Tuesday, February 27, 2007

How many white shirts should any one person have?

Do you think 44 are too many? That doesn't even count t-shirts or the 20+ I got rid of. When I cleaned out my closet, I hauled a carload to Good Will. My car was filled to the brim. Now that the painting is done and I've moved back into my closet, it still looks full. I don't even know how I got all the stuff I got rid of in there. I reduced my shoes by half. I decided to take my own advice that I used to give clients: if you haven't used or worn it in 2 years, get rid of it. I'm guilty of keeping things I don't need or will use just because I have the room. But no more! My closet looks soooo good! Everything color coordinated again. I even found all kinds of new things I forgot I had. I still have to sort through everything that goes back into my vanity, but it feels good to near the end. Pictures to come...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Another Loss in the Big Easy!

I honored Butch's request and did not wear ANY jewelry to New Orleans---but really more because I didn't want to have to take it all off in security. But this time I lost a little something more precious---my HEARING! Last night we went to Pat O'Brien's in the French Quarter. We were sitting there enjoying the music, drinking (okay, not me this time---learned my lesson last time and am on medication for another hive "episode" (sigh) and minding our own business. Well, they started singing the song "You took a fine time to leave me Lucille (you bitch, you ____, you _____---Connie knows how it goes)", after that raunchy line, intended to get people riled up, a guy standing behind us and encroaching on our space--I might add, gave one of those unexpected, shrill whistles. It hit my ear like a freight train and caused me to have that slightly foggy hearing sensation for the rest of the night. It's too early this morning and everyone else is still sleeping (nearly 9 a.m.) for me to determine if it has improved.

On a brighter note, my hives are much improved as they always are after meds. That was my own darn fault. I knew that wearing flip flops for the first time in months would cause a flare-up if worn too long. But, all of us girls decided to have pedicures. I was sort of thinking we would do them later in the day---after our shopping spree in the French Quarter. But everyone decided that it was a better idea to have our toes done first---before it got too crowded, which was a good call. As a result, it put me on Canal street all day with flip flops. By the time we got back to The Columns Hotel at 6 p.m., I'd had them on 11 hours. Not good, my feet were a mess and I had a few other random hives cropping up. I'm just so thankful that I had remembered to bring the prednisone with me. It will be my constant traveling companion from now on!

Did you know that cab driver's will not drive you through fast food drive throughs? He said it's too dangerous---don't really get that---is the McDonald's window worker going to "stick him up" with a straw? We left the bar at 11:30 and were pretty hungry after not having any dinner. Our original plan was to have a late lunch (we had the #1 burgers in New Orleans at 5 p.m. at Port of Call) and then have appetizers at the bar as our dinner. Pat O'Brien's doesn't serve appetizers, so we were out of luck. We got back to our hotel where the bar was still "hopping" to discover that they don't serve any food on Saturday nights---go figure. The bartender sent us down the street to Fat Harry's---supposedly only 4 blocks. Sure it might have only been 4 blocks, but they were those really long New York north/south blocks. At least we were entertained by watching Mindy navigate the uneven and broken sidewalks while being slightly tipsy in 4" stiletto heels. She only stumbled once and lost a shoe. but quickly recovered--leaving no doubt that she's done this before and is really used to it. The girl takes after her father when it comes to drinking! At Port of Call, she and Al had the Monsoon which was pure alcohol and 16 oz. to boot! (Another danger to beware of in New Orleans---watch out for any drinks with names like "Hand Grenades", "Hurricanes" or "Monsoon"---they are guaranteed to pack a punch (total lesson learned for me). If you want to know what's in them---forget it---you can't find out. Back at the hotel, the girls had 2 glasses of wine in the bar, had a Hurricane and 2 vodka tonics at Pat O's. Mindy can really hold her alcohol. Also like her dad, she gets quieter and quieter. That alone is a dead give-a-way with Mindy that she is slightly not herself and doesn't think anyone will notice if she just tries to stay quiet with a "cat that just ate the canary" grin on her face. Didn't fool me! Ooops, I guess I'm giving away her secrets. Let's just say not only can she (and Al too) hold her own, but I would put her up with any other family members---okay, not Zimmermann's!

I'm really looking forward to the champagne jazz brunch that I missed the last time and had to pay for anyway. I'll be sure to get my money's worth this time!!!

Leaving Mindy today won't be as sad as usual since she'll be home in two weeks for out next trip. This time we're off to San Antonio with the Black girls (Pam, Anna and Lauren). I might just throw back a few with them. Pam's my drinking buddy you know!

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Quick Note

This morning on the way out the door, Butch asked me to do him a favor. He said, "Please don't wear your diamond bracelet to New Orleans". I asked him if he was serious. He said, "Hell yes, I'm serious. I dont what to have to call the insurance company again"! As if he did it the first time....isn't he so cute!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What a Great Day!!

The papers for the sale of Central Parking are all signed, sealed and delivered. Whew, finally! This has been the longest process. Butch is feeling good and ready to get back to regular business. Due to his hard work (and that of his team), the value of the company has been increased by a quarter of a BILLION dollars in 18 months. And, the stock has gone up 34% since November. Fabulous! He will remain the President and CEO. The company that bought them is an investment firm. They don't know anything about parking, so they are relying on Butch to run the business. The only bad thing is that we don't know when we'll be able to celebrate. I wanted to plan something special, but I guess it will have to wait for a couple weeks until we are finished with a couple trips.

I'm leaving first thing in the morning for New Orleans with Madelyn and Mindy's best friend Alyson. Butch has already told Mindy to "throttle back" this weekend. She said that maybe he needed to tell me and Madelyn. Madelyn has only been to New Orleans once and ended up missing her conference---being sick in her hotel room. She is convinced that they drug the drinks in the Big Easy. Given my history last June with Pam, Anna and Lauren, I might agree! Believe me, I do not want to lose another bracelet, spend too many $$$ requesting songs at Pat O'brien's, steal a roll of toilet paper, or miss our champagne brunch on Sunday. Once was enough!

To add to my fun day, Joan, my duplicate bridge partner and I came in 3rd today. That may not seem like much, but I'm thrilled to place as since the beginning of this year, we've played 5 times. We've come in 1st---twice, 2nd---once and 3rd---once. Placing 4 out of 5 games is pretty darn good. We're really on a roll!

Then, when I got home, I was able to get a lot of clothes switched over to my new hangers and put in my freshly painted closet. Little by little, I'll get it done.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bartering is alive and well!

I was contacted a few weeks ago by a gal that is a rep for many scrapbook companies. She asked me to come help her get organized. She wanted to barter with me for products. I told her I'd do it if the products were the newest to the market. Let's face it, I have all the old and current stuff and certainly do not need to add that to my overflowing stash. She offered a Cricut in exchange for 4 hours of work ($299. value). I already have one, but was still interested in getting it for Sandy. There's something fun about feeling like you got something for free. Hmmm, I guess Butch is wearing off on me. As we all know, there's nothing he likes better than making, winning (even if it is play money), saving, and finding money. I guess I've learned from the master!

Picked the girls up from school and went by the club for an early dinner. We had a very pleasant time---we do love those homemade blue cheese covered potato chips. On the way out, we ran into Mr. Billy. He wanted to know when Jordan was going to stop growing. She's a full inch taller than him now. Both girls cracked up when he said, "Get away"! Jordan passed me up long ago.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Painter's Contract---not the kind you think...

i've always wanted my blog to be upbeat and happy---for the most part, like my life. But today I'm going to be negative. Although I don't like the painting mess, I've always liked my painters. Well, I'm really losing my patience with them. The biggest problem is that they do not do a good job of estimating when they will be doing what. It all started in the family room. I moved everything from there into the sunroom. They weren't going to start on the sunroom until I returned from Sandy's. Well, they finished sooner than they thought and started in the sunroom---BEFORE I was able to get all the stuff out to put the family room back together. Basically, they just pushed everything to the center of the room and covered it with drop cloths. My prized needlework was just haphazardly in with everything with stuff piled on it. And you know I don't put glass on my needlework, so it's really not protected. My scrapbooks were all piled up---not good. That's also why the family room has been torn up for 2 weeks---couldn't get to the stuff. Before I could put the family and sunrooms back together, I had to move all the closet stuff as reported yesterday. Besides the bedroom, I did get the family room back together over the weekend. I started on the sun room today (and finished it) although you would never know it as they are painting drawers in there now, so it's a mess again. But to my horror, upon returning from a hair appointment today, I walked into the family room to discover they had put their 2 ladders on top of my handmade rug (the splurge that took me a long time to justify). I've tried not to wig out about the fact that they are traipsing all over my white bedroom carpet with their shoes on. I don't let any workmen wear their shoes in there---or the grandkids for that matter. I don't have as much control over Butch (hard to believe). But, I learned that all I had to do to get him to take his shoes off is to tell him that I will have to replace the carpet because I won't be able to stand it. One thing I learned is that if the carpet is white, it doesn't matter what you pay for it, it's going to still get dingy. I thought I was safe putting it in the bedroom and had never planned to replace it again. I guess that's what I get for thinking! Anyway, I'm about ready to put a contract out on my painters. On the bright side---if they do finish this week, then there is an outside possibility that I can have everything back in order before our ski trip. At least the bedroom should be okay. I just might have to leave the clothes piled in the library until after the trip. I'll focus on the living room first. Okay, that's it for paint talk. I promise. I've had it!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Exhausted!

This has been an exhausting weekend. Still dealing with the paint mess. I spent 5 hours (yep---5) today moving everything out of the master bathroom vanities, stuff off the walls and closets (and this doesn't even count Butch's---doesn't want his painted). I never dreamed it could possibly take that long. As a result, the bedroom is full (Butch and I will be moving upstairs to the guest room for the week), and the library and living room are full of clothes. I loaded my car to the brim and hauled it all to Good Will. It is unbelievable how much you accumulate just because you have the space. I'm leaving for New Orleans this Friday morning and thus starts 4 straight weekends out-of-town. If I can't get things back to normal before our ski trip on March 3rd, it will ruin my trip---knowing I have to come back to this. Add to that I have a jammed two weeks, chances are it is not going to get done. The only thing it really made me realize is that I do not want to move again---ever!!

I did get to do one fun thing today. I met my friend, Madelyn for lunch and a movie. We saw "Because I said so" with Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore. It was a fun movie.

I have the little girls tomorrow and for the rest of the week while Stephanie is out-of-town for business. Between their activities, going to their house to feed the cats, cooking and homework, there really isn't much time for much else.

Friday is going to be here before I know it. I just hope I can find the clothes I need to pack amidst this chaos!

Friday, February 16, 2007

The rest of the family...





i've discovered that I can drag the pictures out of the Blog to print. The image isn't as clear as if you copied it from a disk, but at least you can save them to your photo program.

Hat Girl




Here she is---this little girl loves to wear hats. Mindy gave her the pink cowboy hat to go with the little western outfit I gave her for Christmas.

Thin Thighs, Thick Boots

The girls are on their Winter Break. They had to run errands with me today, so I had planned to take them to the mall after. I let them pick out some UGGs as a surprise. Morgan's had to be ordered. Jordan was able to wear hers out of the store. There's something not quite right about a pre-teen's thighs being smaller around than the boots!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

It's Official: Mindy is turning into her mother!

It's true! I picked up Mindy's first piece of needlework from the framers. It is gorgeous! It was only natural that she would be ready to try something new. She took up knitting in high school, but wanted a new challenge. At Thanksgiving, she picked out a hardanger project---not exactly for a beginner. I sent her back to school thinking she would just do the border and wait until she got home for the hard stitches. But, she surprised me by having it nearly completed when she got home at Christmas. We took it for framing right before she went back to New Orleans on the 15th of January. While at the Cross Stitch Corner, she picked another project---"Five O'clock Somewhere" which is a row of cocktail glasses filled with coctails and distinctive charms at the base of each one. As if a new challenge wasn't enough, she decided to do it on black! I don't think I could do anything on black anymore. She tells me that she is nearly finished with the new project too. But now that she's a working girl, I'm sure it's going to take awhile. Little by little, she is turning into ME! Sandy is already there. Steph has a ways to go---beginning with getting up early!!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Home Smelly Home

After an excruciating return trip from Kalamazoo with a 3 hour delay in Cincnnatti, I arrived home to a smelly house. The painters have been working for a week now and I've already about had it with this mess. I started putting my family room back together and will get that finished tomorrow (I hope). I got a later start than I had hoped. This is the second time in a month that I've been stuck in Cincinnatti. Apparently, they have a real problem getting their crews to show up! But on the bright side, the sales clerk at the Vera Bradley store in the airport knows me by name now!

Butch and I went to the club for a quiet Valentine's dinner. As always, the food was good, but it was over-shadowed by this "paint" headache. I sound pretty crabby---I guess I am. I don't do well when our house is a mess. I keep telling myself that it will all be worth it in the end. All should be finished by the end of next week. In the mean time, I have to grin and bear it.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Babies are so darn cute...

You might think I only have one grandchild here in Michigan, but it's just because babies are so darn cute! I spend most of my time just looking at Elizabeth. Everything she does is funny---all I want to do is just watch her. She's been letting me put her to bed for naps and nighttime. Last night, as I put her up on the changing table, she was chuckling. She had the funniest look on her face---I really felt like she was laughing at me---you know, because I wasn't doing it like her mom and dad. When I came down and told Sandy and Greg, they laughed that they don't use the changing table anymore. I guess that's what Elizabeth thought was so funny. Tonight she said, "teeth" to remind me to brush her teeth. I thought that was so adorable. It's unbelieveable how many new words she's saying---just since Christmas. She calls me, "me me". I love it.

I'm trying to spend time with Mitchell and Victoria too. Mitchell has been sick since I arrived. He doesn't like to talk much in the best of circumstances. But, this afternoon, he was feeling better. I knew how to interact with him---just talk football---or I should say, get him talking about football. This kid knows everything about the sport---it's amazing. I acted interested, so I think that made him happy. I found out that he's a Weird Al fan. He told me about some of his favorite songs. I learned later from Sandy that he had maxed out his iTunes account and was now infringing on theirs.

Victoria is happy too. I brought her some scrapbooking "stuff". Also, I helped Sandy sort and clean out her scrapbook supplies. Victoria was glad to inherit a lot of great things. I painted her nails today. I put white polka dots on her hot pink toes. She really liked that. I'm going to make her day tomorrow by taking her to Target! She loves that place and thinks I do too. That's okay by me.

Greg has a surprise romantic evening planned for them tomorrow night. He's taking Sandy to dinner and to see "Hairspray". All she's been told is to get dressed up and be ready to leave by 5:15 p.m. I'm glad they are getting a chance to get away for the evening.

The ground has been covered with snow since I arrived. It snowed more today. I do think it's pretty, but can see how much of a pain it would be to have to deal with it daily. You have to shovel your walks and drive everyday or be fined. A snowblower is pretty much a necessity here.

How long can a baby live on tic tacs?


I never knew that tic tacs were a food supplement! But Elizabeth seems to think they are a staple to her diet. She didn't eat well last night for dinner, so Victoria said she spoiled her appetite with tic tacs. Maybe she's discovered a revolutionary diet aid! She only had about 3 or 4, but it seemed to be enough. We'll have to give it a try.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Busy Days

I had a class yesterday and today. The one today was in Murfreesboro, so I feel like it's been most of my day. Now tonight, we have a black tie fund raiser to go to with friends. I'm not too thrilled to be going, as we've gotten bored with these things long ago. But at least we'll be with friends. I have to pack for Kalamazoo before we go as my plane leaves at 6 a.m. I'll be leaving the house at 4:30 a.m. Im really looking forward to my trip and seeing the kids. We're going to clean out Sandy's scrapbook stuff and get her set up again. I'm really excited about that---organizing!

Sandy did call me Thursday to let me know that Victoria has the stomach flu. She wanted to forewarn me in case I wanted to change my plans. Now today, Mitchell has come down with it. I'm still going to take my chances. I do have a class next Saturday in Kentucky. I hope I'm able to hold that class as I am travelig quite a bit after that.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

I Must Be Insane

Here I am in the midst of painting again. I quit last winter because I had had enough of the mess. Well, I just put off the inevitable, so here we are. The painters arrived on Wednesday to start the family room, powder room, sun room, my bedroom, bathroom and closets. I'm not changing the color in the family room---still love the "grey poupon" color. I am changing the color in the sunroom. Currently, it has a dark green tone-on-tone wallpaper. I'm changing it to sage. I'm not replacing anything in there yet, but may later. My bedroom is going to remain red (I had it striped last winter), but the ceiling and trim is going to be freshened up. In addition, I'm having all of the hardware replaced---again. Looks like it needs to be done about every 10 years. By doing all the hinges, handles, locks and knobs, everything looks new again. They should be done within three weeks---and then the entire house will be finished. I love that everything will finally look brand new again!

On a side note, my bridge partner, Joan and I came in second today. So far this year, we've played 3 times and have come in first, twice and now second today.

I have a class tomorrow morning, dinner with friends tomorrow night, another class on Saturday morning in Murfreesboro, TN, Father Ryan fund raiser Saturday night and then off to Kalamazoo on Sunday! Just another busy week!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

I'm losing it!

I think I actually did the "Only Mindy" layout in the Poconos. I'll have to take some pictures of the layouts I did this weekend and post them.

Only Mindy...


This is one of the layouts that I did over the weekend. I just had to scrapbook a page about Mindy's meeting with Rod Stewart.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Oooops...


How did that get on here?

Weekend with the girls...


What could be better? Pam, Linda and I went to the scrap house on Thursday. We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived. The house was really nice, the scrapbook set up was superb and the Valentine treats on our pillows was the best touch. In fact, when Pam made her bed the next day, she put the heart back on it. She wanted to be surprised all over again.

On Friday, Karolyn, Connie and Katie arrived. Nancy came on Saturday. We talked, scrapbooked, watched movies and ate. But most of all, we laughed! My favorite part of the weekend was Sunday morning when everyone piled onto my and Pam's beds. Linda served us coffee and tea. No one seemed to mind that it was broad daylight rather than the middle of the night slumber parties of our teen years. And, instead of talking about cute boys, we talked about things more age appropriate. Katie was a good sport about the whole thing. We were flattered that she would choose to spend the weekend with us even when her mom couldn't stay.

We had such a good time that everyone wants to go again in May. I think it's a great idea to re-charge our "girl" batteries once in awhile.

Don't you think our tractor's sexy?

Monday, February 5, 2007

The Wonders of the Internet

Last week, I was on the way to a consulting job in Old Hickory. After crossing Lebanon Road, I was stopped by a metro police officer. He said that he clocked me doing 44 in a 30. I looked a little puzzled as I thought the speed limit was 40. Well, as it turned out, there is a very small stretch (about 1/4 mile) where the speed limit does change from 40 to 30 and then back to 40 again. As the officer gave me the ticket, he told me about my options. One of those is attending Safety School online! I'm so happy to take the easy way out! I called today to register. It's expensive---$65.00, but I can take care of it in the comfort of my own home. The course is 2 hours and the log in time is monitered. I have 30 days to do it and take the test afterwards. I haven't done it yet, but hope to get it out of the way this week. Isn't this whole internet thing amazing?