think of him. So today seemed like the day to sample JJs, and since one just opened near my house, I proceeded with my plan.

Even better, this location offered a drive-thru window. I drove up to the menu, and was immediately stumped by what to order. The person taking the order was willing to let me peruse the menu a bit, and I finally decided on the "Club Lulu" because it just seemed like it would be appropriate - Jimmy Jon and Luanne and Jimmy Johns and Club LuLu. Well, it did to me anyway. Anyhow, the Club LuLu has turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo - all my faves. I got it and the chips and the drink, because one needs to go all the way when trying something new, right?

And what was my verdict? Meh. I guess it was nothing special. It was good, but nothing that compels me to return any time soon. But I'm glad I tried it. Now everytime I go past one, I will still think about Jimmy Jon - I just won't have to wrestle with the notion of stopping in for a bite!!
Blessings today include: taking Everley to join Lindley at her neighborhood Easter Egg hunt; cleaning things around the house; planning tomorrow's lunch with Molly

Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy Friday!

Today Emmatha and Everley's school was out (but not Lindley's - don't tell her) and Mathieu and Maribeth had to work, so backup day care was called in - aka LaLa. Mathieu has to leave really early to get to his job and Maribeth wanted to get to the Post Office early, so I went over to their house at 5:30am. Last night I had neglected to take my Mucinex at the appropriate time, and paid dearly for it at bedtime, so I also took my morning dose with me today.

Emmatha is also dealing with the allergy phenomena (she didn't have to experience it last year since she was a newborn and stayed inside a lot of the time). When I got to their house, Emmatha was kinda up - Maribeth said she had given her some Tylenol and baby cold meds earlier. So Ems and I rested on the couch until at least one of us (Emmatha) woke up and decided the day had begun.

We went to her room to change her clothes and wipe her eyes (one of her symptoms includes eye drainage - luckily I don't have that, knock on wood), a procedure she is not fond of. But she also likes seeing out of her eyes, so the wiping is necessary. After a diaper change and some fresh daytime clothes, it was time for breakfast. Of sorts. Which means putting some Cheerios and baby crunchies of various types and a bottle of milk and a fruit smoothie pouch on her high chair and hoping for the best. Since I don't use bibs (after awhile it just seems like a wasted effort), I also figured there would be another wardrobe change later.

At some point we went to check in on Everley, who informed us in her own special way that it was indeed not time for her to wake up and get out of bed. So we opted to return to the living room and play and look out the window and find small objects on the floor to put in one's mouth that could cause a possible choking hazard. Eventually Everley woke up and we started our day, which is best shown through photos ...

We watched the mower man for awhile. Because he is fascinating ...
We practiced our "cool" look. And pretty much nailed it.
We took a nap. Because we got up early. And we have allergies.
Once Everley was up and dressed and convinced it was a good idea,
we met Moo at the Puffy Muffin for lunch.
Somebody did not see the point of sitting in her high chair.
Somebody also decided to continue her "cool" look
by mouthing her crunchie stick like a cig.
She said all the cool babies do it.
I told you she would have a wardrobe change.
After Puffy Muffin, Emmatha and I went to the Doik for more naps.
Moo and Everley went shopping.
And had to go to the baby aisle too many times for texted items.
I don't think Big Sister was amused.
After shopping, Moo and Everley went to the movie.
Eventually, Maribeth got off work and came by the Doik. Molly and Everley's movie ended and they came over. Maribeth and Emmatha went home and Everley had some fruit, two tuna sandwiches, and a glass of milk (she later told me that was her snack). I took her to play with Lindley at the park for about an hour and then took her home. I returned to the Doik, thinking I would clean the house.

I am so funny!!
Blessings today include: getting up on time; fun time and lunch with the Es and Molly; naps with Emmatha; Lindley and Everley time;Steve's safe travel to Columbus

Thursday, April 13, 2017

What Did You Say? It's Spring??

Of course it's spring in Nashville. The sun is shining, the grass is greening, the flowers are blooming, and the weather is warming. And to celebrate spring and all of these activities of nature, my throat is scratchy, my nose is runny, and my right ear is stopped up so I can't hear anything. Supposedly Nashville lives in a "bowl" where none of this stuff gets blown away. When we first moved here, I would get really bad sinus headaches. I think my brain eventually gave up and just left it to my sinuses to deal with the stuff. Time to go browse the pharmaceutical aisle at The Wal Mart to see the newest thing that I shall be ingesting for the next however-long-it-takes-to-get-over-this.

Spring on my street is lovely. Our lawn that turns brown in the winter has turned green and our mower man has started his weekly visits. The skeleton trees started their buds and are sprouting leaves. The trees that have flowers have started their shows and the knockout roses have returned to their glory. And yes, pollen happens. It happens all over my car and wreaks havoc on my sinuses.

Instead of a full-blown cold, I just have a fine trickle of pollen-induced drainage that makes its way from somewhere in my nasal cavities down some hidden passageway in the vicinity of my ear and throat. My nose attempts some lame resistance by sneezing, to no avail. My ear just waves a white flag of defeat and shuts down. My throat asserts its dominance by offering a lame attempt at a cough. And all the while, the pollen just laughs.

There's no point in going to the clinic. I have no fever, no visible drainage of any significance, and no obvious symptoms. The last couple of times I went, each medical person would tell me what OTC meds I should take, only to be told on the next visit that that med was totally inappropriate and the worst thing I should take. Of course, once I was told to take an OTC med, and it worked, but do you think I remember which one it was? Of course not! So I shall repeat my trial and error method of finding some relief. Right now it's Mucinex for the cough and other things and Aleve for my ear when it acts up.

Anyhow, I really do like spring. It's beautiful and welcoming to a season-oriented person like me. It's almost like fall, when it's beautiful again. And when all the foliage that this pollen creates begins to die back and turn into dust and irritate my sinuses once again. Gesundheit, everyone!!

Blessings today include: cleaning a few items; Everley, Emmatha, and Lindley time

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I'm A Farmer!

For Christmas, KB gave me a chia pet, Mickey of course! He has stayed packed up in his box until last week when I came across him (maybe I finally cleaned part of the room in which he was hiding). Anyhow, I unpacked him and loaded him up with seeds. And he sprouted quite nicely! Of course, now I don't really know what to do next. Do I cut the sprouts? And if I do, what do I do with them? And once they are cut, what do I do next? Plant more seeds (apparently the kit has enough for three plantings)? And what about when all the seeds are done? Then what? Clearly farming is more involved than I remember.

Meanwhile, the weather has been beautiful today, so Everley and Lindley (and Steve and Sam) made it to the Sounds game. Although I'm not sure how much of the actual game was watched ...

Blessings today include:  moving things and lunch with Maribeth; drive-by visit from Molly; Everley getting to go to the Sounds game; hanging hooks and magnetic boards; 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

It's Sounds Time!

Our local AAA baseball team is the Nashville Sounds. They opened their new ballpark two years ago, and we've had season tickets ever since. It's a fun way to spend time with the family and is very family oriented. There's Booster the Rooster and giveaways and lots of pricey food to eat. Tonight was the Sounds' opening home game and Everley and Steve and I had intended to go.

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. Well, at least not for Everley and me. Steve went ahead and sat through the showers (our seats are under the awning at least) while waiting for the game to start (it was delayed). Everley was extremely disappointed, but was somewhat consoled by the fact that tomorrow night is another game and Lindley and Uncle Sam will be going then.

Just another sign of spring in Nashville - let's play ball!!
Blessings today include: Everley and Emmatha time; getting a few tasks accomplished; 90 minutes with Irina at Massage Envy

Monday, April 10, 2017

And It's Monday Again

'nuf said!
Blessings today include: airport pickup for Steve: Everley deciding that she was going with me to pick up PawPaw and then spend the night

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Beautiful Sunday!

Today was Everley's official birthday party with her friends. She decided on a skating party, so I offered to keep Emmatha at my house during the party (yeah, I sacrifice like that - not that falling on the skating floor and breaking my whatever didn't sound appealing).

I had offered to make cupcakes for the party, and didn't bother to get the ingredients yesterday, so I had to go out this morning. The request was for Funfetti cupcakes with Rainbow Chip Icing (if you haven't had it,  you don't now the hypnotic effect it has on some people). A few years ago, they discontinued Rainbow Chip Icing, and it was a national scandal. They brought it back, much to the relief of some members of my family. This morning I needed to go in search of his delicacy (to some). Of course, the first two stores that I went to did not have it. Finally the third store had some, and I promptly bought four containers. One never knows when one might need this - possibly as currency in a barter situation.

Anyhow, on the way home I picked up some biscuits from Holler and Dash (one was the rasberry jam and nutella - strictly for Molly as I'm not a nutella person). I got the cupcakes baked and iced in time to give them to Mathieu for the party when he dropped off Emmatha.

The party was a success, and Lindley decided to leave the party early and come to the Doik to play with Emmatha. It was a beautiful day, so we grabbed a blanket and headed outside. There was swinging and playing on the blanket and a little adventuring off the blanket. The only squabble was when Emmatha was walking with NetNet and NetNet wouldn't allow Emmatha to walk over to the yard next door!

Once the party was over, Everley and Maribeth came over and Everley and Lindley opened all of Everley's party gifts. Pretty soon it was time for everyone to leave - tomorrow's a school day! But what a lovely Sunday afternoon!
Today's blessings include: finding Rainbow Chip icing; biscuits with Molly; finishing the cupcakes; afternoon time with Lynnette, Lindley, and Emmatha; dinner with Maribeth, Lynnette, Lindley, Everley, and Emmatha from CPK; visit with Cheryl and Camille and cruise talk

Saturday, April 8, 2017


After a good night's sleep, the Es and I got up and started our day. Molly brought over breakfast and stayed around a bit - and tried to teach Emmatha to walk without help. You can judge for yourself if she made any progress ...

Molly left to go attend to her day, and after work Maribeth came and collected Everley and Emmatha for a pizza party with friends. And I put on my pjs and got into bed. My favorite way to spend a Saturday night!!
Blessings today include: Molly bringing Chick Fil A for breakfast; fun with Emmatha and Everley and Lindley

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Fun!

Today we managed to improve the new swing. Lynnette climbed on top of my Prius and with a broom and determination, she maneuvered the new strap into place and rehung the swing. Now it doesn't hit the tree and is low enough for everyone to climb on without needing a step stool. All the girls came over and we had some fun outside. A great way to start the weekend!!

What one does when she wants to make sure
Lala sweeps/cleans the floor.
I think some made it into her mouth ...
Although dropping it on the floor is a lot more fun!

Fun times!!

Improved swing!! And a great day for swinging!!

Everyone gets in on the fun!
This one just needs A LOT of supervision!!
Blessings today include: Lynnette fixing the swing (wish I had taken a photo of her standing on top of  my Prius!); all the girls enjoying the swing; Everley and Emmatha spending the night

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Happy Thursday!

Today I picked up Lindley at school and she came to the Doik for awhile since her mom had to teach a class. It was a nice day, so we spent a little time outside, a little time inside, and a little time watching tv. Steve is in Orlando at a wedding, so it's going to be a quiet weekend. One would think I could spend the weekend getting a lot of stuff done. One thinks silly thoughts sometimes!!

Meanwhile, life goes on. The DC drama continues, it got cold in Nashville, and I still have a long list of things I need to accomplish. So onward and upward - or something to that effect ....
Blessings today include: picking up Lindley at school and having Lindley time

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

At The End Of The Day ...

When I was little, my mother used to watch her soap opera every day at noon. Hers was "As The World Turns." These days, I do pretty much the same thing, although mine is "As Sean Spicer Speaks." In other words, around noon every day, I turn on CNN to watch Sean Spicer's news conference. And in case you don't know who Sean Spicer is, he's the the White House Press Secretary. Or one of Melissa McCarthy's funniest bits ...

Anyhow, there are several reasons I watch, none of which are in admiration of him. I watch to see what he's going to say and do. I watch to see what he's going to spin and how. I watch to see how quickly he's going to go off the rails. Sometimes I go off the rails with him. However, there is one thing that lately is driving me absolutely cray-cray. It's how often he says, "at the end of the day."

I guess this is a current phrase, as I seem to be hearing other people saying it. And I don't know why all of a sudden I hear it all the time, or why it irritates me so much. The good thing is that apparently I'm not alone.  For instance, here's the Urban Dictionary definition:
Rubbish phrase used by many annoying people. An irritating verbal crutch, indicating closure or synopsis, for morons who are incapable of finishing a sentence without incorporating at least one tired cliche.
And then in Googling this phrase, I came across this - that this is the name of a song in "Les Miserables." And so I listened to it. And after listening to the words, it brought all of Sean Spicer's words to new meaning. And not in a good way.

So I thought about what I would like to say about "at the end of the day." And here's what I would wish and pray for. At the end of the day, I would hope that ...

  • we could all speak kindly and with love to others
  • we could look for the things that would bring us together
  • we could give up that which is unnecessary for us to gain that which is necessary for others
  • we could stop hating and start loving
  • we could all realize that the only way to live in peace is to work together
And then maybe, at the end of every day, we could have peace in our hearts and in our world.
Today's blessings include: nice day to open the windows and let the spring air in; cleaning and organizing my closet

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Speaking of Swings ...

In our front yard, we have a round swing (see photo - not our swing). We've had it pretty much since we've owned our home, which means it's probably 20 years old (at least). When we had dogs, the swing was in the backyard, and they would play with it. Once the tree that the swing hung on was cut down, I decided to transfer the swing to the front. Everley and Lindley had begun to play on the swing during the past year.

In January of this year, Lindley had her friend birthday party at our house. The kids played on the swing and at some point the swing rope broke (the rope holding the swing is also 20+ years old, so nylon doesn't always last forever). One of the dads in attendance tied a knot in the rope and rehung the swing. The only problem is that it was a few feet higher than it was. Another problem was that only one child can ride on the swing at a time, which isn't always feasible, if the children who want to ride the swing are not in a "sharing" mood.

After taking a look at the swing and noticing that the re-rigged rope was fraying even more, I decided to upgrade the swing. I decided to get one of those "net" swings (see photo - similar to the one I ordered). Of course I had to contemplate again which one to get, and decided to get the one that would hold 600 pounds - just in case I decided to get on it. The good thing is that several kids can ride on it at once - as long as they don't have a combined weight of 600 pounds (a math lesson that Lindley and I had as we were discussing the swing this afternoon). Anyhow, the good news is that the swing came fully assembled. The other news is that somebody was going to have to hang it from the tree.

Lindley wanted to come over, so after school she and Lynnette came over. I suggested getting take out for dinner, so pretty soon Maribeth and Everley and Emmatha also came over. We stood under the designated swing tree and looked at the swing and discussed ways and persons who might climb said tree to hang it. Eventually Lynnette volunteered, and after several attempts on various sides of the tree to actually climb the tree, she hoisted herself into place (see photo - this is actually Lynnette in tree with former unacceptable swing - first we she had to get dangerous swing out of tree). Unfortunately, our first location choice would make the swing way too high for anybody to get into it, much less the kids. We then chose to hang the swing where the old swing was. After a bit of maneuvering and clamping the ends together, the swing was in place. However, there were a few issues ...

First, the swing was still a little too high. Everley could not get on the swing without help or the step ladder (which Lynnette had used to get into the tree). Lindley could hoist herself onto the swing, but that usually caused the swing to slip and go lopsided, which was not at all acceptable. Then there was the issue of the swing being a little too close to the tree, which meant limited swinging, unless one wished to bang into the tree.

Somebody had to babysit!
With all these swing issues, interest waned after a bit, and we went inside for dinner. I ordered a "swing strap" to hang on another branch further away from the trunk and possibly higher (the strap is 10 feet long, which means the swing should be low enough for everyone to get on, which means it will be a magnet for Danger Baby). Once it gets here, we should be back in the swing business.

The only problem is who's going to climb that high in the tree to hang the new strap ...

Today's blessings include: Lindley, Everley, and Emmatha time; Lynnette getting up in the tree and hanging the swing; take out from Cheesecake Factory

Monday, April 3, 2017

Everley's Birthday Present

A couple of months ago, Everley and I went to Centennial Park to feed the ducks. While we were there, she saw the lawn swings scattered about and announced that she wanted a "bench swing." I told her I would get one for her birthday. She was happy with that, and I was happy to get her something that wouldn't tear up in a week's time.

Of course I had to contemplate over which kind of swing to get. Should I get a wood, metal, or recycled bottle swing? Should I get the cheapest one available or spend a few $$ for a better one? Should I get one locally made or mass made somewhere? I looked at the flea market, at Home Depot, at the local patio furniture place, and online. Eventually I decided to spend the $$ and get a recycled bottle one online. I figured that it would take less maintenance and last longer, and best of all, it could be delivered to their house. However, there was one catch ...

It would have to be assembled. That also included assembling an A-frame for the swing, because Everley's house doesn't have a covered porch with beams for hanging. So I ordered both and both were delivered last Saturday, just in time for the birthday.

I left them at her house rather than wrapping them, but she knew what the boxes contained. Originally the idea was for Sam and Mathieu to assemble them (not sure Mathieu knew that plan) and then Plan B was for Molly to assemble the swing part, since she had recently assembled her own recycled bottle chairs (one of which actually came with swing hardware instead of the chair hardware). Unfortunately, Sunday's party went a little long, so nobody got anything assembled. And then came Monday ...

I'm really not the type of person who purchases things for other people to assemble. Well, most of the time. And since Mathieu was starting a new job today and Maribeth was working, I decided I would go over and assemble it myself. And so I did.

I decided to start first with the A-frame. It all went pretty easily, I was able to put things together and get them screwed together with a little help from my drill (although I had to abandon that because I really don't know the correct method for using that as a screwdriver without nearly stripping the screws), the vise grips, and the electric screwdriver (the current one I have is garbage - it has about the same battery capacity as the horrible dust busters I once owned but scrapped because their battery life was nonexistent). Once the frame was together, I moved it into place. Well, at least into Place 1.

Next was the assembly of the swing. Which looked easier than it seemed. Things did not start off well because the assembly instructions were ripped on the corner, a corner which apparently held very important assembly instructions. I spent a good portion of time attempting to assemble the page with the instructions, only to find that it started with Step 3. I searched in the garbage can for any instructions about Steps 1 and 2, but couldn't find any. I finally turned the page over and there they were - the missing steps.

Eventually through a series of comical moves and adjustments and leaning the swing on everything from the patio to the stairs to the driveway to other deck chairs, and cursing the day the Allen wrench was invented,  the swing was actually assembled. Did I mention that it was windy and the instructions kept trying to blow away? Or that my helper Everley was helping me (thank goodness, because at least she was strong enough to hold up the swing at a crucial minute, although she asked me several times why I was groaning)? Everley decided that the swing frame needed to be in a different place, so I moved it, and then had Maribeth come out to help me hang the swing. In the end, we all had a seat and a swing and decided that everything was good.

Next year I'm giving her crayons and a coloring book ...

The finished product!!
Today's blessings include: Steve's safe travel to Chattanooga; e-chatting with friends; assembling and swinging in Everley's new swing

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Happy Birthday Everley!

Today is Everley's fifth birthday. Since Maribeth was working and Mathieu had Guard duty, I went to their house early this morning. Emmatha was already awake, so she ate and then we played in her room (the safest place in the house for Danger Baby) until Everley woke up. Once she woke up, she was not exactly in a "happy birthday" kind of mood, but eventually turned the corner when I announced that we needed to go to Publix to pick out her cake. Once everyone was properly dressed, we headed to Publix, got all the food and supplies we needed, and returned to the Doik to play until the family birthday party later on. First, a little fun sister time ...

Danger Baby decided to crawl into the magna-tiles box by herself.
And I guess then decided to pick out which things she wanted to build.
Or have built so she could knock it down ...

Playing with the birthday gifts.
And/or keeping someone from wrecking the birthday gifts.

And the birthday girl blows out her candles!  Eventually!!
Today's blessings include: grocery shopping with the Es; Lindley, Everley, and Emmatha time; family birthday party and pizza and chocolate cake and presents; watching the ladies Final basketball game

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Certainly Not April Fools!

I don't do April Fools. It's one of those holidays that I do not like. So instead I shall show you some videos from last night's MSU Ladies Basketball Team that beat UConn, who was on a winning streak of 111 games - until last night! I couldn't watch the game straight through - it made me much to nervous. I kept going back every new minutes and watching a minute or two - at least until it went into overtime. It was an amazing game, and the last 12 seconds were outstanding!!

All week Robin Roberts, who is a Mississippi native, wore her maroon on "Good Morning America" and rang her cowbell. She was at the game, and spoke to the team afterwards.

So I hope you have a great April Fools Day and get by with no silly pranks - unless you like that kind of thing. As for me, I'm going to watch the last 12 seconds of the game and watch Robin - and know that it's the real deal!!
Blessings today include: Emmatha and Everley and Lindley time