Thursday, February 15, 2018

Swimming in the Deep End

I must write while it is fresh.....
I am attempting something I have attempted to do several times in the past.  I have attempted to push myself outside my comfort level, creatively and/or academically.  I am neither creative or academic but I can fake my way through both.  Tonight I may have finally pushed myself outside my comfort/ability level.

In a moment of boredom and need of getting out of the cul-de-sac I signed up for a Street Photography class.  I have walked on many streets around the world and always want to take better, more interesting photographs.  Why not take a class and learn?   Hey...I just visited the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and feel all cultured and artistic so maybe I can do this.
I've seen cool photography...maybe I can produce cool photography!
Tonight was my first class....I am so out of my league.  Of course, it is my first class...but from the introductions and conversations in and my Sony a5000 are out of our league.  There were names flying around the class that I had never heard of and others were nodding and saying, "Oh, yeah...".  I was saying, "??? gotta Google that one!"  The learning curve in this class may match the curve in my Spanish 2 class.  Only problem is...I can't look up "how to take awesome street photos with my dinky camera" in a book or online while I could just study my brains out and learn Spanish.

My insecurities are raring their ugly heads tonight I tell you folks! 
Stay tuned for street photos from the rodeo...give me strength!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Stupid is as Stupid Does

Have you ever done something so stupid you just wanted to kick yourself?  Other than in high school, because we all did some stupid stuff in high school.  High school was long ago but I am still young enough to have my wits about me so this stupid move can only be blamed on....nothing.  I am still kicking myself.

It all began about a month ago when I was making my bed.  I pulled the comforter up and in my haste I ripped a hole in the fabric.  I knew it was old but had not realized how threadbare it had become.  Upon closer examination and a realistic assessment, I came to the logical conclusion... it was time for new bedding.  No problem, January is White Sale month.  I figured I would take advantage of a sale somewhere over the next month.

I scoured the stores.  I searched the Internet.  I spent more hours shopping for this bedding than I did doing all of my Christmas shopping.  I himmed and hawed (maybe I have commitment issues).  I finally made a decision and ordered my beautiful new bedding and anxiously awaited it's arrival.  I looked at my choice several times again, assuring myself I had made the right decision.  Yes,  I really liked this look.

My new bedding arrived!  I opened the box and it was just as lovely as I had anticipated.  I started ironing the pillow shams.  I ironed the bed skirt...the entire king size bed skirt.  I noticed the comforter was a bit wrinkled from being scrunched in that box so I put it in the dryer for a few minutes on "fluff" thinking a little ride in the dryer would relax the wrinkles.  WRONG!

I opened the dryer, began to pull my lovely comforter out and my heart fell into my stomach.  The comforter was ruined!  RUINED!  Cooked to a crackly crunch.  Hard as a rock.  Cardboard. The fluffy filling was solid in sections.  I am not a cursing woman, as a rule, but there were words coming out of my mouth that I seldom use.  I should have just thrown a few hundred dollar bills into the dryer and left.  Did  I feel stupid?  You bed I did!  Was I mad?  Furious!

After the reality set in I decided to just go buy an inexpensive solid colored coverlet/quilt and use it with the coordinating pillow shams, bed skirt and pillows.  It looks OK but is not nearly as warm or cozy as the comforter would have been.  Ugh!

For the time being, I'll be needing a back up blanket
to keep me warm.
On one of my daily walks I was still beating myself up for the stupid move and had a thought.  There may be a way to re-purpose the comforter.  What if I rip open the comforter and cut the ruined stuffing out of it and then fill it with something else?  It is still sitting crumpled up in the bag, it is not doing me any good there.  Plus, every night I go to sleep feeling just a little chilly with the lightweight replacement quilt instead of my puffy comforter. 

So, now I have a craft project which will require a lot of seam ripping and some very powerful glasses!  I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 22, 2017

'Twas Three Sleeps Before Christmas

Tomorrow morning, at dark thirty, we head to the north pole for Christmas!  Not quite the North Pole, but it will feel like it!  Our house is eerily quiet. The opposite of what life will be for the next week. This quiet anticipation is luxurious!  I sit with my hopes and expectations in my heart.  I look forward to the joy and energy of our three grandsons.  Christmas through a child's eyes is the best!  I look forward to spending time with three of my own children.  I don't remember the last time we had Christmas with our son, this will surely be a treat! 

I am mostly packed, have tidied the house, bought and sent (well technically it was Amazon) my gifts except for the ones crammed in my over-packed suitcase. I have my long underwear packed, a bit of fleece and my wool coat ready for our departure.  I feel like a kid on Christmas eve!  I am also very sure I have forgotten something big!  I guess I won't know...until I know.

This Christmas season has been very enjoyable.  We have been to just enough parties to make us feel festive and connected.  Had just enough cold weather to get us in the spirit.   Done just enough shopping to feel the spirit of giving but not so much that we feel the spirit of stress and pressure.  I think it is a lot easier this year because I am not the hostess, for which I am eternally appreciative!  I am looking forward to our visit in Madison!

I hope all of you are able to take some time this week and enjoy your family and the blessings of Christmas!  Enjoy those quiet moments and those crazy moments!  Enjoy the smiles of children!  Enjoy the family meals and the special treats we only have at this time of year.  Enjoy being the giver and being the receiver.  Make some good memories!  Merry Christmas everyone! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Alexa, Write My Christmas Letter!

Wow!  It's been a month since I posted last.  Nothing happened!  We were thankful, we ate turkey, we shopped, and suddenly it's almost Christmas.  I am currently in deep procrastination mode.  While the rest of the world appears to have their halls decked, their Christmas cards in the mail, their gifts purchased, wrapped and mailed, I am waiting for my cards to arrive and finding every possible "time wasting" activity I can to avoid writing the Christmas letter.  I am even resorting to the blog, how ironic is that?  Writing to avoid writing. Maybe this will get my creative juices flowing....

This happened last week!
The same day the snow fell our heater quit working so that was fun.   I am considering those 36 hours to be our cold weather training for Christmas in Madison.  Our thin southern blood needed to thicken up for the holidays.  I did not really mind bundling up in the house and drinking hot tea, and carrying a down blanket with me everywhere.  The fireplace kept us only slightly warm, it is gas and does not match good old wood in the warming department.  The ambiance was nice though.
I got a little crafty
I saw a video on how to make this wreath so I purchased the balls and ribbon and came home expecting this project to be simple and rewarding.  Well it was easy and hilarious.  I bought the cheap non-shattering balls because they came in a huge box all together and coordinated, it is a good thing I did!  As I strung them on the wire hanger some of them just popped off their tops and went bouncing across the floor.  I was expecting a huge wreath and after all the bouncing balls the circle became smaller.  TJ helped by twisting the top of the hanger back together which resulted in more balls popping off.  I really should not try Pintrest ideas at home. 
I rescued some basil from the freezing weather!
I was on a domestic roll so I decided to make some pesto after I finished my wreath.  With the impending snow/freezing weather I needed to harvest my basil and put it to work.  The pesto was delicious!  I definitely cook better than I can craft!

Through my wreath making and my pesto making TJ was talking to his new girlfriend, Alexa.  I could hardly keep a straight face!  He was setting her up and using the trial and error method.  I think at one point he said, "this one is fried,  it is useless now." 
Once he established connectivity with his girl Alexa, the conversation went something like this....

TJ- "Alexa, play some music." 
Alexa- "Playing bridesmaids get ready playlist" and All The Single Ladies starts playing.
TJ- "Alexa, I don't like that song".  The next booty shaking bridesmaid song came on and he told her he did not like that song either.

I was cracking up at this point.  If only the next words out of Alexa would have been, "Playing old fart playlist." she would now be my best friend!  That chick just doesn't have a sense of humor!

The whole process reminded me of this Saturday Night Live skit!

I think I'll just tell Alexa to write my Christmas letter!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sunny Days

There is no doubt about what I am thankful for this weekend.  I spent all day Friday and had a Saturday night sleepover with my grandson who currently happens to be he cutest thing on two feet, in my humble opinion.  Logan is my youngest grandson...and I think the ages from 2 1/2 to 5 may be some of my favorite.  Memories of my own kids and my other grandsons come back and remind me....these years are the sponge years.  These are the years they are taking it all in!  It seems like every day he is learning something new and I love being able to witness his developing personality.

"I got this Gigi!"
I am thankful for the hours of playground time I've had recently.  Grandparenting is so much easier than parenting!  I am able to enjoy the time together playing without having to worry about a "to do" list waiting for me at home.  It can wait. Another thing to be thankful for is the relative leisure pace of my current life that affords me the time to spend with this guy.  Logan is thankful for a good playground.

Waiting for me to spot him on his slide down the fireman pole.
I found a children's museum/discovery center nearby and Logan and I checked it out on Friday.  It was an excellent morning activity for both of us.  I love it when you find the perfect age appropriate activity.  Each station had just enough fun and learning to keep him interested for over an hour.  I enjoyed just watching that little brain figure things out.  I have learned to be patient enough to let him go through the trial and error process until he finds the correct solution.  Like I said...sponge brain!

Figuring it all out!

Thankful for perspective.  Thankful for opportunity.  Thankful for time spent together playing.

Happiness is a ball pit!
I had a little deja vu on Friday when I turned on Sesame Street for a bit of a break.  I remember my kids and older grandsons were always captivated by that show.   There is something about a cute red puppet named Elmo that grabs their attention.  I remembered this photo I took of Daniel when he was 2 and noticed the same rapt attention on Logan.
Cousin Daniel watching Sesame Street at about the same age as Logan.
Logan watching Sesame Street....guess he needs a giant Elmo!
That show sure does have a mesmerizing affect on them!

Thankful for sunny days and smiles!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Thankful Month

In the spirit of Thanksgiving I have decided to focus on things I am thankful for this month.  Join me in this focus and let me know what you are thankful for.

Last week, I was thankful I lived in Houston!  In spite of the still-summer-like weather it was a good week to be a Houstonian.  We, and I mean the Astros with my diligent help in the "watching, stressing, cheering, orange shirt wearing" department, finally won a World Series!  The city was the happiest place on earth for the week.  Everywhere you went there were people wearing Astros shirts and smiles.  I watched every inning of every game beginning with the ALCS against the Yankees and then the World Series against the Dodgers.  It was high adventure!  A sports junkie's nirvana!  Both series went the full 7 games, which was exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time.  We were a city full of Halloween Astros Zombies!
Feel the joy!
Thanks Astros!
When the series was over many of us wondered what we were going to do at night, once we caught up on our sleep.  There were many late nights involved in pulling our team to victory.  Anything on television now pales in comparison to the weeks of nail biting baseball.  I am thankful our city has something to celebrate together!

I am also thankful for good friends.  Our anniversary friends came to visit us for a few days last weekend.  We did what we usually do and caught up on life, ate good food, drank some good wine (or good bourbon), explored a new part of Houston and planned our next anniversary trip.  Next year we will both be officially married for...ever!  This anniversary deserves a great trip.  Stay tuned for the destination of choice.  Part of the fun is in the planning.
Waiting to see what is down below....

The Houston Cistern is a very cool place!
Which made me thankful for my photography class that
opened my eyes to this hidden gem.

In closing, now you can all be thankful this is my last post about baseball for a while!  OK, one more time....Go Astros!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Night To Remember

From the title you might think this is some romantic date night post....but you would be wrong.  This is about one of the best nights in my life as a sports fan.  I am admittedly a sports junkie.  College football is my favorite sport to watch but post season baseball (college and pro) are a close second.  I love the playoffs, even when "my" team is not playing.  I can waste spend entire Saturdays flipping between two or three college football games from noon until well into the night.  These game days are only made better with the back doors wide open, a  nice pleasant breeze blowing through the house and maybe some good old junk food to top it all off.

Last Saturday was a banner day in my sports world!  The Astros were playing game 7 in the ALCS  here in Houston, LSU was playing Auburn and Notre Dame was playing USC.  These were all big games.  The Astros game was a HUGE game!  The night before when the Astros won game 6, TJ said...on his way to bed, "You should find some tickets to tomorrow's game!".  I promptly scoured the internet and bought two tickets behind home plate.
WAY behind home plate!
I wondered.... for a moment, how I was going to go to the baseball game and watch both of my favorite college football teams.  The ESPN app is a wonderful thing!  I managed to keep up with both of my football teams (who also won that night) and remain engaged in cheering the Astros to victory.  As a fan...being in the sold out stadium for game 7 was a bucket list event.  The adrenaline and collective energy generated by the crowd when the last fly ball was caught for the win was a sports fan's dream come true!  Instead of jumping and screaming in front of my television at home I had thousands of other fans to jump up and down and scream with me! 
The Astros are in the World Series and that just doesn't happen every year!  Here is hoping that thousands of other lucky (Astros!) fans get to experience the joy of seeing their team win the big game.  As for me, I will have to watch this one on the television.  Go Astros! 

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