Sunday, November 22, 2015

An Unexpected Evening

Sometimes life surprises you!  I've been plugging along in my life doing what I do everyday, nothing spectacular or blog worthy.  I won't say life has been boring because it hasn't been.  It's actually been great but who wants to read about beautiful weather, my golf game, book club, family visitors, college football and me actually making cute foods "as seen on" Pinterest?

Yes, I actually made a cheese ball in the shape of a dice for Bunco.
I have way too much time!
Last night a friend invited us to a private club for some fun, fellowship and live music.  Far be it from us to refuse an offer like that.  I'll just preface this by saying I'm not a huge country music fan. I can listen to it in small doses and I'll watch the country music awards shows and can definitely appreciate the good stuff every now and then but it is not my "go to" music of choice. The concert venue was definitely a country music place with a name like The Redneck Country Club!  I dusted off my boots and put on my jeans and we geared up for a big Friday night.  I honestly had no idea what to expect.  I was more than pleasantly surprised!

We got there early and when we walked in I thought the place was awesome!  There was both indoor and outdoor space.  Outside there were beanbag games set up, outdoor fire pits, a bar, lawn chairs and lights and inside there was a nice stage, some neat reclaimed wood walls and ceilings, beer bottle chandeliers, some redneck kitsch and the seats were old school lawn chairs!  I knew then and there I was in for a different kind of night.  

Not a bad place for a concert!
Like I said, we were early....

I had the feeling I was back at Gilley's during the Urban Cowboy days but without the mechanical bulls.  Not that I ever went there but I did see the movie.  It was as if all the people from 1980 were moved to this building 35 years later and 35 years older.  A few things caused me to pause through the night.  First, I noticed a bar stool at the bar with guns as legs and a vest hanging over the back of the chair covered with military patches.  There was a sign on the bar in front of the bar stool that said "this seat is reserved in honor of all those men and women who fought for our country and never returned home."  Sigh....  The club definitely honors veterans. 

 Before the headliner was introduced the announcer asked all of the veterans to raise their hands and everyone gave them a round of applause.  He proceeded to asked them to come to the dance floor in front.  He asked who had fought in Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, and any other conflicts.  It was quite the moment in light of recent events in the world.  I found myself feeling very proud.  It's easy to forget that there are men and women generously serving our country every day and it was nice to be in their presence and show them some respect and appreciation.  
The crowd standing in appreciation of their service.
The music was boot scootin' good!  I had never heard of the Paul Thorn Band  (go ahead and click on one of the links and give them a listen) before but I'll probably hear them again!  I can totally appreciate a good singer/songwriter and he was definitely entertaining. I noticed there were two men who danced with several different women throughout the night and many times they were the only ones on the dance floor.  One fellow was a tall drink of water and what a dancer!  He had on boots, of course, and a black cowboy hat with a tassel that he totally rocked and boy could he dance!  I know, I already said that but it is worth repeating.  It was Texas two-step at its best.  The other fellow was older and wider and also a very good dancer.  I mentioned to our friends that I thought maybe they worked there and just danced with different women to lure others onto the dance floor.  She confirmed my suspicion.  I was in awe of their smooth steps! 

The evening was a pleasant surprise all around.  A cool venue, a touch of patriotism, great music and dancing all in one.  Unexpected and just what I needed to get me out of my day to day routine life and show me a bit of Texas.  Thanks friends!

Being the responsible drinkers that we are, we used Uber for our transportation.  Our driver on the way home was a student.  While chatting we found out he is studying nursing, is from Afghanistan, worked for the U.S. military for three years and is very homesick for his family who is still in Afghanistan.   I couldn't help but think there was some sort of cosmic message in the entire evening.  Maybe I do like country music.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Pinterest Party Season is Here....ugh!

It's that time of year again!  You know...the time of year when everyone goes Pinterest crazy with clever decorations and foods....and I work on my golf game.  It begins at Halloween and does not relent until Christmas is over.  I am sure the Pinterest gurus are licking their tasty, glittery chops just thinking of all the traffic they will be getting over the next two months!  Think of all the table decorating ideas, Thanksgiving meal ideas, Christmas nativity configurations, Griswold-esque outdoor lighting ideas and healthy gluten free turkey dressing ideas one can glean from boggles the mind!  The pressure to perform is killing me already.  Nah, not really.  I mostly look, admire and carry on.

I was reminded of all the revelry last weekend while I was visiting my daughter and her family in Madison, WI.  I had the honor of attending two Halloween class parties while I visited.  I was amazed by the effort put forth by some of the class moms.  I overheard two of the moms chatting and one asked the other, while admiring the festive table (pictured below), where she found all of the wonderful food ideas.  "Pinterest", she replied.  "Of course"... I silently groaned to myself.
It is all almost too cute to eat!

It was all adorable and the kindergarten class loved the chocolate donut spiders and the vampire donuts.  I'm still not sure I would have taken the time to put eyes on every vampire donut, spider donut, and ghostly banana.  I would have been much more like the room parents of the other class party.  The food all looked and there were fun games, which the kids and the teacher enjoyed.   I wonder if I would volunteer to be a room parent now with all of the added pressure from the Pinterest Moms.  I would probably step aside and let them shine and figure out another way to contribute that doesn't involve being creative or spending hours stalking Pintrest.

We had a great time visiting the grandsons.  We had not seen them since Easter!  I know...!  They change so much in such a short time at their ages.  We had a lot of catching up to do while we were there.  My first activity was to go on a nature hike with the two older boys and one of their friends.  I did my best to keep up with them and keep them out of the raging waters in the stream.  They were certain we could all jump right over it to the other side, I was a little less certain.  Being in or near the woods lead to boys climbing on logs, boys finding sticks and making them into weapons, boys running ahead, boys sticking things into the raging waters and getting as close as they possibly could without actually going into the water.  All of these activities reminded me that it has been a very long time since I had a little boy much less chased one.  We all survived and were gone so long their mother was beginning to wonder if we were ever coming back.  It's hard to get boys out of the woods!

This is what my view looked like most of the time.....
"hurry up, Gigi!"
Searching for a way across the raging waters.

It was getting dark but none of them wanted to go home,
there were still more logs to climb on!

This was my second trip to visit them for Halloween.  As I have said before, Halloween is not my favorite holiday, so I have decided to figure out a way to make it enjoyable.  I must say, I do enjoy Halloween with grandsons.  It's very nice to show up and reap the joy of treats, costumes and parties without doing any of the work.  That's work and all play!  Needless to say, the trip to Madison was a success and we caught up on a lot of life.  It's such a shame that I don't get to see them very often.  Living apart is not ideal to say the least.
The Grim Reaper, a Shepard and a dragon.
They covered all bases!
One more indulgence, because I can't get enough of this video.  The finer details of vampires, boys and girls....according to John.  He was having a private conversation all the way home about this topic and finally I just had to video him, I could watch this over and over.  Time needs to freeze him at two and a half for a while, he's too cute!

The three people he mentions are his very brave teachers....who are not afraid of vampires!
Have a great day and party on!

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