Friday, August 30, 2019

Another trip around the sun

Someone asked me how old I was a few weeks ago, and I had to stop and think...  thirty... wait no forty...  forty??.... I'm about to be 47?


Well, today is the day I am 47.

There was a time when that sounded so old.  Now, not so much.  I don't feel like I could be 47.  The mirror says otherwise.  Grey hair and wrinkles are creeping in.  The hair - I don't care - and I'm actually attempting to let the years of dye grow out.

The wrinkles and aging skin I see in the mirror do bother me and I know there isn't much I can do about it.  I once had perfect skin and was asked all the time if I had on make-up when I didn't.  Now, not so much.  While I haven't gained any weight in pounds, I have gained inches.  I need to find my motivation and energy to hit the gym hard to at least try to get back to where I was a few years ago. Lately I have been so so tired, which is another story in itself.  There's no tired like "no thyroid" tired.

I could also do without the random aches and pains that keep popping up.

Time isn't friendly to anyone....

Anyway, I baked myself a cake.  I always do for no other reason than just because I can.  I know what I like and how to make it!  Triple layer white almond sour cream cake, from scratch lemon filling, and homemade almond buttercream icing.  Yes, I know I have messy icing writing.

No other real plans, except going out to dinner this evening.  Where?  I don't know yet.  It's hard to figure out a place that makes everyone (as in the very picky kids) happy.  I wanted to see a movie, but there isn't anything at the theater that I'm interested in. The piano bar I wanted to go to is closed for the holiday weekend which makes no sense to me.   So it's looking like dinner somewhere and a night of Netflix at home.  (??)

Oh well, here's to making year 48 even better!!

Birthday flowers from my husband 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

All eyes on Dorian!

It's hard to believe Hurricane Katrina hit 14 years ago today.  We had only been in our house not quite two years, so that was the first major storm to come our way.  Clint bought plywood and made coverings to board up the windows.  We thought about leaving, but the idea of evacuating with 8 month old Valerie was daunting.  It's not that easy to just leave everything. We had pets that made it hard to travel.  Sitting in gridlock for hours isn't very appealing, especially with a baby.  So we stayed put. My parents also stayed.  We were lucky that we just got some wind and rain.  We lost power for a few days and had no idea of what was unfolding just a short distance away in New Orleans at first...  Then we started listening to the distress calls coming in over WWL Radio. 

This is how you hurricane prep!

 Also a few days ago was also the anniversary of Hurricane Andrew.  August 26, 1992.  I was 20 years old and had never evacuated before in my life!  My Mom, Dad, and grandparents all loaded up what we could and drove to my Aunt's house in De Ridder, LA.  It's usually about a 3 hour drive, it took 7 or 8.  My hometown of Morgan City got a direct hit by weak category 3 Andrew.  We were lucky then too as our home had minimal damage.  The worst was being without power for days and days after our return. We actually got word that a hotel around the corner had power and had rooms!  And air conditioning!  So my Mom and I hurried over and booked a room.  My Dad stayed behind in the smothering hot house to keep an eye on things.  It was a while before things got back to normal. 

Then September 1, 2008 there was Gustav.  August 28, 2012 there was Issac.  (see a pattern here?) 

Now, all eyes are on Dorian!  They're predicting a Florida landfall as a category 4, 130-156 mph winds.  I feel sorry for all the Disney World vacationers, but once the weather passes the parks will open and be EMPTY (spoken like a true Disney fan, huh?!)  After it gets over Florida, it's supposed to turn north.  For a while it looked like it might move over into the Gulf of Mexico and head our way...  it's looking a little better for us.  Anyway, if you're in Florida, prep time is now!!  Stay safe out there... 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Wordless Wednesday ~ Which Chicken Sandwich?

Everybody's all... 

While my kids are.... gimme another one of these: 

Monday, August 26, 2019

The instant craze

I know I'm late to the game!  But I'm not one to just go out a buy something because it's the new fad kitchen gadget.

I eyed these for two weeks.  Two weeks!!  Then I found myself wandering around Wal-mart thinking about them and texted Clint that they were marked down.  He said get it.  I wasn't sure how much or how often I'd use it. I mulled around a bit then decided why not?  I figured it might come in handy. I finally joined the cult and bought an Instant Pot.

I've only used it a few times and I'm still on the fence.  It's 'okay.'  I made some honey chicken that was pretty good.  I cooked a perfect beef roast in about an hour.  I made white beans, which took a little longer than the hour stated in the recipe I followed ....  but it was much faster than on the stove.

I joined some Facebook groups for recipe ideas.  So many of them have pasta or rice, and we rarely eat them anymore since we follow somewhat of a lazy low carb diet.  I joined some low-carb recipe groups as well but so far nothing has seemed too appealing or it seems easier to just cook on the stove/oven.  I think I will try cooking a whole chicken next. 

It still seems like a glorified crock-pot, and I hardly ever use my crock-pot. 

Do you have an Instant Pot?  What are some of your favorite dishes to make in it?

Friday, August 23, 2019

Regressing from the progressives

Well, I tried.  I really tried.  For weeks, I tried over and over.  I finally gave up on the progressive lenses glasses.  I wanted to like them but I just couldn't do it.  The longer I wore them, the worse I'd feel and the worse things would look!  The blurriness on the sides and the fishbowl effect never went away.  Every time I'd look around, straight lines became wavy.  Seasick!  The only way distance worked well was if I just stared off in the distance straight ahead and did not move my head or look to the side.  Driving with them was really hard because there was so much blur.  Even reading, I found the clear area was so small that I could only see a few words at a time.  There was no laying in bed reading a book with them.  I'd force myself to wear them, but just end up just frustrated and taking them off.

So, I gave up. 

I brought them back a few weeks ago and they re-checked my prescription and still tried to sell me another pair of progressives.  No thank you.  I had them re-made with single vision lenses for distance only.  Then I ordered a separate pair of (crazy expensive) reading glasses.  Glasses, even only wearing as needed, will still take some getting used to. These already don't seem to be nearly as bad as the progressive lenses were.

So this is me to see near.

And this is me to see far (mostly driving.)

And this is me the rest of the time because my mid-range doing day to day things vision is just fine!  hahaha!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Room re-do #2

Late post! 

After Valerie got a furniture upgrade earlier this summer, Veronica wanted to do the same. She has been complaining about her mattress being uncomfortable for a while now.  It was time for her to say goodbye to the little girl pink furniture also.

I scoured Facebook once again.  Veronica's room is smaller than Val's, so I had to find furniture that fit.  I happened to run across a daybed with a trundle from one person and a chest of drawers from another that were a fairly good match!  And cheap, cheap!!  Hey, I have no qualms about buying second hand to save a buck.... 

The chest has a few nicks in it that had been filled in, but other than that, it was in perfect shape.  The owner of it was moving, so it had to go.

The daybed is beautiful iron scroll work with wood trim.  It was a steal in comparison to pricing we have seen.

We ordered two Chime mattresses in a box from Ashely online.   (How CRAZY --  if we had ordered in store, they told us 3-4 week delivery.  The same mattresses took a month to come in when we got them for Valerie.  I ordered them online at 9pm on Saturday night, and by noon Tuesday they were sitting in my driveway.  THREE days online vs a month in store?!  Pay attention retailers - this is why people shop online.) 

And here it is, all put together.

The quilt was made by my Mom when I was about 3 or 4.  It's Veronica's favorite blanket. 

We are still working on de-cluttering.  I don't think we will ever finish. Veronica has SO much stuff and she doesn't want to part with any of it.  Schoolwork that goes back years...  stacks and stacks of notes, worksheets, study guides...   She might 'need' them so she wants to keep it all. Binders full of math problems - really?!  I guess there are worse things than a kid who wants to hang on to schoolwork!

Sunday, August 11, 2019


We finally got a tiny glimpse of what the marching band has been working on all summer.  Marching band is quite a big deal around here and her school is one of the best around.  Everybody wants to be like them.  It has been an incredible amount of work, more work than Valerie has ever done.  SO many hours out in the sweltering heat on the practice field.  It has been really rough and Val has been so exhausted. This is only a small portion of the show and it isn't perfected yet.  Props are being built.  They still have a long ways to go before it's finished, but here is what they have learned so far:

(excuse the ticking metronome - they are still learning the show!)  

The show is titled "The Last Straw" and it is custom written. The theme is crows and scarecrows, and was going to be called "Murder" as in a murder of crows, but they changed it.  It will feature a clip of "My Immortal" by Evanessence (which is one of my most favorite songs ever,) but they haven't gotten to that part of the show yet.  That will be learned in entirety during March-A-Thon, which is an all night event - from 6pm to 6am!  Their next public performance will be during half time of the first home football game.  Then their first competition is in Biloxi, MS in September. 

It's exciting to have your kid part of such an awesome music program.  But, as I said, it's been really hard on Val and she had some rough days.  Now that school has begun, she's getting up at 5am to catch the bus at 6am and on band days she won't be home until 7:30pm.  Plus she has all honors classes...   so she has a lot on her plate!!  Of course this Mom is concerned as she was very sick when she came home from the first 5am day, but hopefully she adjusts quickly.  After all, there's 200 other band kids with similar schedules, and if they can do it, so can my ValGal! 

Thursday, August 08, 2019

So it begins....

In the blink of an eye....    from this

pre-k and first grade

to this

7th grade

9th grade

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Back to....

Veronica picked up her 7th grade schedule last Thursday.

Valerie picked up her 9th grade schedule last Friday. We spent about 3 hours at the high school and by the time we were done, Val was showing others where their classes were.  She's nervous but I know she's got this.

The new uniforms are washed.  Khaki pants.  GREEN shirts for Valerie. ORANGE shirts for Veronica.

The school supplies that we had a list for were purchased weeks ago.

Along with new backpacks.

New shoes.

Wasn't it just May?  And it felt like we had weeks of summer ahead of us?  Now it's behind us.  I don't know where summer went.  It seems like we didn't have much of a summer at all, and in a way we didn't.  Val had random band practices all summer long, so we couldn't go on vacation.  We didn't put up our pool.  We didn't set foot in the library once.  We didn't go roller skating. We didn't go to the spray park. We didn't do a lot of things that we usually do, partly because they have outgrown it.  Sigh. 

Ready or not.... 

today is the last day of summer.

Tomorrow it's back to school.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

It's almost time

The last weekend of summer.... 

Saturday we planned to take the kids to the movies and grab dinner afterwards.  Our theater has reserved seating, so it's pretty easy to buy your tickets online and pick your seats.  Valerie wanted to see the new Spiderman, but Veronica wanted to see The Lion King.  Luckily they were both at 3:00 so we were going to split up two and two.  I bought our tickets online and we drove over to the AMC Palace Theater.

As we walked up, we noticed printed signs plastered all over every door making an ominous announcement: 

"Our A/C is out." 

We all gave each other the same "oh no" look and went in to see how bad it was.  It was smothering.  Now what?  I'd already spent $45 on movie tickets.  I asked the ticket lady if it was possible to get a refund because of the air conditioner being broken, and thankfully she said yes.  Whew. 

Now what, again?

We decided to waste time at....

If you've never been to a Dirt Cheap, the best way to explain it is pure chaos.  It's returns/salvage merchandise from all the big chain stores and then some.  You never know what you'll find and I really mean that....   it takes patience and some digging but we have scored a few decent deals there.  About 70% of the store is junk.  I have to be in the mood to spend a couple of hours there.  Yesterday I was not.  But here's just a glimpse inside the amazing Dirt Cheap:

After we'd had enough shopping, we grabbed dinner at Mooya Burger.  Ours just opened not long ago and we hadn't had a chance to check it out.  I love that they will lettuce wrap any burger for you!!   Their burgers are really good too.... as are the fries and shakes.  (I was good and passed on those but I did steal a bite or two from the kids'.)

Then we came back home.  I decided to get the Pilot band ready...   peeled off the old stickers and put a new one on: 

The final countdown is on....  3 more days until school starts. 

Friday, August 02, 2019

Pieces of me

One of our summer projects was clearing out both girl's rooms to get rid of the things they have outgrown.  It is going very slowly.  We are going through everything - and I mean everything - to determine if it's a keep or give item.   So far we've gathered six big garbage bags of random stuff to donate!!

While going through their things, I ran across quite a few of my treasures that I passed down to them.  These are keepers for sure.  Here's a picture overload as we go down memory lane... 

Who remembers these 70s and 80s gems? 

The original Simon - still works!

Speak & Spell - still works

I do not know what happened to the Sesame Street House that went with the little people 

Atari 2600!!  Purchased on eBay in 2002 and it worked then...  no clue now.  Probably not. 

Musical Happy Apple!  On display in my kitchen because it's apple themed.  Still jingles.

1970s toy cash register - does not work well - keys stick

Original 1980s Cabbage Patch Dolls.  I also have a ton of clothes that my Mom made.  She had a sewing business for a while and sold homemade Cabbage Patch Doll clothes.  

1972 baby toy

Crib baby toy as old as me

Learn to tell time

From 1970s Sesame Street on Ice!

Still works, too!

Little Snoopy still barks

Still plays just like it did back then

Baby Beans was given to me the day I was born

It still squeaks when you press the "ears" 

Do you still have any of your childhood toys??

Next up:  Once we are done in the kids' rooms, I plan to tackle MY closet.  I will show y'all my 1980s and 1990s Barbie collection!!