Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Clues, Detours and Road Blocks

In honor of the Amazing Race beginning another season on Sunday, I will share my own personal amazing race from this past weekend.  TJ and I have been Amazing Race fans since the very first season in 2001 and even applied once....a very long time ago....to be on the show.  Now, you too, know one of my deepest secrets.  I have no idea why our very amateur video covering "the top 10 reasons we would be great on TAR" did not even get us an interview.  Ever since the show started, whenever I find myself in a bit of a travel challenge, I channel my inner AR contestant and power through the challenge.  There was that one time soon after 9/11 when I was in the Atlanta airport "the day the idiot ran back through security" and the airport was evacuated.  I ended up sleeping on the floor of the airport all night so I did not have to go back through the 3 hour security line in order to catch my flight in the wee hours of the next morning.  It was just easier to sleep on the floor than to go through that disaster again in a few hours.  Thankfully I had a coat for a blanket, a backpack for a pillow and newspaper for insulation.  Cozy!  I'm sure I would have won that leg of The Amazing Race!

TJ and I headed to NYC on Wednesday last week.  We were meeting our LG on Wednesday for dinner.  I was very excited about seeing her so imagine my surprise and disappointment when I arrived at the airport only to be told our flight was cancelled.  Not delayed....cancelled!  All of the options they gave us put us in NYC around 11 p.m. or midnight.  Too late for dinner with our LG.  As much as I wanted to, I did not cry in the airport.  I shifted into "momma bear needs to see her cub" mode.  TJ even suggested going home and flying out the next day.  No way, I was on a mission!  We chose the option that routed us through Chicago.  With a more than 3.5 hour layover I thought maybe, just maybe, we could get out earlier and  see our LG.  We landed in Chicago, exited our plane and I started looking.  Our original fight was going to Newark.  Right next to our arrival gate was a flight going to Laguardia in an hour.  I didn't really care which airport I flew into, I just needed to get to NYC.  I asked if there were seats available and there were.  We were put on the standby list which got us on the plane and into the city before 8 p.m.!!!  We managed to have dinner with our girl and there was peace and happiness once again!  Won another leg of TAR!

Rockefeller Center was jammed!  

The next leg of our race was to find TJ's grandmother's grave.  It is in Queens.  Easy.  Take a 40 minute subway ride to the second to last stop on the line.  Then catch a cab to the cemetery a mile and a half away, no problem.  Well maybe one problem.  When you get off at the second to last stop in Queens there are no cabs, we were not in Kansas anymore.  If I had known this I would not have worn my stylish riding boots.  Yeah...walking 3-4 miles in stylish riding boots is not that much fun.  I see comfortable walking shoes in my future!  Another complication was that the cemetery was huge!  It was also covered in snow.  We had a section number and plot number.  The section was easy to find but the plots numbers were under 2 feet of snow.  The nice cemetery worker helped us find the grave site and we tromped through the deep snow to find a historic landmark.

Great Grandfather, Great Grandmother, Grandfather and Grandmother

The rest of the trip involved melting snow, eating, drinking, and Carol King. NYC got a ton of snow this winter.  When it warmed up the snow went from white to black and melted quickly.  Underneath it all is a lot of ugly!

A lot of ugly snow.....
and a lot of just plain ugly.....

 We went on a quest for Broadway tickets and managed half price tickets to see "Beautiful, The Carol King Story".  All of us, "being of a certain age", really loved the music.  The play was beautiful...it made me feel like a natural woman and then we went up on the roof and felt the earth move under our feet!

Stay tuned as TAR goes to Steamboat Spring this weekend.  I hope I don't have to do a half pipe or a ski jump!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Creativity Rediscovered

There is something to be said about spending a day creating something.  I used to be a crafty person.  I used to sew and make stuff....a long time ago.  When I look back, I did most of my crafting when I had young children.  Somehow that just does not compute!  Who had time back then?  Somehow though, I managed to sew plenty of clothes for my girls, curtains for my windows, and create other needle crafts over the busiest years of my life.  What gives, besides the fact that I've become a lazy slob and the invention of the internet which seems to suck up a lot of my free time?

I know a lot of crafty people.  Some of them knit, some are artists, some sew, some do paper crafts and some are just generally crafty.  Crafting isn't dead I guess.  It's just been dormant in my life for a while.  I guess I haven't needed any new curtains lately and all of my girls are grown up and all of my grandchildren are grandsons who really don't wear smocked dresses.  I recently had the opportunity to smock a dress for a special little girl.  I agreed, hoping I would remember how to smock!  It's been a little while.  Well, it's just like riding a bike!  I also forgot how much I enjoy smocking!  I enjoy having something to keep my hands busy at night instead of a wine glass or food!

Today was one of those dreary, rainy, south Texas winter days that starts out 20 degrees warmer than it ends up.  I thought it was the perfect day to stay inside and finish putting the dress together.  I played CDs fresh out of the 90's and had myself a rockin' day making something!  My trusty dog never left my side....she didn't want to go outside either!  By the end of the day, I had listened to some of my favorite music and had something very pretty to show for my efforts.  Hmmm, maybe I should do more of this because there really is something to be said about spending a day creating!

A day or two or three.... well spent!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Give Me The Other Half of My Brain!

What to blog about this week?  That is the question.....  I could talk about Harry Connick Jr.'s awesomeness on American Idol or I could talk about planning the next great Mahoney wedding or maybe I could talk about sharing a brain with one of my sisters or I could just talk about the weather.
First the weather....
Park City, Utah
January 25, 2014
Note the lack of white stuff on the ground!
Back in Baton Rouge, LA,  Houston, TX and Atlanta, Georgia schools were cancelled, stores were closed, cars were sliding all over the icy freeways and people were in major panic mode or celebrating like children because of the snow and ice covering the ground.  When Houston cancels school twice in one winter because of ice and cold you know it is an unusual winter.  There are winters when the temperature does not even dip below freezing.  The world is upside down or at least sideways.

Last year we went on our our ski trip in mid March.  We usually have plenty of snow.  But, last year there wasn't much snow so we decided to plan this year for late January knowing it would be cold as (pick your favorite cold adjective) and there would be plenty of snow.  We plan and God laughs.  We arrived to temperatures in the 40's and no snow to speak of.  Luckily they had a good base on the mountain and we were still able to ski....just not in a foot of fresh powder.

Ahhh, there is some snow!

It was so nice and sunny and warm we sat out at the beach!
We enjoyed our sunny skies and comfortable temperatures...for skiing.  I'm glad we got out for those early days too because by Wednesday it was raining!  Raining in Park City, Utah in January.  Ick!  In all of my years I have never seen it rain there in the winter... I'm sure it does but not on my time!  The rain eventually turned to snow but conditions were not ideal.  We did get to ski on fresh snow Friday, but after being totally spoiled earlier in the week, it felt a lot like work skiing on that last day.  But who is complaining?  Well...maybe just a bit.

My sister and I realized, once again, that we must share a brain.  We have always had an uncanny way of wearing, buying, reading, saying, cooking, or thinking the same things.  We live in separate cities so it's not like we are together all of the time and get this through osmosis.  I am the oldest and she is the youngest.  Inevitably whenever we get together we show up wearing the same thing!

Did I mention how creatively we dress?

She showed up with a blouse she had just bought....I have the same exact one at home.  Definitely not the first time this has happened either!  I'm sure if you checked our closets we have many of the same clothes.  We had to start checking before we got dressed to see what the other was wearing so we did not look like twins....hehe.  I wish!  Aside from our uncanny ability to choose the same clothes we are the most alike of the four sisters.  We are also the ones who get referred to as "capable".  Some people may take this as a compliment but I'm not sure either of us does.  We have two sisters who excel, each in her own field.  We have no long suit but are "capable" of many things.  Maybe we excel at being "capable".  During dinner one night she cracked me up and said, "We share the same brain.... just think how smart we'd be if we had the other half of our brain!"  And then we watched American Idol and formed the Harry Connick Jr. "capable" sisters fan club!

Give me back the other half of my brain!

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