Monday, December 31, 2018


A series of unfortunate events.

That sums up 2018.

Of course, it wasn't all bad.  Both kids accomplished lots of great things.  We went to Disney and the beach.

The year began with the flu, then Clint was diagnosed with phantosmia, then cancer, had surgery, then radioactive iodine, spent a week isolation...  then most recently was told he has sleep apnea.

Then there was the cat.  The diabetic cat that cost me a small fortune and I spent months and months doting over sticking her with needles.  At least it paid off because she is in remission!!

Seems like the kids were sickly this year as well, constant runny noses, sore throats, flu, etc.  Many visits to the pediatrician.

I'll just be thankful for insurance coverage and leave it at that. 

It's been a crazy year and hopefully 2019 will be less eventful health wise for all.

It's funny how long ago I couldn't imagine staying home on New Year's Eve, and now I can't imagine being anywhere but home!!  Tonight will be pretty low-key.  Clint bought a little pile of fireworks to appease the kiddos.  Dinner will be ordered via Waitr from our favorite Mexican restaurant.  We'll likely walk over to a neighbor's house to hang out with them for a little while.   So long 2018....

Wishing you all a safe and fun New Year's Eve!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Amazing Spray

Way back in the time before DVDs there were VCR tapes. My first job was in a store that rented movies and video games.  We even rented VCRs for a while, but eventually they were all broken and were not replaced.  We also rented gaming systems like SEGA Genesis, but again, they all ended up broken.

One of our duties was to do a bit of cleaning to keep up the store.  Every night we had to vacuum.  We had a popcorn machine and it never failed that some kid would dump their bag of popcorn all over the floor.  We had to clean the darn popcorn machine which was a pain in the ass to mess with.  It was even worse if you forgot to flip the pot and accidentally burned popcorn (don't ask me how I know.)

Every night we had to wipe down the counters from top to bottom.  They were cream colored with red trim and people often rested a foot on them while checking out, leaving shoe marks.  We had to wipe down endless movies shelving also, which also was a huge pain.  Our cleaning supplies consisted of very watered down product called Amazing Spray and paper towels.

Amazing Spray?  It was some sort of cleaning concoction delivered in a gallon jugs by a local supplier.  The kind of business that replenished paper towels, soap, and the like.  It was a light reddish or maybe a deep pink color and we were not allowed to use it full strength. We were not to waste it, so basically we were only to put a small bit of Amazing Spray in a spray bottle and then fill the rest with plain tap water.  Then we used it to wipe down all that was needed every night.

I actually got in trouble a few times because my cleaning mix was 'too dark.'  Seriously I got fussed for using "too much" of the sacred Amazing Spray.  "Add more water," they'd say. "It's too red." Okay...

I'm sure the "amazing" part of Amazing Spray was lost by then since it was mostly water.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Old Disney World

I was only four years old when my parents first took me to Disney World.   I often wonder how that came about.  It's one of the things I wish I would have asked them.  They were not big vacation people and Disney World had only been open a few years.  But somehow, in the summer of 1977 just before I turned five, it was decided we should drive 800 miles to Orlando.  Trips didn't take all the planning they do now, so I'm sure they just picked a week, then just packed up and went.  Found a hotel along the way, bought tickets at the gate.  I remember driving up to the parking gate and being so excited!!  I don't even think I knew what Disney World was.  I remember eating supper somewhere that the monorail passed though, so that had to be what is now Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary.  I had a fried chicken leg.  I remember laying on my Momma after dinner that night while sitting on a ledge at the Magic Kingdom, feeling so tired, almost asleep, waiting for the fireworks to start.  Right after the fireworks started, without warning, I vomited all over my Mom.  Oops.  Too much Disney I suppose.

They took me again when I was ten.  And again when I was seventeen.  Both of those were my doing and took my convincing! 

Here are some of the old pictures from our trips.  It amazes me at how empty the streets of Magic Kingdom look.  In a time where we document every moment of our lives with a click of a button, I also can't believe how few photographs we have and that none are in front of Cinderella Castle.  (????)

The skyway!!

My friend Cindy, Mom, and Me somewhere at Magic Kingdom in 1982

Friday, December 28, 2018

The shed

I was a little girl when my Daddy bought the shed.  I couldn't have been but six or seven years old.  Eight at most.  I remember knowing it was coming.  It seems like it was spring time - Easter was close.  I guess it was delivered while I was at school.  It sat on the side driveway for a few days, and to me, it was a giant play house!  I hung out in it and even brought some dolls inside.  It was rather hot inside of a metal building but I didn't care.  I liked the way it smelled of wood and metal.  I wanted it to stay right where it was and it was mine. 

The next thing I knew, it was somehow in the backyard and my Dad had put his tools and stuff in it.  What?  It wasn't mine after all?!  To get it in the backyard, he had to take down the chain link fence on the side of the house.  (It was many, many years before he put it back up.)  I seem to recall him telling me he used some big pipes under it and rolled it little by little to the back corner.   I guess someone must have helped him.  No clue. 

1982 when it was fairly new

It sat in the back corner almost my entire life.  We kept the chicken feed and duck feed just inside the door.  Various kiddie swimming pools.  Rusty cans of nails.  Screws of every size.  Rusty tools.  Random chemicals. White 5 gallon buckets of misc. parts.  Cans of paint. Old lawnmower parts.  Broken stuff.  My Atari ended up in there when we stopped playing it.  The wooden toy box my Dad made for me sat in there for years, until he repainted it for Valerie.  Shelves full of stuff.  Junk and more old junk, because my Dad wouldn't part with anything that might be useful someday. 

Well, yesterday we had quite some bad weather roll through.  The tenants contacted Clint about some damage.  The roof had blown completely off the shed.  The wood is rotting.  Like so many other things at that house, time has taken it's toll and after 40 years, I do believe it's done for.  At least the tenants have kept the tradition alive and it's still full of junk. 

Birthday party fun

Last night we hosted Valerie's 14th birthday slumber party at home.  Her actual birthday is December 21, so we either have her party really early or a little late.  Christmas birthdays are so hard because people are off doing Christmas stuff!  Her party was rather small this year and that was okay with me.  They all had a great time eating pizza, playing the Switch, watching movies....    fun memories for them!  (Mamma got barely no sleep so Mamma is tired!  lol )

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Hi, Nikon

Santa (that's me) brought me a new camera.  I already have a Canon Rebel and it's great, but it is bulky to carry around.  It's heavy and it gets in the way.  My biggest complaint was the shutter noise also.  There is no way to turn it off so with every picture you take, there is a loud 'click' of the shutter.  Nobody wants to hear constant clicking during concerts, recitals, awards, etc.

I had been eyeing this red Nikon Coolpix B500 at Target for a while.  It's cheap for a Nikon.  I wanted a smaller camera to bring places and this seemed to be pretty decent.  I found it on sale on Amazon and decided it would be my Christmas present. 

So far, I like it.   Here are some test shots I took around our yard with it. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

So long, Christmas

Another Christmas has come and gone....

I don't know why, but it never really did feel like Christmas to us.  Even the kids said the same.  They got presents, but it didn't feel right.  We did all the decorating and listening to Christmas music, but not much else.  I didn't do all of my usual holiday baking.  I only watched a few Christmas movies and I don't think the kids watched any!!  We didn't even ride around looking at lights.  We also didn't take family pics to send out cards....  I guess I never completely found my Christmas spirit.   

Anyway, our Christmas was uneventful. 

Christmas Eve I cooked and cleaned all morning.  We had our usual party fare for dinner:  little sandwiches, meatballs/sausage, deviled eggs, chips/dip, and various desserts.  We snapped a few pics in front of the tree then it was present time.  I have to say the kids were hilarious.  They can be so silly and funny and it was rather entertaining watching them open gifts.  Veronica seems to still 'believe' and even told our elf "bye, Chippy!  Hope you have a great year... see you you next Christmas."   After both kids were in their rooms (not asleep,) Santa passed around 10:30 and went to sleep also.  About 12:30am Veronica got up because the Santa tracker showed that he had been to Louisiana.  She got Val up and they had a quick look at their stuff and back to bed they went. 

Christmas morning Veronica was up earlier than I expected.  She got Val up and they went through the stuff from Santa.   Santa stuff was sparse this year as Santa wasn't expecting to pass!  Clint and I stayed busy in the kitchen cooking Christmas dinner.  One of our neighbors joined us for dinner, and that was about the extent of our day.  We watched TV and I took a short nap. 

I'm sure this was the last year for Santa.  I'm sad because it sure has been fun, but I'm okay with it.  Christmas is a lot of work and this mamma is tired.  Val knows I'm Santa but plays along.  Veronica -- as smart as that kid is you'd think she have it all figured out by now.  She's almost 12, so I don't see her believing for much longer. 

Today, I did some clearance shopping online.   For some reason, I didn't have the desire to get up early to hit the stores.  I ordered many, many bath gift sets from Target then many bottles of shower gel from Bath and Body Works.  Hey, with three girls in this house we go through a lot of that stuff!!   I started packing up our inside Christmas things and sorting through the totes of stuff in the garage.  I have way too much Christmas stuff and I need to pare it down some. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas....

.... from my family to yours.....

Monday, December 24, 2018

It's Christmas Eve!

It's been a busy few days... 

Friday was Val's 14th birthday.  We took her out to dinner and saw "Mary Poppins Returns" afterwards.  The movie was okay.... the kids loved it and liked how it had an old school feel to it. 

Saturday evening Clint and I went to a Christmas party.  We never get invited to such things.  My cousin in Morgan City invited us, so we went by for a little while.  We didn't stay late but it was nice to get out for some adult time. 

Party ready

Yesterday we took Valerie, Veronica, and two of their friends to this big Christmas Fest in New Orleans.  It's inside the convention center which is HUGE.  The fest is only in part of the convention center and boasts 325,000 square feet of Christmas fun.  It's a great time and reasonably priced.  It's $20 a person, but if you bring an empty Coke can, it's $15.  And that includes everything inside.

Probably the biggest draw is the ice rink!  They are practically non-existent around here, so it's a rare chance to ice skate. 

There's fair rides like the scrambler, carousel, and tilt-a-whirl. 

The four girls seemed to have a blast running around going from ride to ride....  running across from one end of the convention center to the other.

I'd say it was a good time for all as we were all pretty tired at the end of the day!!