Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Clean Up Begins

There was not one room in our house that was not completely trashed! "Stuff" everywhere. And the laundry...

Anyway, Butch and I started the "take down" on Saturday. I finished everything but the tree. We did that today. This year, the tree held up really well. Butch said he read a tip about putting maple syrup in the water of the second watering. It worked! We had very few dropped needles and the tree was still soft and perky (hmmm, sounds a little like my "girls").

I've found that there are things we do every year in conjunction with the "take down": cleaning out the refrigerator to dispose of all the holiday leftovers, cleaning out the cabinets to get everything back in order, sorting through the mammoth collection of overflowing bags in the pantry, and, last but not least, minimizing the number of cups/glasses/mugs in the beverage cabinet that have multiplied to epic proportions over the past year. Of course, we each have our favorites. I want to get rid of his and vice a versa. Butch has a particular cup for each type of beverage. His favorite gin and tonic glass is from Sandy's first dorm room. I would think that little guy could be retired after 17 years, but noooo. He has a manhatten glass, assorted travel coffee mugs, and 525,600 sports cups (blog candy for the first person to post where that number came from. Blog candy---little treat sent by blogger). I have 2 extra large insulated cups (granted they take up the room of 6 regular size cups, but this way, I don't have to refill very often) a favorite mug I use for hot tea and a small juice glass. We have another set of glasses that somehow found their way across the kitchen and into this cabinet. We can only guess that they migrated due to the "not enough clean glasses when 12 people use 4 a day". Add to that the sippy cups I keep on hand (and another that was left behind) and MIndy's favorite cups. Decisions had to be made.

We finally compromised---got rid of all the lids that we didn't seem to have cups for, got rid of the cups that were missing lids. We re-located the glasses that migrated. Now we each have our own shelf and one for the "public" glasses. This looks like it just might work.

Back to the laundry.

Lots to Blog About!

It's been over a week since my last entry, but it has been wild around here!! I have lots to blog about, so I'm going to do it in a couple of entries. Here's a run-down of our Christmas.
Friday---December 21st:
Mindy arrives in the a.m., takes my car, has a daddy/daughter date while I meet a friend for lunch and a movie.
Lapps family arrives 11:30 p.m.
Bennett/Jackson (forevermore B.J. family here) arrive 1:30 a.m. (12 1/2 hours---traffic in Chicago)
As a result, we got to bed really late. Butch and I were feeling so good to have the whole family here---let the fun begin!

I planned a surprise for all of us. Everybody had to be ready for pictures at 10:30. After all the usual groans and moans over the number and types of pictures I want, the family was surprised by the arrival of a hummer limo to start our day. I reserved the private dining room at the club for lunch which is always a hit. From there, we went to the Grand Ole Opry for a performance of the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. Butch and I had seen them in New York years ago. The show was great---and exactly the same as the one we saw years ago.

We got home about 5. While everyone rested, I had to make an appetizer for the party we were going to at 6:30. Last year, I hosted a family trivia party for the first time. I made the rule that the losers had to have the party the next year. This year, it was at the Black's. Everyone teases us about having the largest team (12) and how easy that makes it for us. But the opposite is true. With so many opinions and different answers, we don't do particularly well. In fact, Elizabeth saw how the wind was blowing and changed teams after the second round. We never saw her again. We came very close to being the hosts of next year's party, but luckily, we beat the Egberts by one point!

We got home about 10:30. At 11, the gang wanted to play Texas Hold 'em. Sandy and I declined. The rest played into the wee hours.

I got up early and enjoyed a little quiet time in front of the fireplace in the living room with a pot of tea, my iPod and book. The Lapps and B.J.'s went out to breakfast. The guys (including MItchell) all went to the Titan's game and tailgated. Jordan and Morgan went to their dad's for the day. Sandy, Steph, Mindy, Victoria, Elizabeth and I had a quiet and calm afternoon. This was one of my favorite times. Just us girls---talking, talking, talking. Oh, and the laughing!

When the guys got home, the games began. We played a new game that Sandy brought---the first of many.

Christmas Eve
We started with a big breakfast in the dining room. This year, Victoria got to be the "santa of the sleigh". I have a lighted sleigh in the entry that I put small gifts in. Each year, one of the kids gets to don a santa hat and pass out a couple of the smaller gifts at breakfast. We have so many traditions that it's hard to get them all in.

Everyone is on their own for the day while I cook. This year, Morgan helped me. She's the little cook of the family. We have some traditional foods on Christmas Eve. Pick-up type food that we eat while opening gifts--beef tenderloin, crab spread, cheese balls, clam dip, petit fours, cookies, etc. After gifts, more games.

By the end of the week, my jaws were so sore that I thought it was from eating too much. Then I realized, it's the laughing!! Bryan has a great sense of humor. He and Greg really played off of each other well.

On Christmas day, Steph and Bryan headed to South Carolina and the Lapps went to Greg's family.

Mindy went back to New Orleans the day after Christmas. Steph returned on Thursday for the wedding festivities of her best friend.

We saw the movie "Enchanted"---GREAT! All ages will get a kick out of it.

Butch and Greg took all the kids except Elizabeth to the hockey game on Thursday night. Another calm evening for Sandy and me.

The Lapps family left on Friday. Morgan and Jordan asked if they could have friends over. Little did I realize that I had committed to them spending the night. Not good! I was pretty sick of kids at that point (or I should say the chaos). It went downhill from there. They were playing around in the dark and Jordan fell down the steps. She was quite dramatic about it all and was upset that I didn't take her seriously. I was more concerned about the hole she put in the wall. Not to be outdone, Morgan's friend threw up in Butch's car on Saturday when I was taking everybody home. You know how particular he is about his car---I blamed it on Mindy as she took my car (remember, I don't really have a car of my own---but I do have the Solstice now).

Mindy and the B.J. all left today. Bryan comes back next Sunday and I'll see Mindy in New York on Wednesday. Butch will see Mindy in New Orleans next Saturday, Sunday and Monday. He's going with his brother, Walter, to the BCS championship.

Damage and expense report:
slow running toilet
door to sunroom "stuck"
towel holder in kitchen loose
6 poinsettias wiped out
hole in wall
vomit in car
graffitti on underside of pool table
spending $250 to fly Mindy back to New Orleans so she could make $8.00 an hour for 10 hours of work

Sheesh, having family home is expensive! I guess we wouldn't have it any other way...but I am exhaused!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


That's what Sidney, my little turtle did today. How could he not be happy in a large tank with plenty of room to swim, basking under the florescent lights of my desk, while feasting on crickets and shrimp? Not to mention frolicking with Sheldon. I think he planned his escape carefully. He knows that Butch cleans out their tank every weekend. While he lets the water reach room temperature, he leaves Sidney and Sheldon in a bowl. Somehow, Sidney escaped. How do I know that it was Sidney that escaped? He's the feisty one and is always into mischief---eats most of the food too which now makes me realize he was building up his strength to make a break. Anyway, the bowl was on my desk, but still it's about a 3 ft. drop to the floor. I didn't see any sheets tied together or rope, so can only figure he jumped! That little sucker can really move. No telling when it happened, but we tore the house apart looking for him. We can't find him. Butch thought the fall should have killed him, but apparently didn't. Poor Sidney, he must have thought he was escaping from Alcatraz but instead of a sheer rock cliff, it was slick cabinetry with no place to grab hold. Well, little guy, enjoy your freedom! I just hope you don't start "stinking" in time for Christmas. Sad. Really.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I've Lost My Mind AND My Bills

Sure, I'd like to blame it on the medication that I'm taking. (Quick update: due to the antibiotics, I now have Thrush--yeast infection in the mouth--and have added another drug to the mix). I'm having a hard time sleeping due to the med side effects so got up even earlier than usual for me. I decided to pay the bills. Now I keep them in a neat little stack (or big stack depending on how naughty I've been) even in alphabetical order to make it easier since I pay my bills online. I keep them in a particular place---always. They were gone! I swear I am not exaggerating---I've spent an hour searching for them. I checked the trash in my office and the recycle paper, opened up two boxes I had ready to mail thinking I might have somehow slipped them in, searched my scrapbook room, looked in the bathroom (who knows where I might have left them), emptied out the trash can in my office for the second time--as if they might magically appear, looked downstairs in the kitchen, back upstairs to see if I had accidentally "filed" them, you get the drift---I was manic over it. Then, I convinced myself that I mailed them out yesterday to an ebay-er with some needlepoint canvases I sold. Finally, I told myself, "Okay, what's the worst that could happen (besides send my friend, Connie into anaphylactic shock--she's paranoid about bills)? So I might have to pay some late fees". Here's the kicker, I just looked at them yesterday and couldn't think of one of them today. I knew there were 5 or 6, but that's about it. Finally, I told myself to calm down and THINK really, really hard. Concentrate. Lo and behold (whatever that means), I remembered that I decided to pay the bills from my laptop downstairs. But, I had already checked my "mini" office/chair/table--twice. Then I remembered carrying a bunch of Christmas presents downstairs. Sure enough, the bills were with the presents. This kind of stuff is downright scary to me. I'd be more worried about it if my friends didn't have the same problem!

PS The stockings are not yet hung by the chimney with care---I forgot them too.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Shopping Tips for Procrastinators

You can conceivably get all of your Christmas shopping done in one fell swoop at the grocery store. (That looks weird---wonder where that saying originated---but I digress). You can find something for virtually everyone on your list. For mom or women friends, you can find a nice Jean Nate gift set. For the older lady on your list, you might even find a bottle of Evening in Paris. For the guys, you can never go wrong with Old Spice after shave or some "green" light bulbs---and don't forget the tool aisle. Teens on your list? How about a Bonnie Bell gift set or a nice pair of earrings with a matching watch? For the younger kids, you'll find an assortment of bubble baths, lotions and soaps in all of their favorite characters: Dora, Diego, Barney, Disney etc. You can find toys and baby items from cute "sippy" cups to onesies, bibs and rattles. For the sports enthusiast, you can find any assortment of team related items: t-shirts, flame hair, chef's outfits, auto flags and a jumbo foam #1 finger. There are digital cameras, binoculars, dvd's, books (always 25% off), music cd's and Russell Stover chocolates. Don't forget the cook on your list. There are kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, baking pans, casserole dishes and dish towels. If all else fails, you can find an assortment of gift cards. But, don't do what I did last year---bought 4-$25.00 gift cards to Werhenburg Theaters only to discover that we don't even have those in Nashville. What the heck are they selling them for? Mindy lucked out!

Now, procrastinate no longer. Get yourself to the grocery store and "getter done".

Friday, December 7, 2007


A shout out to my sons-in-law. Especially Greg---who, as it turns, out is a closet BLOG reader!! Go Greg! Bryan, you've got some catching up to do.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Garden and Gun

That's the name of a magazine we got in the mail today. Doesn't that seem like a sort of contradiction? Gardens are sweet while guns are harsh. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against guns, I just don't want them in my garden. I have no idea why we got this magazine. I wonder how this magazine came about. Perhaps an avid hunter and his gardener wife were talking about starting a magazine and couldn't decide what it should be about. Then the compromise---Garden and Gun. Why in the world am I wasting time thinking about this? You'd think I have nothing better to do.

Day 3 on Drugs

I'm just starting my third day of my experimental drugs and already hating it. I don't know how old people keep up with all their meds. I have 3 different things I have to take daily, but at all different times and amounts. One pill I take 3 times a day, I take two pills once a day, and 1 pill twice a day. Seems like it should be easy to keep up with, but it's not. I've already "screwed up". I think I took the 1 pill twice a day both at the same time and the 2 pills once a day separately. It's not like you can use one of those pill things and know at the end of the day if there are pills in there, then you didn't take them for the day. Each time I'm ready for a dose, I have to use all of my concentration to focus on what I'm supposed to do and when (very difficult for someone with ADD---for example, last night, I went into the kitchen to take the pills, noticed that there was a message on my answering machine, listened to it, jotted down a note about it, carried the note to the steps so that I wouldn't forget tomorrow to return the call, noticed poinsettia "droppings", picked those up and put them in the trash compactor, noticed that the chili needed to be put away, put it in several containers, froze one which caused me to think of a great scrapbook page title, jotted down the title, put it on the stairs, then had to wash the chili pot because there wasn't room in the dishwasher, decided to make myself some iced tea, had to stop and go to the bathroom, settled back into my chair---30 minutes later---and then realized about 15 minutes after that, I had forgotten the d*** pills). Aggravating.

On to the side effects. Okay, I knew plain well going in that this was something totally experimental and since it isn't harmful in any way, decided to give it a try. Well, nothing has prepared me for the side effects. I'm obsessive enough that when I get medicine, I read every bit of the information that comes with it so that I know what to expect. Normally, I don't usually suffer any side effects from any medicine, nor am I allergic to anything. The side-effects are pretty much the normal things, dizziness (experienced with that--caused me to decide that my skiing days are over), nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, and headache. Lucky me, I've got them all. Not fun, but I try to look on the bright side. I'm thinking, okay, it's only 3 weeks and maybe I'll lose some weight---which, depending on how much, could make it totally worthwhile. But the worse side effect of all--and it blindsided me because it wasn't listed in any of the information---is this god-awful taste in my mouth. Brushing and using mouthwash only helps for about 10 minutes. I can't imagine what my breath must smell like (ewww)! So now, because of the yukky taste, I'm constantly sucking on mints or chewing gum. I think that shoots the whole weight loss thing out the window. Now I stand to put on a few pounds---and I'm not even enjoying food or candy that I really like! Merry Christmas to me! All I've got to say is, this better work.