Friday, May 31, 2013

Lending Books on a Kindle

I've been telling people for awhile that I was going to look in to lending books on a Kindle. So, I finally took the time to look in to it. I'm sure that I already told you that if anyone in your family shares an Amazon account, you get access to ALL of the Kindle books purchased.

Here's the deal on loaning books..

1. Not all books are lendable. To find out which ones are, when you go in to "Manage your Kindle" (drop down menu under your name in Amazon), all of the books you have will show up. On the right is a button that says "actions." Click on that to see the drop down menu. If is says "Loan this Title." Click on that and you will enter an email address to who you want to lend it to. They do not have to own a Kindle to "borrow" it. They can use a tablet or computer and probably  a phone.
2. The book is only lendable one time.
3. The book is only lendable for 14 days.

Apparently, whether the book is lendable, is decided by the author---not Amazon. When I checked some of the (at least) 100 books I have downloaded (most free)---the older the book is, the more likely it will be lendable. Any really new books I have are not lendable. None of our book club books are lendable (neither family nor friends book club).

Anyway, that's the scoop on lending books on a Kindle.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Few More Things

So this little girl...

 ---who is not so little anymore---leaves things like this---I found it on the refrigerator on Monday:
 Just a tiny little scrap of paper---you can tell the size by the sunglasses in the picture. The girl loves animals.
Flip it over---and here's what she put on the back. I do "heart" Jordan Jackson, but ever since she was a little girl, she has left little doodles for me to find. I'm going to put this one in my Project Life album.
 It's official!! Our little girl is headed off to college soon.
I cannot believe how fast the years have flown by! I'm gonna' miss her when she's gone!
Despite a bit of a slow start in the area of sports, Mitchell has excelled in Track!! Who knew? He's just all around a good athlete. The Track banquet was last Thursday night. He received the following award:
Besides this honor, he LETTERED as a Sophomore!!! Usually, you don't get your varsity letter until Junior or Senior year. Way to go Mitchell! Sandy said that as they were making the little announcement, they said "Mitch." She caught Mitchell's eye and mouthed, "is that you?" He shrugged his shoulders and mouthed, "I don't know." We all got a laugh about how he can be so clueless at times! Like, is there another "Mitch" on track?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I wanted to take just a minute to discuss a few things that have been entertaining me lately. First off, I've already mentioned The Great Gatsby, but this time, I thought I would include a little clip:
The Great Gatsby (sorry about the commercial). I love the clothes, cars, rooms and the music is so good too.

I finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Excellent. So good that we've added it to our family book club for our vacation along with Proof of Heaven. All I can say about Gone Girl without giving anything away is that it's about a relationship between a husband and wife with all kinds of twists and turns along the way. It should be a great discussion about how people act and how we interact with them.

I am also reading American Pickers. Normally, I don't read more than one book at a time, but this is completely different---it's not like you have to try to follow two different story lines.

Right now, I'm reading Jodi Picoult's latest: The Storyteller. Are you surprised that I would be drawn by the title? My first thought was: "hey, wait, she didn't call me for an interview!" Then I realized it wasn't about me. I'm only a quarter of the way in to the book, but it has grabbed me from the start. It is one I find hard to put down. My most favorite book of hers ranks in my top ten: My Sister's Keeper. If you haven't read that, it's a definite 10! All of her books have you facing a moral dilemma. She lays out both sides which makes it hard to see which is "right." There's always more to the story than meets the eye.

So many tv shows have been cancelled. I hate when they do that and you never know how it ends. Well, I have to give it to Smash. They wrapped up ALL the story lines in a 2 hour season finale. It was really good and I'm so glad that I got to see how it ended. I wish all series would do that instead of just disappearing.

Jimmy Kimmel is just hilarious. I don't watch him regularly because he comes on too late for me. But the stuff he comes up with keeps me rolling on the floor! Take this new little show he's put together about his nephew, Wesley. It's called The Baby Bachelor. Check it out here. It's about 4 minutes long, but is so darn cute!

You just can't beat Pandora. Now that we have it synced with our television, I can listen to my own personal playlists anytime. Steph even hooked Pandora up to our sound system so we could have 80's music out at the pool. The only problem with that is someone has to go in and "tell" it that we are "still listening." I might just upgrade the free app by paying a small fee for the year---then it's commercial free.

Connie has given me permission to post her recipe. It doesn't get any easier than this.

Chocolate Eclair Cake
Club Crackers
2 lg. pkgs. French Vanilla instant pudding (I used 3 small which equals the 2 lg.)
3 cups milk
8 oz. Cool Whip
1 can chocolate frosting

48 hours ahead of serving (very important), make the pudding and fold in the Cool Whip. While it is setting up, layer crackers in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Pour half the pudding over the crackers. Add another layer of crackers. Spread remaining pudding and top with another layer of crackers. Refrigerate. On the day of serving---in the morning, remove foil from frosting. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Pour over crackers. Put back in the refrigerator until serving time.

I am finding this little baby entertaining---everyone loves babies!
Brynn Jasper was born on April 30 to Mike and Marci. So far, she's been a pretty good baby---or so they say---I haven't met her yet!
And finally, I am loving my new blog look!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

"on a break"...

Who can forget that pop culture line that has gone down in history: "WE WERE ON A BREAK!" (yelled by Ross on Friends---many times).

Well, I took a break from my camera this weekend and now I totally regret it. All weekend, I kept thinking, I should take a picture of this or I should take a picture of that. Instead, I was too lazy to get my camera and told myself that it would be okay to have one family gathering without taking pictures. I better not let it happen again!

The Lapps family arrived on Friday around 9:45 p.m. They had car trouble, so took the van in on Saturday morning. Greg got the bad news while playing golf. It's time to let the old thing go---152K miles---they've been planning to get a new car for a while now. We loaned them my car to get home---along with the klunker. I haven't heard yet as to whether they made it all the way---they just left this morning and aren't home yet. It's been a quiet day around here. Jordan came over so we could plan our strategy for our family vacation challenge. A friend of hers came by to hang out at the pool. I'm exhausted, so I spent the day reading (after getting the house back in order this morning).

We had a great weekend---we even got in the pool. It was cold, but as soon as you braved the water, it was okay. It was nice to be out in the sun for a change---and happy that it wasn't so beastly hot.

We are a family that cannot do anything "just for fun." Everyone always wants some sort of friendly wager. This weekend, we bet on the Indy 500, our family bocce tournament, and the Coca Cola 600. We all put in a dollar or two, but since there are 12 of us, it makes for a nice little pot. And then, of course, there is our poker game. Even Elizabeth at 7 gets in on the action. She's gotten to where she really understands it all. The teens prefer Texas Hold'em. Again, we don't break the bank and there is very little fighting---well, that is, related to the games. The arguing comes like this---"omg get off the phone," "stop texting" "put your phone away" "pay attention to the game," "Mitchell, you don't get yourself a snack when it's your turn to deal." "Jordan, you are not supposed to have an open drink on the table. Basically, it's a lot of chaos---fun---but chaos none the less. Damage report for this weekend: one spilled drink in the dining room, one ruined deck of cards, and one picture knocked off the wall breaking the glass. All tolled, not bad for two days.

And the food---boy, we go through it! I planned for this weekend to be a "clean out the freezer" weekend. I planned all the meals around what I had in the freezer. I want to get it defrosted soon.
I made a big breakfast on Saturday morning and hadn't really planned lunch. I had 3 snacks---chicken almond cheese balls (2), green onion dip, and a huge jar of peach and mango salsa that Nancy gave me. That was ALL gone on Saturday. On Sunday, Elizabeth asked me what we were having for snacks at the pool. I told her that we ate it all yesterday. Still, I pulled together a nice spread with cream cheese topped with a raspberry habanero sauce and cheese con queso. Drinks are another story---too many to mention.

I made a couple of new recipes---the dessert from Connie was a hit. I'll see if I can share it here. It makes a lot, but the kids were fighting over it in the end. Then, I made fried corn. Karolyn makes it during the summer when we go to the farm---with fresh corn on the cob. I had frozen corn, so decided to try something a little different with it. The family LOVED it.

Fried Corn
Large bag of frozen corn
1 stick margarine or butter
Cook corn in skillet with butter on medium heat until the corn barely starts to brown---about 45 minutes.

Pour in 16 oz. half and half cream, salt, and cayenne pepper---I would say I used about 1/8 to 1/4 tsp.
Cook about another 45 minutes until the cream cooks down.

It was a little spicy for Steph, but everyone else thought it was just right.

I hope everyone had a great weekend too. Jordan and Morgan mostly were coming and going due to their jobs, but I'll take what I can get!

Now I'm off and running for the week!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Quick Post

I decided to slip in a quick post on this busy weekend. 

On Friday, we had a lot of outside work to get ready for the Lapps arrival and summer in general. It's the type of stuff that we usually do much earlier, but due to the cool temperatures, we just never got around to it. That meant a day of hard labor---well, at least for Butch. He was working on the back patio, pool area and fish pond. I generously offered to do the front porch. 

I'm admitting right off that I don't know how he did all he did in the back yard. Just cleaning out the pond is just about an all day affair----which he had already done the day before. He has to power wash the patio, all of the furniture, cushions and pool decking. Most of you know how big this area is. 

Anyway, I started out front. About 10 minutes in to it, my back was killing me---all that bending over.I wanted to quit right then.  I was thinking about how much I've always loved white. I like white cabinets and moulding inside the house. I like the white columns, doors and trim outside too. There's just something so clean and crisp about white---except when it isn't! Everything was filthy. I used bucket after bucket of sudsy water, rags and scrub brush. I pretty much hated the whole job, but couldn't quit---not with Butch working so hard out back with much more work than me. 

That got me to thinking. Remember when you were a kid, if it involved playing in the water, you didn't mind working? Watering the yard, washing the cars, etc. When did that simple pleasure disappear? Now it's just all work. In the end, it was worth it. It took me a full 2 1/2 hours. I can't do something half-assed. Just trying to hose down spiderwebs that are 12 feet overhead is a chore. I was sopping wet and my thumb was permanently stuck in that position over the hose nozzle to cause a powerful enough stream to force the crud around. 

Then, our next-door neighbor came over to discuss the "sink-hole." The first bid to fix the situation was $20,000!! Oh, my, gosh! NO WAY!!! Luckily, he reached that conclusion on his own. He's been watching the hole. Since we've had torrential downpours and the hole hasn't gotten any bigger, he's going to fill it with rock himself. Sounds like a plan---at least for now. 

Anyway, by the time I was finished, poor Butch was still slaving away out back. I was going to take a shower, but then felt guilty. So I asked him if there was something I could do to help him---while silently praying that he'd say "no." That's exactly what he did! He said he was almost finished. 

Everything looks great and best of all, we're done for the summer (with the exception of wiping off the tables now and then).
 We have two different seating areas on the front porch. The swing is my favorite. I have some really cute pillows, but I'm too lazy to take them in and out all the time. They are not meant for outdoors.
This is the long view of the porch. Notice my blue ceiling? Love that. It's supposed to ward off the bugs---a little trick I learned from when Mindy lived in New Orleans.

Here's just a little of Butch's handiwork (I'll take more pictures later):
 He even bought and planted flowers! I was so impressed. He thought the tables needed a little something.
 Plus, he found this cute little glass snail---the perfect touch.
The pond looks great. He bought a few new water plants and even potted the white petunias. He has never really taken an interest in the flowers. I'm impressed. I'm not sure if he will ever do it again because Saturday morning he woke up to a stiff and hurting back from about 9 hours of solid work. It interfered with his golf game. Still, I think it was totally worth it---he may disagree! What a guy!! Love him too!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gearing Up for the Weekend

I'll begin with the grocery shopping today. The Lapps family is coming in for Memorial weekend. The plan is to just hang out at the pool, have a washer tournament, BBQ and family games. "Hang out at the pool" is about all we're going to be able to do. The water is still freezing and the temperature is only going to be in the low 70's on Saturday---80's on Sunday. Whatever, we'll have fun!

I'm calling it a "clean out the freezer" weekend. I'm going to be cooking all kinds of random stuff in an effort to empty out the freezer so I can defrost it. The perfect time to do that is when the whole gang is here. They can really go through the food.

I'm making a new dessert---I got the recipe from Connie. I'll share it here when I check with her. Another quick and easy dessert---my favorite type.

It's been fun re-connecting with Nuala. She used a couple of terms that I had to look up to find out what they mean---she said, "chuffed to bits" which means:   British slang term. It means very pleased with or very happy about something and is very similar to another British Saying, "Pleased as Punch". She also mentioned that her two little girls "keep me on my toes---chalk and cheese come to mind." That means: apples and oranges in British English, two things not really comparable. I added these phrases to my list of British words and terms that I've learned from my friends from the UK. I'm sure they are just as fascinated with my southern slang. Notice how I sort of claim to be southern---even though I'm not? Really, I still have my strong midwestern accent---sometimes reverting to "yous guys" rather than "y'all." Still I like my southern sayings---my favorite---"he's going to be a hard dog to keep on the porch!" Or "slap yo mama, good" when referring to really good food.

I met Madelyn and Mary Jo for lunch yesterday at a new restaurant---"M's"---at Cummins Station. It's right near Mindy's condo. There are so many new restaurants cropping up. I'll be picking the next spot.

We're waiting to hear what Mindy's next assignment is. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Nashville. It would be nice to have her home all summer.

I did a little scrapbooking this week---my AYM layout. My layout is about how much time I spend scrapbooking, preparing classes, kits, reading blogs and writing my blog. It adds up to a LOT of time. Now I know why I'm always so busy, with seemingly nothing.

I'll be starting my pool parties next Friday. Surely it should be warm by then. This is very unusual for Nashville. In fact, we just turned the air conditioner on this week. Usually, it is the beginning of May and sometimes April!

I hope y'all have some great plans "cookin' up" for the weekend.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I've said it before...

...the internet is a magical thing!! Look what I woke up to this morning:

Hi Barbara, my name is Nuala Mc Carney. I am looking for a family I stayed with in Nashvile many years ago approximately 30 years .(oh my god didn't realise it was so long ago). I have tried to look before with no luck, however I'd like to try again. I went to Nashvile for 4 weeks with a peace project group, from Co. Fermanagh, Ireland. The family I stayed with had 3 daughters. The family was so kind and I had just a ball and would love to hear from them especially their middle daughter Steph. I know the daughter my age was called Steph.

I am so sorry for bothering you but maybe you could let me know if this was your family or not. I won't be insulted if you do not wish to get in touch thereafter. Thanks Nuala. X

Back in the 90's, we participated in "The Ulster Project." Catholic and Protestants teens from Northern Ireland were brought here for a month during the summer. We enjoyed Nuala so much. Stephanie and I were just talking about her recently. I'm so happy that they are now going to re-connect. 

Maybe Ireland would be a good honeymoon destination!?!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Accomplishing a Little, Enjoying a Lot!

So I'm still stalling to get in to my scrapbook room to clean out and re-organize---although on Friday, I did get in there and pull some things together for class kits. Plus I put together photos, papers and embellishments too. Now I'm ready to scrapbook when I have some time.

But, I did decide to do something about the blogs I follow. I was up to nearly 300 and decided I needed to clear some of them out. I have a blog reader, so at least I don't have to "click" on every blog each day. But still, having a hundred posts to wade through daily can be pretty time consuming. I went through my blog list---one-by-one--and looked at them. By the time I finished, it only took me an hour and I've pared down my list to my favorite112. That will be a much more manageable amount of reading! Sometimes, when I don't have time to read all of my blogs right then and there, I'll zip through and see what sounds interesting. I'll add it to my reading list and get to it later. The only problem with that, is sometimes, by the time I get back to those posts, it's a little late to weigh in on a topic. Hopefully now, I can do a better job of reading and responding in a more timely manner. Now if I can just figure out how to prevent all the "anonymous" comments I'm getting on my blog. Seems like they started after switching my blog reader. Very annoying.

We went to a rather new Italian restaurant, Angelo's, on Friday night. In Nashville we do not have great Italian restaurants like they do in St Louis. Or, I should say, we don't have Italian salads like they do in St. Louis. This one is no exception, except they do include a little slice of salami and cheese to a tiny salad. I know my friends are sick of hearing it, but it's true---in St. Louis, you can make a meal of just the salad and bread---at just about any Italian restaurant. The bread at Angelo's was fresh from the oven and delicious, but it wasn't Italian bread, it was French. Nothing wrong with that. I haven't met too many breads I don't like---except maybe those bread sticks from Olive Garden---don't like those.

Yesterday, Butch and I took the '93 Corvette to a huge auto show at the Titan's stadium. The weather turned out to be nicer than was predicted. Our weather men are pretty much always wrong. Anyway, we got down there and found that they wanted $18.00 per person to get in. That's outrageous! Plus, since it started to cloud up, we thought it might rain after all. Instead, we cruised our way to The Corner Pub. Morgan works there, but we've never been. Jack and Connie had just been there earlier in the week and told us how good it was. OMGosh! The burger was amazing---but the blondie was incredible!! Morgan told us she has one every night she works. We can see why. Wow!

We went to 4:30 Mass then settled on the front porch with a glass of wine. We only lasted about 20 minutes before I got my first mosquito bite of the season and Butch's hayfever got the best of him. We have a lot of cleaning to do to get the outside ready for the summer---this week, for sure.

I had 4 new shows taped only to discover that they've already been cancelled. I'm glad I didn't waste a lot of time watching them. But I am sad that Smash is gone. I wish they would at least let the writers wrap up the show. I really liked the incite to Broadway productions.

Speaking of tv shows, it case you missed it---and I don't know how you could---there's nothing but talk about Downton Abbey---here's a really clever, all-inclusive "catch-up."

Season 1 & 2 of Downton Abbey in 5 minutes.

I'm going back to see The Great Gatsby with the girls this morning. Can't wait! It is soooo good!

And, finally, I've saved the best for last. I participated in Sian's "great big swap of small things."
 How much fun it is to get something like this in the mail? Very exciting!
Cheri surprised me with all kinds of goodies including a hand-made postcard/note (on the left). The buttons are vintage from her grandmother's button box. And I love the journaling cards---especially the two on top that she embellished. I'll share a layout or two when I use some of this. Thanks, Cheri and Sian!


Friday, May 17, 2013


Outside my window: Grey and drizzly today. Sounds like a great time to spend in my scrapbook room. Hmmm. Shall I create, or organize? I think I need to organize something. I have a lot to do, so I need to just start somewhere.

I am thinking: About whether I want to go to a barn sale tomorrow, or just stay home and work. I think I'm going to let the weather decide---raining, stay home---sunny, barn sale. Sounds like a plan.

I am thankful for: A good night's sleep---since I haven't been getting one since this cough! Maybe tonight.

From the kitchen: Leftovers in the refrigerator---no cooking today. Something from freezer club tomorrow.

I am wearing: Since I usually update my blog in the morning, I'm usually still in my robe.

I am hoping: to be up in my office by 8:30 a.m. and in my scrapbook room by 9:00. I have to pay bills.

I am reading: Gone Girl---this book is unexpectedly good. It's really good. I love the format of books where each chapter is a different voice/perspective I am also reading American Pickers.  I don't usually read two books at the same time, but they are so different from each other that it's okay.

 I am busy creating: I did a little project for Jordan's graduation party last night. 
I made this shadow box frame for her dorm room. Just a little reminder of home and family. 
We talked about her upcoming orientation at the University of Tennessee on  June 6th and 7th where she'll pick her classes. She said that she's going to get the best dorm. She seems certain of it. Butch said, "yeah, along with 10,000 other kids that think they are getting the best dorm." Then we talked about dorms in general and my tearful reaction to them. They are "nasty" brick-o-block, motel-like rooms---old, tiny, dingy and uninviting. We "cozy" them up the best we can. Part of Jordan's graduation gift from us was the Pottery Barn catalog. I'm letting her pick out her bedding and room accessories.
Stephanie and Morgan "decorated" her car. She got straight "A's" and was exempt from ALL of her exams. As we were leaving last night, I told her that we expected straight "A's" in college too. She won't have any trouble with that.

I'm bummed: that this happened AGAIN!! This is my biggest pet peeve. I can't believe that people are so inconsiderate!

 My car is on the left---perfectly parked between the lines. I always choose a forward facing spot just so someone won't do this. My car is filthy right now, so I had to get dirty to squeeze in to my car. Seriously, I wanted to do something terrible to this car. Instead, I thought, I need to have some cards made up that say: "thank you soooo much for blocking me in." One of these days, I'm really going to do it.

I am hearing: GMA on the tv (Good Morning America).

Around the house and garden: I cut some rhododendrons for the kitchen table. The peonies are in bloom and plan to cut some of them too when the rain subsides.

In other news: I'm really looking forward to the Lapps visit next weekend. I'm planning to cook a bunch of stuff from the freezer in an effort to get it cleaned out. I would really like to get it defrosted soon. Connie gave me a couple of new recipes I might try.

One of my favorite things right now: I really enjoy playing "yahtzee" on my iPhone with family and friends. It's actually called "Dice With Friends" but it's "Yahtzee." There must be some sort of copyright to prevent the use of the name.

I appreciate: having a cleaning lady. That allows me more time to do the things I love.

I remember: One of my early jobs with Charles Chips. My best friend, Reenie and I went door-to-door to try to get people to let the truck stop by. They gave two 16 year old girls a company car---a 1963 Chevy. We loved the car, the job---not so much! Charles Chips have re-appeared in the grocery stores---that's what reminded me.

How the weekend is shaping up: The Potter's are picking us up to go to Angelo's for dinner tonight--we're meeting Bill and Nancy there. Angelo's is a new Italian place that Connie has just discovered. Other than that, we don't have anything else planned for the weekend. 

Hope yours is a good one!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Few Things

I saw The Great Gatsby yesterday. It was fabulous! In fact, I'm thinking about seeing it again. It's really that good---even though I already knew the story. The period costumes, homes, decor---are all so wonderful. And Leonardo---need I say more?
So while I was grocery shopping, I saw these on an end cap. They looked like some pretty tasty snacks. then I noticed that they were shaped like little dog bones.
 I looked at the main sign and saw that they were indeed, pet biscuits.
 I looked back at the product to see where it said that it was pet food. Thank goodness that it had a little window that showed they were dog biscuits. I was pretty close to buying them for happy hour.
Nothing says Mother's Day like pink napkins. We had a nice meal at the club. The rest of the day was pretty relaxing. I got some really nice gifts---as usual. Mindy got me The American Pickers new book. Steph gave me a gift certificate for a date with her for lunch and a movie. I'm thinking I should see Gatsby again with her. I know she'll love it. Then, Sandy called with a surprise. They are coming in for Memorial weekend. I'm so excited.

Monday I was a bit under the weather---as I predicted from last week when Butch was sick. Turns out, it's just a cold, but still, it's annoying.

There's really nothing much going on. Later...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Isn't it Against the Law?

Going without auto insurance? Jordan was "rear-ended" yesterday and the lady had no auto insurance. At least Jordan had the sense to call the police. Butch said that the lady would most likely get an extra ticket/fine for driving without insurance. Big whoop! That doesn't fix Jordan's car. Of course, her insurance will pay for it, but then Steph's insurance will probably go up.

I just don't understand how people get away without having insurance---especially if it's a law. Seems to me that one of the other states we've lived in, you could not renew your auto license without showing proof of insurance. That would take care of the problem---or else people would be driving around on expired plates. If you get caught doing that, your car should be impounded and not released until you've met all the requirements of the law. If you haven't gotten your car within a year, then it would be forfeited and sold by the police to pay for more officers and/or raises.

Problem solved.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


...and I don't know why. It's not like I have any sort of deadlines. I just set goals for myself and then work towards them. But for now, I am completely overwhelmed. I have a lot of outside work to do and I really want to give my scrapbook room an overhaul. That's what has me paralyzed. The funny thing is that I can talk a pretty good game. I tell people to just get started. Usually that's what I do--even when I was overwhelmed by clients and their messes. First I questioned why I even agreed to the job. Then, I just got started. Why can't I get myself moving? The best answer is that I don't have a huge chunk of time. But, I know better than anyone, that 15 minutes here and there will get the job done. I guess I'm just procrastinating, or just plain lazy.

Instead of just getting up there and starting, I wrote this post instead. See what I mean---I just can't get moving. Now I have to get ready to meet friends to see The Great Gatsby. Maybe I can get started later today. Oh wait, I have gifts to wrap and then there's our stitching club at Nashville Needleworks. Maybe tomorrow...well, I have one of my AYM meetings. Maybe the afternoon. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

I need to just get started.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Iroquois Steeplechase

We couldn't have asked for better weather for Steeplechase. It was supposed to be nice and sunny with a high of 70. There were times that I think it was warmer than that. 
Mindy had an awesome fascinator that went perfectly with her dress. 
 She posted on Facebook: "I call this my Kate Middleton look. I mean minus the prince, the size 2 physique, and the killer accent."
 Grammy with Jordan and Morgan. Jordan is wearing the fascinator that I made for Stephanie last year.
 This is Morgan's new boyfriend that isn't. Or so she says. But I don't think you hold hands with "just a guy friend." This was our first time meeting Will. He was so sweet---and so darn cute---very personable too. Not at all shy.
 The patriarch! We had a few moments when the "kids" were all off seeing people and being seen. We talked about what a good time we were having with the family. There's is nothing he likes better than having the family together. They've all grown in to such fun people. Little did we know that we would one day be "partying" with our kids.
 Stephanie and Nicky. I love his blue pants. Steph is wearing her favorite headpiece. I should have gotten a close up of it. It has a bird's nest with blue eggs and a bird perched on top.
 There are a lot of newspaper photographers that walk around. We caught Mindy "posing, just in case!"
The "kids" all walked down to the in-field to visit friends. Nicky had to beg the people at the Vineyard Vines tent for this whale hat. He plans to give it to Mitchell---who loves VV clothes. I do too.They are so preppy.
 Right before the Iroquois race, they have the running of the hounds. Our box is right on the finish line. We have a great view of all the action.
I asked Morgan if she was wearing false eyelashes. She isn't. Will said, "they're just luscious." I'm not sure that's exactly what he meant, but it was cute anyway.

The food was good. Only one glitch---I forgot the bottled water. We had bloody Mary's, gin & tonics, beer and 4 Cokes. Not enough non-alcoholic drinks for 3 non-drinkers for the whole day. Luckily, we always know plenty of people at the race and were able to "mooch" enough water to get us through.

It's always a long day---we left the house at 9:15 and didn't get back home until 7:15. The races ran late. I don't really know how that happened. The last race was supposed to run at 5:30, but didn't run until after 6. That's the first time that has ever happened. We were all exhausted.

We have had our box for about 25 years now and have always brought our friends. This is the first year we made it a family affair. The girls asked if we were sorry we didn't bring our friends instead of them. We had to say that we weren't sorry. We love our friends, but I'm afraid they may be bumped for the family now. Any time we can get everyone together is something to cherish. With jobs and social lives, it gets harder and harder for us all to be in the same place at the same time. And now with Jordan heading off to college...I don't even want to think about it!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Being Nice is a Good Thing---Isn't It?

I’ve always said that I’m not a deep thinker. But I recently saw an episode of Blue Bloods that got me thinking.

I kind of consider myself a “goodie two shoes.” I don’t do things on purpose that would make people mad at me. In fact, I consider myself a “people pleaser.” I like people and I want people to like me. I don’t think that’s wrong. I’m a fixer and a helper. You have a problem---I can help solve it. I like helping people. I consider myself nice.

That leads me to an email I got from my sister, Jeanne today. She mentioned that I am the “friendly one.” Yes, that’s true. I zipped an email back to her saying, “that’s why people invite me to their parties!” That’s true too. I try to make a point of talking to people I don’t know. I give my friends a hard time for just sticking together in their own little group at a party while I flit around. Actually, I have a confession to make. It’s a little deeper than just being friendly. I think it might be more of an egotistical act. I think to myself, “I want these people to think that (whoever is giving the party) has some really nice friends”. That’s it. I try to be nice. Aren’t we all taught to “be nice?” You don’t have to like everybody, but you have to “be nice.” Here’s the thing: I want everybody to like me, so I’m nice. I guess that applies to strangers too.

Case in point: today at the post office, I had one of those moments where I, once again was aggravated about people, not being prepared and taking too much time at the counter while the line just continued out the door. Then, a lady got out her check book. That reminded me that someone paid with a check yesterday too. Who does that? It takes so much longer than just swiping a card. Of course, I don’t let my frustration show in public---I just complain later to my friends and here on my blog. That doesn’t sound very nice. But it’s the truth. In my head, I’m not always nice.

When I was finally ready to leave, a lady was coming in. I smiled at her and held the door. She said, “Excuse me, have you ever mailed a singing birthday card?” For a second, I thought maybe it was a trick or I might win a prize for the right answer. Honestly, as I racked my brain to recall if I had, indeed, ever mailed a singing card, she quickly filled in, “I mean, does it require extra postage?” Then I realized that to her I must have looked like someone that worked at the post office. No, that couldn’t be it. They don’t smile. It was just because I was nice. Continuing my “nice” streak, I told her that if the card was larger than a quarter of an inch thick, or weighed more than one ounce, it would cost extra. Then it hit me. Heck, I could work at the post office. And I bet I could make it more efficient too.

You just never know where being nice could lead you. And come to think of it, I have nice friends too. 

I’ve always said that I just want it to say on my tombstone---“she was nice.” I think that would be a good thing.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

What's Happening?

*****Update: Thanks to one of my internet friends, I've corrected the name of the flower below! See the "I forget" below and you'll know why?

Outside my window: It's a gorgeous day---especially after all of this chilly rain. In the 80's today.

I am thinking: Should I give Mindy and Stephanie the pillows I made for them, or make them wait until Christmas?
 This one is for Stephanie. I don't know if you can see it, but the ball fringe also has little tiny green ones between the red ones.
This fleur di lis is for Mnidy. I had this one finished in a raw silk with some sort of loopy fringe. 

And lest you think I forgot Sandy---I already had her pillow finished before LAST Christmas and sent it to her for a surprise.

I am thankful for: Good friends that bring me surprises!
Nancy was antiquing up through Pennsylvania. She found this little butter pat (I guess that's what it is---it's about 4 inches in diameter) in the Liberty Blue pattern that I am just starting to collect. I don't know what I did to deserve her!!

From the kitchen: I made a new recipe last night for my freezer club. It's pretty good and easy!!
Beef and Macaroni
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. ground chuck
2 pkgs. taco seasoning
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 box elbow macaroni, cooked until half done, drain
1 cup mozzarella
1 cup cheddar

Cook onion in olive oil until transparent. Brown meat. Add tomatoes and taco seasoning. Simmer about a half hour. Stir in macaroni. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Top with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes. This makes pretty much, so you can freeze it---just leave off the cheese until baking time.

I am wearing: my around the house clothes---specifically, black pants, master gardener t-shirt and socks (I never run around bare footed).

I am hoping: to chill out in front of the tv tonight---but I have some cooking I need to do for the weekend.

I am reading: Gone Girl. I just started it. This is the book that one of my bridge friends loaned me. I got tired of juggling the book really fast and bought it on my Kindle. It actually makes me a little sad that I'm so hooked on my Kindle. 
Sort of makes my library obsolete. Still, I can enjoy reading my Kindle in here.

I am busy creating: This is my latest needlepoint project. Connie and I are doing it. She's way ahead of me. I am just about finished with the first snowman and have done just about all of the background.
 This is about the size of a dinner plate. When it's finished, it will be mounted on a large styrofoam ball on a wood base. It's a snow globe!

 I'm bummed: That I didn't get my errands done this morning. I allowed plenty of time, but when I got to the post office, there was a long line. This makes me so mad! They have 5 windows and only had one open. Why is it that people feel compelled to tell the postman what's in their package? One lady was mailing a birthday gift to her grandson in Germany, one man was picking up mail that he had held and had to tell the postman where he'd been and another was returning a pair of shoes. Seriously, do they think he really cares? All he cares about is whether you have anything "liquid, hazzardous or perishable, cash or credit, do you need stamps?"

It took me twenty minutes to make my way to the front only to discover I had to fill out some customs form (I'm mailing an envelope to the UK). I should have paid attention to that lady who was mailing to Germany. I had to get out of line and start over. I just left. I didn't have time to wait another 20 minutes. Now I have to go back out tomorrow morning and make my rounds.

I am hearing: Golf on tv. Can you spell b-o-r-i-n-g?

Around the house and garden: I took a stroll through my gardens this afternoon to see what's blooming. Spring is the most exciting time---seems like something new is blooming every day.
 This is called a "fringe" tree. It's a good under tree for the shade. The white fronds only happen in the spring.
These red berries are so pretty. I'm completely drawing a blank on what it is. 
 This was the biggest surprise---the blooms on the Russian sage Papillion lavender are so unusual. (now I remember, it's French---not Russian).  Just gorgeous.
I went out to the perennial garden to cut some of the white peonies. Unfortunately, they are already past their prime. The good news is that the pink ones haven't bloomed yet. The bad news is that these look like snake holes to me!

In other news: I was on fire at bridge today!! Not in my play---in fact, I made some pretty stupid mistakes. But I had the best cards I've had in a long time. That means next week will be---can you spell it again?---b-o-r-i-n-g! It works that way---good cards one week, bad the next.

One of my favorite things right now: Playing Dice with Buddies on my iPhone. It's a free app and is exactly like Yahtzee. Wanna play? Just download the app and invite me!

I appreciate: DVR capabilities so that I can fast forward through all the commercials.

I remember: that I have a lot of presents to wrap tomorrow. It's going to be one busy day!

I forget:  many of the names of the flowers, plants and trees that I so painstakingly studied while designing my gardens 18 years ago. That bothers me.

I regret: that Butch was sick this week. That means that most likely I'll be sick next week.

What's wrong with this picture:
I don't think I need to point it out! I love when you take pictures and have something unusual show up. I'm so easy---I like any type of little surprises.

How the weekend is shaping up: Tomorrow night, after Happy Hour, we have poker. Connie has picked a new restaurant for us girls to go to---looking forward to that. 

Saturday is Steeplechase---our annual horse race to benefit Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. Central Parking always handled the parking and we got the best parking spot. Now that Butch is retired, that's another little perk that is gone! We'll be trekking in the mud.

This year, we are taking the family. I'm trying to keep the food simple (pork tenderloin sandwiches with honey mustard, deviled eggs---or stuffed eggs---as they are known in Tennessee, veggies and dip, celery stuffed with homemade pimento cheese, hummus chips and hummus and chocolate chip cookies.  And, of course, appropriate beverages---bloody Mary's, gin and tonics, water, soda and beer. We've got it covered.

Steeplechase is the place to see people and be seen. I'm over it. I know we'll have fun---but it's ALL day. They were calling for rain, but it looks like it will be nice after all. I'll post pictures on Sunday.

Mother's Day---brunch at the club. Then I'm going to play around in my scrapbook room. A girl can hope anyway. We'll see.

I hope y'all have a great weekend too.