Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Turtle Love---Who Knew

Here's a layout I did about my "guys". Lest you think I've gone off the deep end---scrapbooking my turtles, this layout was for my Not Your Ordinary Book Club. I didn't like the papers I had to work with this month and didn't want to waste good pictures on them. You can click on the picture to see it bigger.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Another one bites the dust....

And another one's gone! (Notice how I like to use song titles for my blog entries?)

On my way to St. Louis, I always look forward to stopping at my favorite scrapbook stores. On this trip, I had some extra time, so I decided to stop in Florissant at Scrapbook Designs. To my surprise, the store's last day had been the previous Friday. To assuage my disappointment, I decided to drive down Lindbergh about a half mile to the Steak and Shake of my teen years. "140 Steak" was a major stop on my stomping grounds. It was THE place to see and be seen as you drove continuously around and around---sometimes never even stopping for so much as a Coke. (And, truth be told, if it wasn't for 140 Steak and a friend (who I didn't like) of my best friend who spit on Butch's car (yep, she spit on his windshield), I never would have met the man of my dreams! Aaaah, these trips down memory lane take me back....

Anyway, Steak and Shake was GONE too! What's happening to this world when your youth is wiped out just like that! Oh wait, I guess my youth has been wiped out for awhile now!

Driving a little further, I decided to go to White Castle. As I pulled through the drive through, I, again, was taken back. This time it was White Castle in the 70's where my brother, Ron "streaked" through the parking lot. In case you are too young to know what "streaking" is, here's the short of it (and I do mean short---if ya' know what I mean): you get buck naked and run around. I wasn't there to witness this event as I was down the road at 140 Steak. Had Ronnie "streaked" Steak and Shake, that would have been something. I think he felt safer at White Castle as no one he knew would have been there. It's a good thing he had a couple of his buddies there to vouch for him as we might not have believed it. Oh, and, Ron, I told mom about that this week. She's going to "ground" you.

Back to my original story. On Wednesday, I went out for a manicure and pedicure. On the way home, I wanted to stop at another scrapbook store near my mother's house. It, too, was GONE!!! I was just there in May. It's really sad that so many scrapbook stores are closing. So if you are reading this and you scrapbook, please be sure to support your local store. End of public service announcement.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lost and Found

I've been losing my eyelashes. Well, come to find out, they've fallen onto my chin and taken root!

Friday, August 17, 2007

You Better Believe that Humans are Being Cloned

All you have to do is to step into a furniture store to know that it's true. There are at least 4 clones of each salesman in the store. Everywhere you turn, there he is! They all have the same pasted smile and ask the same questions: "Is there something in particular I can help you find"? ("No, you dummy, you just asked me that two seconds ago---oh yeah, that must have been your clone that was at the front door").

I decided to spend some time today looking for new furniture for the living room to replace what we gave Mindy for her apartment. I went to 5 stores in an hour---7 minutes in each store and 5 minutes travel time to each. I figured out how to avoid the clones for about 2 minutes. As soon as I entered a store, I took a sharp right and went across the windows and then down the far right side of the store. I was able to dodge the salesman and reach the back of the store before he caught up with me. I've learned the best way to handle them. 1. Do not make eye contact. 2. Keep walking briskly while refusing their attempts to help. In response, he will say one of two things (must be part of salesmanship 101 as the same statements are made in every store): 1. "You look like you are on a mission" (I am, I have exactly 7 minutes in this store). 2. "You look like you know what you are looking for" (I do, so get out of my way).

I can remember a time when I used to love to shop---when I didn't have much money to spend. We bought the furniture we gave to Mindy 30 years ago from Penney's because Butch couldn't stand the empty room. No telling how long the room will be empty this time. I only found one set that I like pretty well. Everything seemed so dark and either too formal or too trendy. Chocolate brown and blue are definitely the "in" colors, but will surely be out next week if I buy it. And what's with the skulls and crossbones in decorating (okay, that was kids stuff, but I saw it as I circled the entire store)---I thought the Grateful Dead died in the 70's! I've seen these skulls all over the place lately---even in my favorite scrapbook store. In the scrapbook paper, the skulls were mixed with darling little bluebirds. Don't have a clue what that's all about. I guess I should ask the grandkids. I guess I'm getting old. I guess that's true. I guess I better not rush with this furniture as it might be the last that I buy. I guess if I keep it for 30 years, I can get rid of it before I go to the home. I guess it sounds like a plan!

Monday, August 13, 2007

New Orleans is hotter than hell!

If you think hot is hot, then you've never been to New Orleans in August! Mindy and I left her apartment this morning at 7:15 a.m. and it was already 84 degrees and muggier than I've ever experienced. By the time we were on our way home at 9:45, it was already 95. It's so hot, that the coolest her apartment gets is 83. I haven't stopped sweating since arriving on Sunday afternoon! Reminds me of when Butch and I brought Mindy down here in 2003 to start at Tulane. By the end of the first day helping her move in on the 3rd floor of her dorm, I had sweated so much that my feet were permanently blue from my dyed, royal bule slides. Of course, my other shoes didn't cover my blue feet. I looked like a Smurff for a week!

I've spent the day trying to resolve some drain issues in Mindy's apartment to no avail. I've plunged, drano-ed and luquid plumber-ed all day. I get to take it up with the landlord tomorrow---who doesn't want to spend a dime on the place. I can't say I'm looking forward to it---and I believe in letting "kids" handle their own problems. But in this case, the landlord is not taking Mindy seriously enough. It's a little too late to threaten to leave as Mindy starts orientation on Wednesday. We'll see....

All we have left to do is to clean out Mindy's bedroom and re-organize everything. That way, she'll start the school year with everything in order. Knowing Mindy like I do, that will last about 2 1/2 hours!! At least I tried!!

I'm really looking forward to getting back to 102 degrees in Nashville and my own 76 degree house!!!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Stockpile Issues

Would you believe me if I told you I have stockpile issues? I guess after revealing my box obsession, this isn’t much of a surprise. But I’ve just realized it myself. A few days ago, I went into the pantry and was immediately attacked by bags! Bags of every description---shopping, brown paper, plastic grocery sacks---what in the heck am I saving them for? And, when Butch takes one, I say, “Oh no, not that one”!---as if one is more valuable than another.

I have to have multiples of everything---measuring cups, wooden spoons, spatulas (you’d think I was Martha Stewart), sheets (at least 5 sets for every bed in this house), towels (enough for a Turkish bath), and don’t even get me started on my scrapbook supplies. 5 drawers of ribbon---need I say more?

The point of going into my stockpile issues is because last night, I had to face the fact that I really do have a problem. I got home from an evening with friends to find Butch in a bad mood. I figured it was just work related, but no, he was quick to inform me that someone had left the freezer open and EVERYTHING thawed. Now, there are only a few things that really get him wigged out: leaving the water run in the pool overnight, ordering an expensive meal and then wasting it, Styrofoam peanuts, opening bottled water in a hotel room that costs $7.50, people backing into his car, and a certain daughter accruing a $35.00 overdraft fee for the love of a $6.00 Starbucks. Okay, there are a lot of things that wig him out.

Back to the freezer. Oh, my, gosh, what a gloppy, sticky mess there was. How did this happen? Well, let’s just say that the girls have been here all week. Enough said. Well, in all fairness, it could have been me.

We threw away all the ice cream, popsicles, pizzas, vegetables,
pizza rolls, fish and anything else that was warm. I spent the day cooking meat that was still cold and partially frozen: 8 lb. standing rib, 4 packages of chicken breasts, 1 turkey breast, 1 pork tenderloin, 1 beef brisket, 2 cherry pies, and 4 lbs. ground round. I put it all back in the freezer after I cooked it. I guess there’s some comfort in that.

But the point is this---why in the world do I have that much food on hand? There’s just the two of us now and I only cook twice a week (remember my plan---cook twice, eat 4 times?). I just need to get rid of that darn freezer. And if I can get myself to do that, maybe I can turn loose of some of those bags too.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Communication Problems

It’s no secret that I have a communication problem with my housekeeper. We mostly communicate by charades. When I talk to her, I have a terrible habit of saying everything twice. The second time, I say it louder with bigger hand gestures. If Margarita still doesn’t get it, I’ll say it a third time (still loud) and point to things. Occasionally, I try to resurrect my Spanish from high school 37 years ago. That hardly ever works because I’m sure I’m saying all the wrong words---not even sure I ever knew the right words back then. Lunch with her is downright painful---I mean, you can only talk about how hot it is for so long. Well anyway, on Monday, I was out running errands when I realized that I had left the chicken on the counter for dinner. I knew that I could not leave it all day as I’d taken it out at 6 a.m. My options were: 1. Turn around and go back home (which would have taken a lot of time as I was already 30 minutes from home and would need to return to the exact same area). Or, 2. Try to call Margarita and get her to put the chicken in the refrigerator.

I opted for #2 (which should tell you something right there). Knowing Margarita wouldn’t answer our home phone, I dialed her cell. She picked up in Spanish, “Hola”. Okay, I understood that, so far so good. I say, “Margarita, can you put the chicken in the refrigerator?”, very slowly, enunciating each syllable. Her response, “huh” (have you ever heard “huh” in a Spanish accent?). I tried again, louder with added hand gestures (something akin to the funky chicken)---what---did I think she could see me? The third time, I threw in the word “pollo”---I have no idea where that came from or if it even means chicken. I was about ready to throw “Big Bird” into the mix when she said “okay”. Not really sure if I understood her that she understood me, I repeated “can you put the pollo in the refrigerator? It’s on the counter.” By now, fellow motorists were honking at me to get a move on. Hey come on, I was in the middle of a chicken emergency. I can’t possibly drive, talk on my cell phone and pull Spanish words out of a hat all at the same time! Give me a break! Anyway, I said “gracias” (at least one word I’m sure of) and hung up.

When I got home, I held my breath as I walked in, hoping that she had gotten the message. She did!! Maybe there’s hope for us yet! Now if I can only figure out how to tell her not to spray the dust cloth over the hardwood floors. I’m already a “faller downer”, I don’t need any extra help!