Saturday, March 27, 2010

Easter is Right Around the Corner

I've had my Easter decorations up for about a week and a half now. I almost forgot to put them out---I do that every year. Easter is

a holiday that really seems to sneak up on me. Steph and the girls are going to Mass with us on Easter and then I'm making brunch. I'll share a new recipe soon (I have to get it from my friend Pam---she's slow to share recipes).

Antiquing in St. Louis

Last week, while in St. Louis, Janet and I went to the antique mall near her house. I am decorating another friend's scrapbook room (one job leads to another). Here are some of my finds---mostly for me this time---especially anything pink. The old binoculars are now on my mantle. The bunnies are part of my Easter decorations. The half butter dish is a birthday present for a friend who has been hunting for this for over a year. I love the swing frame. I'll replace the picture of someone's grandma and grandpa with my own grandma and grandpa---it will probably go on the mantle too. The clock---not sure yet where this will go as I already have this one in my "collection"---can't pass up a good bargain. Tiny medicine bottle with glass---dauber thing inside---will probably wind up with my Halloween decorations. I'll label it "poison" or something. And isn't the shelf cool? $18.00. I'm thinking the dining room for that.

My favorite find---I was so excited to score this darling little chair for $12.00 for my friends room. When Butch was putting it in the car (grumbling about all the junk we had to take home---I had stuff from my last visit that wouldn't fit in the car), he turned it upside down. Imagine my surprise to see MY name written on the bottom of the chair in crayon! At last, I found my long lost chair. I wonder how it got to south St. Louis? All kidding aside, to me, that was a sign that I needed to keep if for myself. Isn't it so darn cute?

Lastly, is a First Communion
picture. Just love the "oldness" about it.

Oh My Gosh!

As if nearly brushing my teeth with Preparation H weren't bad enough, I discovered yesterday morning (Friday) that on Thursday, I had worn 2 completely different earrings all day! The only thing they had in common was that they were wires with dangles. One was an oval pink tourmaline. The other was a round green peridot. To think that I didn't even notice that they were different when I took them off either. It wasn't until I was brushing my teeth that I noticed them sitting there. You would think I'm blind, but I definitely notice more WITH my glasses on! Or maybe it's the brushing of my teeth that's the problem---maybe my brain disengages---while I'm singing "Happy Birthday" in my head---twice---to get the allotted brushing time in!

Today, the door bell rang at 7:15 a.m. Not a problem---I'm always up by that time. I had just gotten off the treadmill, so I was sweaty---and---(to my horror) braless. At the door was one of the workers telling me that they needed me to move our cars so they could get their equipment in. This is the day that the pool is going to be plastered. The renovation began Tuesday after Labor Day 2009. It's been a huge mess in the backyard since then---wheelbarrows full of trash, crap everywhere and half the yard dug up. Anyway, back to the car moving. Do you have any idea what a "big" deal that is around here? We have 6---yes---six cars---3 in the garage. No problem. I go to the little key basket that we keep in the kitchen drawer with all the spare keys. OMG! I had no idea which key went to which car! We have a lot of Chrysler products, so those keys all look the same. "Why aren't the keys clearly marked?"---you say. Well that's a good question! Amidst the 21 keys in there, only 3 were marked---by me, of course. I'm sure some of those keys go to cars we don't even have anymore! Now that Butch is retired, I think I'll give him that job---figure out the keys.

Back to the pool. Sometimes, I think people are really stupid. Right smack in the middle of the grass, is a piece of equipment (I don't know what else to call it) that sticks up about a foot. It looks ridiculous. The pool people say it can't be moved to a less conspicuous spot. Butch asked the guy how he'd feel if this were his yard. He finally got them to admit that they didn't "think" when they put it there. Now he has to talk to the owner of the company to get it resolved. I'm glad he's fighting that battle---another thing he gets to "handle" since he has the time!

This incident reminds me of when we bought this house in 1995. I had 2 wall sconces removed from the powder room in order to have my Waterford chandelier installed over the sink. I guess I didn't say the "over the sink" part. When I got home, they had put the fixture in the middle of the ceiling. I guess you could say that was an honest mistake---except you couldn't close the "friggin' " door! Duh!!! When the light was moved over the sink, then the ceiling had to be repaired. Believe me, I'm sure we paid for that one way or another.

Pictures coming soon. It's gorgeous here in Tennessee---lots of flowers in bloom, daffodils, tulips, phlox, tiarella cordifolia, adjuga, (now I'm showing off).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

You Know Your Mom is Getting Old When...

...she drops the keys to her car down between the seat and the console and is certain they've disappeared. She moved the seat back and forth and couldn't find them. I simply looked in the back and they were on the floorboard behind her seat...I wonder how long she was using the duplicate set...

...she nearly gets into a knock-down-drag--out fight with the chef because he put a "slotted" spoon in the gravy at Thanksgiving... have to hear about said "slotted" spoon all the way to March...

...she complains there are no bowls for the chili and just spoons it onto her dinner plate---even if she's at a potato bar...

...the ham is so tough she can't cut it with a knife...'ve heard about said ham since 2008...

...she apparently is coming around to the idea of a "scooter"---except she means her car...

...she can't find ANYTHING on the menu that doesn't contain salt---except maybe the water...

...she has given away some of the jewelry on her "inherit" list to the wrong people...

....she puts on her wool gloves when it's 65 out...

But I have to give her this---she's as sharp as ever at the card table---and she still has me when it comes to financial information---she is one saavy gal---sharper than me on her worst day and me on my best!

The last time I joked about mom was the whole technology/tv thing---and then I was the one with all the problems! Serves me right.

And to prove that I'm not immune to doing crazy stuff---I nearly brushed my teeth with Preparation H. In my defense, I was traveling and accidentally grabbed the wrong tube. Had I used it, I fear my receding gums would have shrunk to beyond the root line!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How My LIfe Has Changed Since Butch's Retirement

I can't believe that on Friday, it will be 8 weeks since Butch retired---already! It has gone by so fast. When he first "started" he said he was taking 3 months off for sure while he decides what he really wants to do. That sounded like a long time. Now time is nearly "up". He's set up his LLC and has been meeting with many people about "doing" things---whatever that means. He's already done a consulting job in Atlanta a couple weeks ago. In "Barb's World", he would just be semi-retired---work enough to keep him happy and stimulated and off enough to keep me happy with the flexibility. We'll see how that works out.

My life has surely changed since he retired:
For the first 6 weeks, my early morning routine was thrown off---specifically, I was NOT getting on the treadmill. That cost me 10 lbs. with no unusual change of eating habits, so as much as I hate to admit it---that exercise really works.

We set up a new phone plan which has lead to some scrutiny of the bill. He informed me that it costs $1.75 to call information for a phone number---and I did it 4 times. Eeeek! He's just sayin'!

It's great to have him handle "stuff" that I used to have to deal with---like ordering and installing new cable boxes and talking to the pool guys.

The house looks like it's a weekend every day---just slightly messy---after all, the kitchen table is still his office---and the baker's rack is his filing cabinet.

He can carry big, heavy stuff for me just because he's around---my "he" man!

I thought I'd have to cook more, but he still doesn't care about food. That's a plus---we eat Lean Cuisines about 3 times a week.

I have to deal with the printer constantly---he prints stuff a lot, but doesn't know how to clear paper jams (we recycle our paper which causes more jams) or change cartridges---at least he learned how to put paper in when it runs out.

He answers the phone---not always so good with the messages though.

He cleans stuff---freezer, vegetable drawer in the fridge and all kinds of outside stuff.

He responds willingly to the "little" girls (who aren't so little anymore) to take them here and there which gives me many breaks. Besides, he can't resist any of his girls---anything they want---which I've always loved about him.

All in all, so far it's been a positive experience. I don't know how much time needs to go by to say that this retirement "thing" is really working, but it seems to be. We get along fine but we still haven't played Scrabble or gotten out our stamp collections. Baby steps....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Year of Memories---March

Here are the layouts for March. The topic this time was "an important relationship". I just love how everyone took a different approach. Mine is called "It all began with Spit on a Windshield" and tells the story of how I met Butch---although it was at the bowling alley, there was a back story that few knew.

Steph decided on Starbucks and "I love you a latte".

Pam went with "Unconditional Love" and used her dog as the subject.

Karoyln selected "My New Love: Exercise" and told the story of her heart attack at age 55 and how that changed her life.

Susan chose to do a layout about her grandmother called "The Queen of Hearts". Her grandmother was called "Queenie".

Jeanne chose to document her relationship with sports. She was afraid that I would kick her out of the club for choosing something abstract. I don't care what everyone does with the topic---it's about the stories.

Good job girls---you've all become writers!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Eads Girls Scrapbook Retreat

We had a great time last weekend. Our first night was a little "spooky". Around 2 or 3 a.m., we awoke to vicious scratching and banging on the front door. Turns out that Chris and I both thought each other were handling it---when in fact, no one was. Poor Bridget and Marci were the defenseless ones against this beast as they were on the first floor near the door. It came back two more times through the night. The next day, Marci decided it was a large dog. I didn't know that dogs were running loose in state parks. Steph slept through the entire thing---Sandy and I would know as she was nestled snuggly between the two of us in a king bed! Pretty cozy. The dog never came back, but there were raccoons in the trash bin most of the time.

Here are a few of the layouts I did. We all accomplished a lot, but Bridget takes the prize for getting the most done. It's just so much fun being together with no schedule. And the food ain't bad either! Thanks girls for such a fun time!

"What's in the Basket" tells the story of the farmer's co-op we belonged to last summer and how much fun that was.

"Those were the days" features our Kansas City friends in the early 80's.

"You've Got to be Kidding Me" is from a challenge I gave my friends in my Not Your Ordinary Book Club. Everyone had to make a layout by completing the following: You've Got...
I chose be Kidding Me because I say that all the time. In this case, I made a comparison of athletic shoes today where you need a different pair for every sport that cost upwards of $100. with my good old Keds which cost about 5 bucks a pair. They rode our bikes, sloshed through creeks, broke sticks for firewood and---slapped with a coat of white shoe polish---still made it to the softball field. More good journaling, but I won't bore you with it.

On the "My Space" page, the journaling begins--today in 2010, My Space is an internet location---in 1999 it referred to your own personal space---in this case, Butch's office.

"We've Got Style" is a page about our family shopping spree last August. I've included a bunch of the tags from some of the clothes as page embellishments. I put some of the receipts in the Cole Haan folder on the left---hidden, yet accessible for future generations to chuckle over.

"The Fabulous Fox" is about my taking Ranya (along with Jeanne and Janet) to see my favorite Broadway play RENT in St. Louis. I was so excited to get to see Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal reprise their roles on a final country-wide tour.

Besides scrapbooking, I had planned to work on my needlepoint. Never quite got around to it---plus, the lighting was really bad. That's why I always carry my own light for scrapbooking. Somehow, stitching at the scrapbook table wouldn't be comfortable.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust!

This morning I opened the trash compactor. Another mouse hopped out! Of course I screamed and jumped back. Butch was standing there and saw it too. I asked him where it went and he said it ran into the pantry---my worst nightmare. So now I'm totally freaked out again. We had one sticky trap left. Butch placed it in the pantry. When I left to take Jordan to school, I told him to leave the kitchen so it would be really quiet and we could catch the mouse. To make a very long story short, we didn't get it. I pretty much drove Butch nuts about it all day. He went to Walmart and bought the death traps. When I got home from stitching about 7:30, I asked him if he'd set the traps. By now he's totally aggravated with me about how obsessed I am about these darn mice. He finally set the traps about 9:30 p.m. It was about a half hour when we heard the "snap". I expected him to jump right up, but he causally waited until the show we were watching was over. I never saw another bit of the show as I could not concentrate. All I could think of was that mouse. Now I'm so on edge, I'm afraid to walk anywhere near the kitchen. When he finally disposed of it, I asked him if he had put another trap behind the trash compactor. He snapped at me---really mean, "BARB! I've taken care of it!" See what I mean, he's had it with me and the mice. Isn't he supposed to protect me from such beasts? At least I was pretty sure that was in the marriage contract.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Vintage Attic

Vintage attic is the theme I came up with for Nancy's room. I just tried to think of all the things you would see in your grandma's attic. The first thing I did was "shop" out of her storage closet. She has the greatest old family stuff already. I was thrilled to have so much to work with. Check out the window treatments. I bought the handkerchiefs for $1.00 each---my limit. The brown panels she got from Pottery Barn.

One of my favorite things were the old picture frames from her closet. We found the plates in St. Louis. Then, when I was working, she showed me this box of old doorknobs and door plates. The idea hit me to use the door plates inside the frames with the plates. You can also see the cool old blue phone we found on one of our antique excursions. The scale was her Christmas present from me last year.

Old blue Christmas ornaments. Great lamps---3 vintage found in St. Louis---1 on table from Steinmart. Old blue scarf and gloves hanging out of a brown suitcase.

The old doorknobs are in a vintage bowl I found---one of my first purchases. Old brown suitcase with lamp on top found in St. Louis along with the old jar. Nancy had the old birdcage and the formal picture of her first dog. I had to use it. In fact, all the vintage pictures are family members. At the end of her work table, you can see one of those old metal carts. I gave her this blue one for Christmas this year. We also found a brown one that is in St. Louis. I'll be picking it up and replacing the white one next to her sewing machine. Other things to find---flower frogs, antique books, old spectacles, dress form, hat boxes, porcelain flowers, soap dish, old clothespins, printer's "n" stamps, old sewing box filled with vintage trims, reproduction London clock, enamel pot, fountain pen ink, old keys, old coffee jars and vintage skirt hemmer. She hasn't finished her print box yet. Just a bunch of old junk that looks great together. And I just love those old pictures of her. You can hardly tell this is a scrapbook room at all!

And the Winner Is....

Bridget!!! She guessed 42. The correct answer was 50!!! I totally gave it away and no one noticed!
I'll bring your prize this weekend Bridge!