Friday, August 11, 2017

Coming Home

Today most of the fam has returned to Nashville from their trips. Steve and Sam got in just after lunch and Maribeth, Everley, and Emmatha got in just after dinner. Lynnette and Lindley won't be back until Sunday. Steve stayed long enough to unload his suitcase and pack another to head to Columbus to spend the weekend with GDizzle.

Sam and Lindley recently moved into a house. Lindley wanted a loft bed for her new bedroom, so she and I found one she liked that could be delivered before December. And so it was scheduled to be delivered today. The only deal was that somebody had to be at the house to sign for it. Because it weighed 380 pounds.

Anyhow, since Sam and Steve would be arriving at the airport during the appointed delivery window, I made arrangements with Molly about picking them up. However, around noon (the delivery window was 1-5pm), Sam called (he was in the Denver airport at the time) and said the delivery person had called and said he would be at the house in 30 minutes. This was good, since I would be able to be at the house, sign for the delivery, and still pick up Sam and Steve.

So I headed to the house and went inside to wait. I heard the truck and went outside - to see the truck parked at the bottom of the driveway. And by bottom, I mean at the bottom, because the house is on a hill. The photo does not do the elevation of the hill justice - I would tell you the angle of the hill, but geometry was not my fave subject. Let's just say it is a steep hill. Anyway, back to the delivery.

I looked outside and saw the truck - wait, I already said that. Here's some delivery background. Basically, when I ordered the bed, you could select several different delivery options. The first option was delivery at curbside, which was a no-brainer since the curb was essentially at the bottom of a mountain. The second option, which I chose, was delivery to the door. There was a third option which was delivery to the room where the furniture was going to live, but the price for that was more than I wanted to spend. So the deal is that all 380 pounds of bed was going to get put on the porch by the front door. Back to the truck at the bottom of Everest ...

I looked out and saw the delivery person. At first I thought it was a female, because of the long braids/cornrows the person had. Also, the person was of a slight build. I know, that is sexist, but my eyesight isn't quite what it used to be. Anyhow, I rappelled down the mountain a bit and started talking to the delivery person, which I quickly determined to be a dude. I inquired as to whether he was going to pull the truck up the mountain, and he said he didn't think so because he would probably break a lot of the limbs on the trees (the truck was the size of a big U-Haul truck). I looked in the truck and saw the bed - all 380 pounds of it in seven boxes all shrink-wrapped onto a wood pallet.

I then asked if he thought it would be a good idea if I got my car (the roller skate baby Prius) and drove it down the driveway, and then we'd put the boxes in the car and I'd drive it back up the driveway. He seemed to think it was a better idea than putting each of the seven boxes on a dolly and hoisting them up the mountain. So I got the car, drove it down, he cut the wrap off the boxes, and we started loading the boxes in. I wish I had taken a photo - the first load we got five of the boxes in, the back gate of my car was open because one was too long for it to fit in, and delivery dude was somehow propped on the back holding everything in.

Once we had gotten to the front sidewalk, he asked if we were going to put this in the garage. To which I replied no, we were going up the slight incline of the sidewalk to the front door, which was on the top of about eight steps. At that point, I offered him $20 if he would, when he got the boxes to the front of the steps, take another three steps and unload the boxes inside the house. To which he replied, "Sure." It had gotten quite warm by this point, since it was noon and all, so he might have responded out of heatstroke. At any rate, we got the five boxes out of the car, up the sidewalk, up the steps, and into the house.

Then we headed back down for the remaining two boxes. Only one would fit in the car - the other one was way too big. So we loaded the box that fit into the car and dude said he would put the other box on the dolly and bring it up the mountain, because it wasn't that heavy, just large.

I putted up the mountain once more with box #6 and soon dude was headed up with the final box. We got all the boxes in the house, I gave the delivery dude his much-deserved tip and a bottle of Gatorade, and we parted ways. By this time Molly had arrived with lunch, so she and I had a bite to eat while I mopped the sweat that was gushing from every pore in my body. When I ordered the bed and knew that Sam was going to be out of town when it was delivered, I had offered to assemble the thing. After seeing all the boxes, I am glad that cray-cray offer was rescinded last week before delivery.

Once the delivery task was complete, I had time to return home for a quick power nap before picking up Steve and Sam. Several hours later, Mathieu picked up Maribeth and the girls, they picked up dinner, and ate at the Doik. Mainly because Everley had decided that she wanted to spend the night tonight at my house. Which she did.
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Blessings today include: clean cars and Kroger discounts on gas; nice delivery dude and getting everything inside; Molly bringing lunch; safe travel home for Steve, Sam, Maribeth, Emmatha, and Everley; dinner with Molly (our dinner) and Mathieu, Maribeth, Everley, and Emmatha (their dinner); package in the mail from LaLa2 (to be stuffed in my backpack for my August Extravaganza); sleep buddy Everley for the night


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bits and Pieces

Today I knew I was going to have to get serious about getting some stuff done. A few orders I had made to aid these projects had come in, so as lovely as it was to just stare at the boxes, I did feel the compulsion to actually open them and get busy.

And I did manage to get a couple of things accomplished. I decided that since Emmatha no longer sleeps in the porta-crib, I would take that down, thus making that guest bedroom less crowded. And I commenced on my latest "organized the DVDs" project. In doing that, I found some videos that Sam had put together for me, so I took some time to watch those - which was a nice use of my time! Other than that, I managed to go to the Wal Mart and get the mail and go to the library, all things that are mind-numbingly boring, unless you are the one counting them as major accomplishments.

I needed to get something at the mall, and walked past the Godiva store. I rarely go to the mall, and only if I have a specific mission, which I did today. And when I passed the Godiva store, I went in and found a new sin - dark chocolate soft serve ice cream. I'm sure it was a year's worth of calories, but it was so worth it. I'm just glad I am not in the habit of shopping at the mall - although I may find more errands to run there ...


Everley called from the road to tell me about her wiggly tooth - her first one to get loose. She then proceeded to sing me Little Rabbit Fru Fru and then proceed to make up a song about a little fox. We had quite a long conversation as she and her mom and her sister travelled from Texas through New Mexico to Colorado.

As far as the travellers go, today was their last full vacay day. Tomorrow each will head home and return to Nashville tomorrow afternoon. And here are their photos from today ...

Last day of golf!

At dinner, the golf group celebrated Steve's birthday!
Since it's still six weeks away, wonder if this counts or does he get another cake?

Meanwhile, Everley finds out how the early road trippers travelled.

Emmatha is more interested in finding something of questionable value ...
Everley also got to walk on a volcano, which she told me hadn't erupted in a long time.
And one more Ranger Badge!
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Blessings today include: another sleep-in morning; library time; dark chocolate soft serve; chatting with Everley on the phone; texting with friends from far away; getting projects complete to my satisfaction; Molly's safe return from her St. Louis business trip; watching old videos

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

And It's Wednesday

This morning KB and I were going to sculpt class, but when I was attempting to rise from my bed, my sinuses decided that they could use a sinus pill and some more sleep. So I texted KB and bailed on her (I don't think she shed many tears) and then proceeded to do as my sinuses dictated. Two hours later I woke up, feeling much better and ready to start on my day.

Of course I had many things that I wanted to accomplish. And of course instead I decided to piddle around and pretend I was doing stuff. Whatevs. I have read two more books, which I shall now review. Based on my experience with Alison Arngrim's book, I decided to delve a bit further into that genre, meaning I checked out books by Melissa Anderson (Mary on Little House) and Mary McDonough (Erin on The Waltons). While I wasn't hoping for either to tell me all their secrets, I was hoping to learn more about them as people. And here's what I found out ...

The Way I See It by Melissa Anderson. Melissa played Mary in the Little House series. Alison talked about her in her book, and talked about how Melissa was not exactly easy to get to know. Reading Melissa's book didn't help. She mostly talked about specific episodes of the series, telling the reader what happened in that episode, and maybe a tiny tidbit or two. In fact, a majority of the book is written this way. She never really gets into her life, or why other people might have viewed her as standoffish. And while she doesn't really dish any dirt on anybody, she really doesn't give any insight as to who she is. I really wasn't interested in hearing about episodes of the series. I wanted to know who she was as a child actress, and who she is now. I was glad to finish it and return the book to the library.

Lessons From The Mountain by Mary McDonough. This was a total about-face from Melissa's book. While Mary talks about The Waltons, her book is all about her childhood, her life then, the issues she faced, and how she has grown from all the difficulties she faced. She didn't face problems with drugs and alcohol like some child stars, but instead she has dealt with insecurities and physical issues. She has used those experiences to help others, especially the perils and pitfalls of having breast implants. She does tell stories of her fellow castmates, but no bad behavior stories, because they were and still are very much a family. I enjoyed Mary's book because like Alison's, she shares herself with the reader and shows how she has grown up and used her life lessons and experiences to reach other to touch the lives of others.

Meanwhile, the travellers are still on their trips, so here are a few photos from today's activities ...

Hoping Danger Baby stays strapped in!!!

Ranger Badge Time!
Another Ranger Badge!

Guess the tee time was 8:00!! Looks like a chilly morning!
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Today's blessings include: sleeping in and late; starting to think about packing for my upcoming trip; making plans for Sunday brunch with the Fitty-Whats

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Beaman - Round 2

Yesterday when I let Lynnette know that her car was serviced and tested, Maribeth sent word that her car needed a trip to the dealer, too. When I recently took her car in for some fixes, they had to order a part and the part was in. So this morning I went to her house, picked up her car, and headed to Beaman for the appointment I made online last night (which I have since found out that I actually made for tomorrow - oh well). I got some more reading time in while they put the part in/on, and was soon on my way back to deposit Maribeth's car at her house and then head home.

I spent the rest of the day doing a few mundane tasks that amounted to a lot of nothing, but at least moved my list of things to do along. I managed to empty and reload the dishwasher, clean the kitchen, clean out/organize my files, and start to think about what I need to pack for my trip next week. I still have a lot of things I need to do - maybe without a dealership task tomorrow, I'll actually get motivated to get things done.

Meanwhile, the golfers are still golfing and the road trippers are seeing things. Lynnette and Lindley will stay in Fort Worth while Maribeth, Everley, and Emmatha press on. Today they all went to see the Bureau of Engraving to see money get made (no photos are allowed) and then Maribeth and crew drove to San Antonio. Meanwhile, I got an email reminding me that my flight to Toronto is coming up in one week. I still can't believe I'm training it across Canada in one week!!

The Alamo. Emmatha is thrilled.

Golfers!
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Today's blessings include: reading time and nice lady at Beaman; organizing my files and scrapbook scraps; texting with Pam and with Elizabeth; Pam's box of surprises; safe travels to San Antonio for Maribeth and girls

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday

Before Lynnette boarded the Suburban for the road trip, she asked if I would take her car to get the emissions tested so she could renew her car tag. I said I would be glad to (it's a service I routinely do for my clients in the LaLa Will Do It business I run). She also mentioned that her car was also due for an oil change, so I said I would do that, too. So this morning I took her car to Beaman for an oil change. She also needed a tag lamp replaced as well as an air filter, so we got it all fitted out ready for the return of Lynnette next week.

Today it rained almost all day, so once the car work was complete, I headed home for lunch before getting the emissions testing done. Once all that was complete, I decided it had been a full day and I should return home. I did pick up two movies to watch, which I will go ahead and review here.

Table 19. This is a pleasant little romantic comedy about a wedding and some of the guests. Apparently table 19 is comprised of the wedding guests who are the "odd man out" guests. Of course they each have a story that unfolds over the course of the wedding reception. I liked it because it was sweet and fairly mindless - I didn't have to keep a scorecard of what was going on. It was a pleasant way to spend 90 minutes.

The Zookeeper's Wife. Okay, so a story about the Nazis and the hiding of Jews? It's exactly what you expect it to be - very interesting and very tragic. It's the story of a couple in Poland who run a small zoo. When the Nazis take over, they take the animals they want away (and end up killing the others eventually). The owners of the zoo are not Jewish, but the zookeeper comes up with a plan to hide Jews at the zoo until they can get them out. There's a head Nazi who wants to breed buffaloes and wants to breed the wife himself but that never happens. The story is true, which you can read about here, and is a sad tale that does have a good ending.

Meanwhile, in road trip news, Steve and his group are playing golf and the girls road trippers made it to Fort Worth, Texas and to the Magnolia Silos (which you should know about if you ever watch Fixer Upper on HGTV. Happy Monday!!

The Silos - apparently there are toys on the grounds
and cupcakes in the bakery!

The Pebble Beach crew!!
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Blessings today include: time to read while waiting on the car at Beaman; safe travels for the road trip crew; golf time for the Pebble crew

Sunday, August 6, 2017

News From The Road Trippers

Apparently the travel group made it to Memphis last night and checked into their hotel. Dinner did not go as planned, as the wait staff and kitchen had issues (how hard is it to make plain pasta)? But eventually everyone got something to eat and got to bed.

Today they had a lot to do. First was Graceland and to see all things Elvis. Once that was done, they headed West and stopped at the Bill Clinton home (or maybe museum) before stopping in Hot Springs. Apparently at some of these stops you can become a Junior Ranger, which is one of the highlights (not sure for whom) of the trip. Since I am not on this trip, I cannot share any of the details exactly - maybe next time...

Anyhow, after lunch I took Steve and Sam to the airport. Steve is also turning 60 this year, and his birthday trip is to Pebble Beach to play golf with Sam and six other friends. And yes, if you're counting, that means everyone will be gone this week except Molly and me. One would think it would be a great week to get things accomplished. But certainly by now one should realize that one should not do a lot of thinking...

Anyhow, on to today's photos from the road ...

They did the tour that included the plane tour.
Maybe I will stop and do this at some point ...

Junior Ranger Stop 

A different Junior Ranger stop - apparently there's an oath involved...
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Today's blessings include; safe travels for the road trippers; safe travel to California for Steve and group even with plane delays; quite day at the Doik

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Road Trip!!

Nope, not going on this one. Mainly because I have my extended celebration trip starting next week. And even though it's in a car and not on a plane, this trip just didn't seem to fit into my plans. However, I am very happy for Maribeth, Everley, Emmatha, Lynnette, and Lindley to be going.

Basically, this is one part of the "48 State" road trip that I hope to do at some point. However, Maribeth plans to do it a bit differently. While I plan to do it all in one fell swoop with very little stopping and spending time here and there for extended periods, Maribeth's plan is to do it in pieces, driving some of it and flying to/from some of it. This leg involves driving to Memphis, through Arkansas, to Texas where she will drop off Lynnette and Lindley in Fort Worth to spend the week with Grandad and Grandmom Ogle, and then head eventually to Denver. I think.

Anyhow, today after Maribeth finished delivering the mail, they loaded up the rented Suburban (complete with DVD player) and headed out. Their first stop will be in Memphis, where they will tour Graceland. Bon voyage and safe travels!! And yes, I'll be sharing some of the photos they send me!

During the day, while Everley and Lindley went swimming,
Emmatha and Minnie cat spent quality time together

These two are the conductors of the trip. Not sure who's in charge of what ...

And we waved them off. 

The view of the back seat passengers. 
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Today's blessings include: Emmatha time; Molly bringing Starbucks and getting Emmatha to sleep; Everley and Lindley swim time; Lindley letting me brush the tangles out of her hair; getting the Suburban loaded and the kids and supplies loaded up; safe travel to Memphis for the group

Friday, August 4, 2017

TGIF!!

Tonight Everley and Emmatha spent the night with us. Tomorrow they, along with their mother and Lynnette and Lindley, are going on a road trip west, so Maribeth needed to get things together. This week Everley has been at Pony Camp at Camp Widjiwagen, and today was their last day and program. Maribeth and Steve headed out there to watch. Mathieu was also going to go and I was going to pick up Emmatha, but then the rain started and the program was washed out, so Steve and Maribeth picked up Everley and headed back and Mathieu ended up picking up Emmatha.

Eventually everyone ended up back at the Doik and Steve grilled burgers. Sam and Lindley came over and everyone played until it was time to go. Mathieu and Maribeth left so she could pick up the travel vehicle (which she will leave somewhere and fly home with the girls after dropping off Lindley and Lynnette in Texas - and that's only part of their trip). Everley was soon asleep, as was Emmatha.

It's been a full week, and looks to be another full week ahead, so it's good for everyone to get a good night's sleep. August is going to be a very busy month!!
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Today's blessings include: sweet basket of goodies from the Simmons family; fun times with the grandgirls; Steve's burgers on the grill

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Little Mermaid!!

Tonight KB, Lynnette, Lindley, Maribeth, Everley, and I went to TPAC to see the musical, The Little Mermaid. VP Pence was speaking downtown, so KB and I went early to pick up Lynnette and Lindley, expecting a lot of traffic (MB and Everley were coming in her minivan). Of course, there was no traffic, so we picked up McDs enroute to Lynnette's house and had a quick dinner before heading out. KB went in to get our food at McDs, and when she came out, she said she had forgotten ketchup. I told her I was sure that Lynnette had ketchup at her house, so KB didn't go back in. And guess who didn't have any ketchup? Yup! So the lesson learned is to always get the ketchup.

Anyhow, after eating our ketchup-less fries, we loaded up the car and headed to TPAC. We parked and walked over with plenty of time to spare (they hadn't even opened the door to the auditorium). Eventually Maribeth and Everley arrived and we settled in our seats (which were really great) to watch the show.

And to put it mildly, the show was absolutely fabulous. Ariel was performed by an actress of Asian descent. Lynnette told us that a friend of hers, who has two Asian young daughters, went to see the show with her little girls. Afterwards, they all got to meet with this actress, and they were all in tears at the opportunity for these little girls to see someone in such an important role who looked just like them.

Speaking of actors, the ones who were in this production were amazing. Ariel was a tiny little thing with a tremendous voice. Eric was a dream to see and hear, and Ursula was over the top. And then there was the choreography, which was superb, and made you feel like you were "under the sea." It was an absolutely wonderful production and night to be together.

By the time it was over and everyone got back home, it was nearly 11:00pm. Maribeth dropped Everley off at our house because E wanted to spend the night. It wasn't long until she was asleep and I followed soon after. What a great Thursday night!!
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Today's blessings include: girls night out; McDs and no ketchup with KB

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Do What Now?

Today at the Y, we decided to do something different. The we in question would be Molly, KB, and me. And the thing we decided to do different is to participate in a sculpt class.

Technically, it was all KB's idea. One day when she was at the Y without us, she "Peeping Tom'med" on this class (it meets at 6am when we are usually doing the stationary bikes). Anyhow, she had observed the class and determined that maybe we could do it without (a) getting kicked out, (b) getting laughed out, and/or (c) getting carried out by an EMT. And so today was the day we decided to go for it.

When we walked in to the room, we noticed there were women of all shapes, sizes, and ages. And one dude. Of course the leader weighed about 10 pounds and had no body fat. Since all the other ladies (and dude) were getting various pieces of equipment, I asked the leader what we should do. She said to get three different sets of weights and basically every other piece of equipment. And there was a lot of equipment.

Once we had all our "stuff", we kinda laid it around our individual mats. Of course we were at the back of the class - my favorite place to be. The leader told everyone to make sure that we could see a mirror wherever we were - to make sure that our form was correct. I was just hoping for a mirror to put under my nose to make sure I was still breathing.

Anyhow, off we went. The class wasn't bad - in fact, it was pretty good. It would have been really good, had I been able to keep up. But there was this big exercise ball that was used and you had to lie on it at times and roll down to your shoulders while holding some dumbbells, and well, that was a lot of instructions and paraphernalia and coordination for me to keep straight. Let's just say I did my best, and so what if everyone was on their twentieth rep by the time I got into position.

We did other stuff with Bosu balls and all those weights and a little ball that you were supposed to hold between your legs somewhere in the vicinity of your knees and a ring that was also supposed to go in the same general location. There was getting up and getting down and a step thingy and a big rod thingy. The good thing is that (a) I had a towel for mopping my sweaty brow, and (b) a bottle of water to replace the bodily fluid that I was sweating, and (c) I didn't pass out.

In the end, I think we all agreed the class was a good idea. I probably coulda/shoulda worked a little harder at things, but there was a lot of mental attention required, and that was exhausting in itself. At least we got through this first time - hopefully we'll make it a regular thing!
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Blessings today include: participating in the sculpt class and the nice people who helped us and the nice instructor; going to Sam's to see paint progress; Lindley riding her new scooter

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

And Now It's August!!

I cannot believe it's already August. Do you realize how fabu I would look, had I kept my idea (let's not say bad words like "resolution") to lose weight and get in shape from January 1? Sigh - so much time, so little done ...

Nevertheless, it is August, and it is a big one. There are many things that are happening this month. There are a few things to consider. Let's just go over the list ...
  • First of all this is my birthday month. And it is a significant one, because this is, like last year (give or take a year in Disney time) at Disneyland (you knew I'd bring Disney into this), my 60th. And while I do not like (a)big deals, or (b) surprises, there are a few things I have planned.
  • Turning 60 means the end of this blog. Afterall, what's the use of "Luanne at 50-whatever" if one is no longer 50? So the question remains, do I just quit the blog thing altogether or continue? And if I continue, do I still with Blogger or go with something else? And if I continue and decide how to continue, what shall I name this new blog?
  • And speaking of blogging, I still have approximately 189 missed blog posts stemming from May of 2016. Do I still try to catch them up (a huge significant amount will be a photo, but at least it will be a post)? Or do I just take my losses and let it go? And if I decided to let any or all of them go, what's the deadline for that?
  • What do I want for my birthday? So far, I want my Pandora jewelry to get cleaned (it looks bad right now, and I don't know why, but Molly is on that mission). I also want a vacuum cleaner that really works (that means it will suck up off the floor all those things I want sucked up) or to get my current vacuum cleaner fixed/revved up. I know - I dream big.
  • Now in terms of my 60 celebration plans, the first will be in two weeks from today, when I shall fly to Toronto and catch a train that leaves at 11pm from Toronto. It will travel across Canada to Vancouver. I will spend 4 days and corresponding nights in a "single sleeper cabin" that has its own toilet but the shower will be down the hall. Here is some dude's video - even I am laughing as I watch it ...
 
        Amazingly, nobody has taken me up on going with me. Which is just as well, because 
        then I would have to get a double sleeper.
  • Anyhoo, once I get to Vancouver, I will meet up with Molly, who will have flown in the day before (that means on Friday, as I am set to arrive on Saturday). KB and Lynnette are scheduled to arrive (via plane) on Saturday afternoon, and Maribeth is flying in on Sunday. Then on Monday we are boarding the Disney Wonder for a 7-night cruise to Alaska!
  • Once we get back from Alaska, I will fly to Orange County and catch a Super Shuttle to Disneyland (the others will fly back to Nashville). Since I was already scheduled to be in Disneyland that weekend for that half-marathon weekend, I saw no reason to fly to Nashville (cross country) and then back to California (cross country) a couple of days later (cross country flying is not my fave thing to do). 
  • I will spend a few days at Disneyland, waiting for Molly to fly in (she has no issues with flying cross country). One day I have an actual "Hollywood-type" tour where I will see all things Los Angeles and Hollywood. I will do quite well as a country bumpkin tourist.
  • I will participate in the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend - probably only the 5K and 10K. Once all that is done Molly and I shall fly back to Nashville, where I will return a 60 year old person.
So, as you can see, I have stuff to do. Maybe I had better take a nap first ...
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Blessings today include: working out on the machines at the Y with KB and Molly; 90 minute massage with Brandi; Maribeth bringing lunch (after she and Molly and Steve ate out); Everley and Emmatha time and hearing about "pony camp"