Friday, July 19, 2019

Her smile

My Mom would have been 85 today.  I wonder what she would have been like as an 'old woman.'  My grandma (her mom) lived to be 93 and boy, she was something.  The meanest old lady you would ever meet - but that's another story for another day.  My Mom was heading down that road so I can only imagine.  She'd snap at you for the littlest thing and boy could she hold a grudge.

It's funny because after Mom died, I had lots of people tell me they remembered her smile.  She had such a nice smile they'd say.  She was quiet and always smiling.  I even found someone on Facebook that I hadn't seen in years.  When I told her my Mom had passed, she said the first thing she saw in her mind was her smile.  And she did have nice straight, pretty teeth.  What they didn't know was she was very hard of hearing.  She'd often just stand there silent and smiling because she didn't know what the conversation was about!  And she'd often look to me to "translate" when a question was directed her way.

Why didn't my kids get her teeth!? 

What's funny is that I don't remember her smiling much at home.  I remember her being mad!!   Sometimes she wasn't really mad, but it was just the tone she was spoken to by her mom so it was what she knew.  She was often mad about something or at somebody.  She yelled a lot and slammed cabinet doors.  If anyone crossed her, she'd get even.  You might not know it was her, but she'd find a way to even the score.  I can only imagine the mean old lady she would have become.  It seems the older we get, the less nonsense we have the patience for.  I guess I will be a mean old lady someday too.

Also, in just a few days it will be 11 years since she passed.  It doesn't seem like it could be that long already.  Sometimes it's still hard to believe everything that happened happened and she is forever gone. 

Happy heavenly birthday, Mom.... miss you. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

It's definitely a Monday....

Well Barry has moved on and luckily we did not get much bad weather at all.  Mostly wind.  Very little rain.  Our electricity went out about 4am Saturday morning and was out for 13 hours.  We have a generator to run the necessities.  Since we ditched cable, we were even able to watch TV with our trusty antenna!   It was cool and breezy outside so having no a/c was not as miserable as it has been with past storms.  I had chicken and hot dogs to cook on the grill, but we got word that Texas Roadhouse had power and was opening at 1pm so THAT ended up being our hurricane dinner instead!! 


In other news, this happened today: 

Veronica got spacers put in a week ago and today was the big day -- top braces!  My poor girl has some seriously jacked up teeth.  In addition to the obvious spacing issues, her bite and jaw are way way off. My teeth were not that bad and Clint's are fairly straight, so who knows why hers are.  She is going to need all sorts of orthodontic treatment.  Frenectomy.  Palate expander and a Forsus appliance which is this spring thingy that will pull her bottom jaw forward. 

All of that I knew about from the consultation...  but my whole day felt derailed after they told me she also has an impacted canine tooth.  She has a retained baby tooth and the permanent tooth is impacted above it.  The thing is....  I asked at the dentist in April about her baby teeth.  They have been pushing for an ortho consult for years, and I told them we were waiting until she lost all of her baby teeth.  In April, the hygienist told me she had lost them all.  Not only does she still have a baby tooth, but the permanent tooth is also impacted!?!  Our two choices are to go see an oral surgeon so they can cut it out to put a bracket on it and force it into place.  Or just pull the baby tooth and hope that the new tooth descends as it should.  Going with the lessor aggressive option #2 (already scheduled for tomorrow) and hoping it resolves on it's own.  I hate "teeth stuff" and dread going to the dentist.  Veronica seems fine with it all though and said she doesn't care if she has a tooth pulled.  We shall see about that. 

Whew.  And it's only day one in braces.  Just 899 more to go.......

Friday, July 12, 2019

Waiting for Barry

Well, Barry is coming to visit.  Will it be Tropical Storm Barry or Hurricane Barry?   Eh, I'm not all that concerned.  It's basically a rainmaker.  Will we really get 20" of rain??  The invention of Facebook seems to have added to the hype when it's storm season.  Everybody is a meteorologist and everybody has a 'bad feeling' about this storm. Everybody throws their two cents in on where it's going to turn.  Back in the day, the news would say a storm was coming and we'd have to wait to watch the forecast at a designated time.  Now, it's accessible 24/7 and hearing the SAME info repeated over and over sends people into a tizzy. It's overkill.  Life used to go on as usual until the storm was almost here.  The parish actually closed/cancelled a bunch of stuff yesterday -- THURSDAY -- it was sunshine all day -- and the really bad weather isn't going to be here until Saturday. 

I guess my kids aren't buying into the hype because Veronica's main concern was, "What will I do with no WiFi?" 

Anyway, this is where I'll be this weekend taking in the nice cool breeze!!  (or perhaps the backyard because the wind blows the rain onto my rocking chairs!!) 

Friday, July 05, 2019

Happy 4th!

Our 4th of July was rather low key.  Veronica spent the week at 4-H camp in Pollock, LA, so it was just three of us instead of four.  Clint grilled lunch for us and I made my mom's bread pudding for an easy dessert.  We sat around most of the afternoon being very lazy!  Clint and Val went firework shopping and made it back just in time for the 4th of July parade:

Basically some of the fun people in the back decorate golf carts and trailers then ride around the block throwing candy!

Then we all went for round 2 of firework shopping and got snowballs on the way home.

Val and I sat outside on the porch a while and then drew with chalk in the driveway while waiting for nightfall.

Then we spent a couple of hours popping fireworks!  Fun, fun....

I'm catching up on a little housework and I may take Valerie to the mall for some "BACK TO SCHOOL" shopping (yes already.)

Baby girl is coming home today, also!!!  Oh, how I have missed her all week.  Camp does not allow phones or electronics so we have had no communication AT ALL.  I have just seen a few pictures of her on our 4-H Facebook page....  I hope she had a great time.  I can't wait to hear all about her camp  adventures!!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Old me vs New me

This is the old me:

Now here is the "new" (and old) me:

I'd often find my eyes felt funny, which left my head feeling funny.  I suspected it was my eyesight/eyestrain for a while now.  Far away isn't really bad, but I can't see small street signs when I'm driving as well as I used to.  I can't see a darn thing up close anymore.  I had some Dollar Tree cheaters to use when I had to read labels and such, but they hurt my eyes.

Sigh.  I admit I am not thrilled with the idea of wearing glasses.  For one, they bother me.  Even wearing sunglasses over the years, I'd arbitrarily take them off and put them back on repeatedly because I don't like the feel of them on my face or that I can see the frame.  (Same with these.)

So anyway, I had my eyes checked and I have progressive lenses with invisible bifocals.

Everything looks....  weird.  I expected to put them on and say WOW I CAN SEE BETTER!

But no.  Apparently you have to get used to progressives, which makes things worse before better.  I am going to adjust to everything being blurry??  Seems counterintuitive but whatever. 

I can see better far away to a degree depending on where I look through the lenses and can read tiny print at the right angle.  Everything mid-range is iffy and my peripheral vision is nothing but blur.   Like if I glance left or right - blur.  These are things I see perfectly fine without glasses, so I must put on glasses that make the things I see clearly look worse so that the things I can't see on occasion are clearer.  Huh?

There's a dead zone in the lenses like so:

I feel like I'm in a fishbowl.  I can see but then I can't see.  I went to a store today with narrow aisles and felt like I was walking through a fun house tunnel.  There's a whoosh of blur if I move too fast.  Sitting at the table, I can see my plate through the bifocals but my drink is blurry, my family is blurry, the table is blurry, the floor is blurry....  Seems easier to just take them off so I can SEE the world around me.  I expected the bifocals to be there but I didn't expect left and right to be a blur.  Or for straight lines to bend.  You're supposed to point your nose toward what you want to see.  But my distance vision isn't terrible as I mentioned, I can generally see everything around me just fine WITHOUT the hassle of nose pointing glasses.  The motion sickness and dizziness that comes along suck (although it may be lessening.)

Supposedly you get used to all these things and your brain blocks out the blurry dead zones and you can see far, mid-range, and near all with one pair of amazing glasses.  I like that idea, so I'm trying to stick it out and hopefully adjust, but after a few hours I am done.  I have things to do and get fed up with them looking distorted.  My eyes feel so tired and I'm dizzy- nauseous and I have to take them off.... and it's a relief to see normally again when I do.

They said to give it three weeks and if I still hadn't adjusted, to go back for a re-check.  I don't think i can wait that long.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Haircut time

Valerie hasn't had a proper haircut since she was 7.  She's 14-1/2 now!  I've been trimming the ends every now and then taking off an inch or so here and there.  She wanted super long hair and basically refused to cut any more than that!

The plan was to cut it before band camp.  It's super hot outside, so she knows having less hair to deal with for band would make things easier.  Then she discovered it was more manageable if we put it in twin french braids, and waffled back and forth about cutting it.  Band starts right around the corner, so it was time to decide. 

The appointment was made....

....  and she said goodbye to five inches.  That's the most she has cut off at once in years.

Honestly, she could have cut a few more inches.  It's still super long.  We then spent three hours getting balayage highlights done. 

Isn't it lovely?!?  It came out so pretty!!  It's natural looking and changes color in the light.  Now if I could only get her to wear it down instead of in the forever ponytail!! 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Christmas in June....

We just had a little Christmas fun... in June!

One of our family Christmas gifts was tickets to see Weird Al Yankovic!  I've been a fan for decades and had introduced the kids to his songs long ago.  When the concert was first announced, I told the kids about it and they began clamoring to go.  Of course I said NO but was secretly saying YES as I wrapped the tickets and put them under the tree! 

We decided to leave early in the day and spend the day at the Riverwalk.  (It helped us to beat the 5:00 traffic on I-10 also!!)   We walked around to kill time and grabbed dinner in the food court.  Then we went over to the Saenger Theater for the show. 

The beautiful Saenger Theater in New Orleans:

Our seats were way up in the balcony, but the theater isn't that big so every seat has a decent view.  The show was great!!  Weird Al is performing this tour with a full symphony orchestra so that gave it something extra.   For the opening, it was just the symphony playing a few fun songs like Radars March, Mission Impossible, Superman theme, and Star Wars. 

Weird Al did a little bit of old, obscure, and new:
  • Unplugged Medley (I Lost on Jeopardy/I Love Rocky Road/Like a Surgeon)
  • Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota
  • Word Crimes
  • One More Minute
  • Jurassic Park
  • Don't Download This Song
  • Weasel Stomping Day
  • Tacky
  • Harvey the Wonder Hamster
  • Jackson Park Express
  • Smells Like Nirvana
  • Dare To Be Stupid
  • White & Nerdy
  • Amish Paradise
  • The Saga Begins
  • Yoda
It was a little bit of the symphony, comedy, rock, and rap all rolled into one.  I wish he would have interacted with us a bit more, but he didn't have much to say.  Both girls loved it -- this was their first real concert experience.  We laughed so much and sang along....  such a fun night!! 

PS:  Did you know that Weird Al started school a year early, skipped second grade, which put him graduating two years early AND he was valedictorian?? 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Adventures in Band

A few weeks ago we went on yet another band adventure.  Yay band!  Towards the end of the school year, Valerie's band director nominated her to participate in a summer honor band - Louisiana Bandmasters All-Star Honor Band.  It was held in Tioga, LA, about three hours from home.

Since Val didn't have to audition to make the honor band, there was an audition for chair and band placement.  There was three bands:  concert band, symphonic band, and the top band was wind ensemble.  The music was a breeze... 

Valerie got second chair in the wind ensemble!!  Out of all the clarinets, she had the second highest score.  Yay!  Very proud of my girl.... It made for two very long days of rehearsing followed by a concert, but she handled it well. 

While Valerie was busy with band, we ducked away to visit Kent Plantation House.  It's beautiful and definitely worth a visit!  We had a guided private tour about what life was like on a working plantation.  Hint:  lots and LOTS of WORK from dawn till dark!! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Cutting the cord

A few months ago we did a thing....

We ditched cable TV and went back to an old school antenna.

Honestly it wasn't even the cost of the service.  It was all the added fees and rental charges.  It was just getting ridiculous and we barely watched most of the channels. Hundreds of channels that we just surfed through and there was nothing on.  We have Firesticks, Hulu, Prime, and Netflix and never watched live TV.  Ever.  We already have TiVos with lifetime service that record everything for us. Plus, most shows are available online at some point.  Clint did some research and picked out a $30 antenna to mount in the attic.  We hooked the kids TVs up with Firesticks and took the plunge.

We weren't sure just what channels we would catch, but we figured it was worth a try.  Surprisingly, with the antenna, we catch about 36 channels.  We get the local New Orleans stations, CBS, ABC, NBC, and even the CW.

On all 4 TVs. For. Free.

A lot of the shows we watch are on these channels, and the TiVo works with the antenna so we can still record them.

Clint bought our own cable modem for good measure.  He packed up all of Comcast's junk and turned it all back in.  They didn't question a thing.  Our bill dropped from almost $200 a month to $55 for just Internet.

It's been a few months now.  Do we miss cable??  Not really.  Maybe sometimes, like late at night when I'm flipping through channels.  Before there was nothing on, now there's really nothing on.  The kids grumbled a bit about not having Disney or Cartoon Network.  (Mostly Veronica.) Not that they watched much of it, but their TVs are on for background noise 24/7.  But hey...  Disney's streaming service is right around the corner, so that will fix that! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Old is new, again

Valerie has been asking for new bedroom furniture for a while, and I totally agreed.  The set she had was very little-girlish.  She was like 4 when we got it and it was cheap junk from Furniture Mart anyway!

Strangely, she wanted to downgrade from a full sized bed to twin daybed with a trundle.  So we began the Facebook search.  Now I will not buy a used mattress but a used bed frame and dresser - hell yeah!

We got lucky and there was someone selling a brand new daybed and trundle. Still in the box.  He had ordered the bed online, it arrived with a broken piece, so they sent him an entire new bed.  It was an easy fix, so we got an awesome deal on a brand new bed because the guy just wanted it gone.

Next we found someone selling a solid Sprague and Carlton all wood dresser.  It needed some minor repairs/TLC and I planned to  chalk paint it.  Still, it is solid wood and very very heavy.  Nothing like that press board stuff you find everywhere today.

I've never chalk painted anything before but it seemed easy enough.  I did find the places we sanded did better than the parts we didn't.  The paint cracked very badly in quite a few places and I had to re-do some of it.  I sanded down the paint, and primed, then painted again and it came out just fine.  I still have some places that still need to be fixed, but it came out very nice overall.  I would definitely do some sanding and priming before doing another piece of furniture like this.

Now Veronica has the exact same little girl bedroom furniture so we will be re-doing her room hopefully this summer!!  But first, it needs to be decluttered.....  she is a collector and doesn't like to part with anything!