Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Heading down to sunshine and family....

FLORIDA bound in the morning...

More to come!

Monday, January 24, 2011

What's a nice Southern girl like me doing cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Sharing Dave's passion for the Pittsburgh Steeler's football team is nothing short of fascinating. He was born in Pittsburgh and still feels a strong connection to the area's sports teams.

Come game day, he traditionally will wear his Steeler's jersey.  Now, which one he wears is not a simple decision....some jerseys are better luck than others...depending on which one he was wearing during the last winning game. Any Steeler's tops worn during a loss are not good Karma. : )

Luckily, I own a Steeler's sweatshirt....so, I put that on yesterday before the big game against the Jets.  The winning team would be going to the Superbowl....so, this was serious business!

He likes things to stay the same as they were for the last winning game, so, even moving the television a bit was a no no.  I think that he might have wanted me to be in the kitchen during the game because that is where I was when they had their last big win.  However, I told him that I wanted to be on the couch with him to enjoy this game....and, he relented.

Of course, once the Steeler's began to play really well last night he did not want me to leave the room or even the couch.  I could run out during commercials for a bathroom break or to get the wash out of the machine downstairs...but, had to hurry back when the game resumed. Too funny....

Well, things went our way as the Steelers ended up winning the game and will be playing in the Superbowl next Sunday.

If you ask Dave, he will probably tell you that we won because I stayed on the couch during the game. In fact, I may have single-handedly been the reason for the victory!

It's nice to have that kind of power, isn't it?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Cherish all your happy moments; they make a fine cushion for old age."

With all four of my grandchildren living out of town, my contact with them is somewhat limited to phone calls, celebrating special occasions and holidays, Skyping, and lots and lots of travel.

So, in between all of this, I want to have a presence in their lives. Thus, "Happy Gifts" came to be.

A "Happy Gift" is a little something special that is sent to them when there isn't any occasion at all....just something to make them smile and know that their Grammie loves and misses them. While they may expect presents on special occasions, this random gift is usually an unexpected surprise.

Before sending the package out, I will usually color the outside of the plain brown carton with hearts, balloons, happy faces, etc. and the message that this is a "Happy Gift from Grammie"...being sent in a box filled with LOVE. : )

( This post is a part of the All About Parenting blog carnival on About.com.
See the invitation here.)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I just poured myself a little glass of wine....

...as I am watching the UAB (University of Alabama in Birmingham) vs. Memphis basketball game go into overtime. So exciting...it is making me nervous.

UAB hasn't beaten Memphis in 9 years....so the pressure is on to end that losing streak.....and, Dave is at the game with a friend. I know that he is enjoying it all...especially having it go into an extra five minute period!

I get so wrapped up in these close situations and even find myself yelling at the television!  I should know the outcome by the time that this post is done.

Go Blazers!!!
Dave and I had our first date in January, 2003.  It was a blind date and we met at P.F. Chang's for dinner. The date went well and before heading home he presented me with a single rose from inside his car.  I always wondered if I would have gotten that rose had it not been such a nice evening.  But, all in all, it was a very sweet gesture.

So, now, 8 years later, Dave and I went to dinner last night to celebrate our anniversary.  We had a wonderful dinner at a local Italian restaurant. It was yummy. 

Unlike that first date many years ago, we were relaxed and comfortable with each other and weren't worried about any silent moments as we sat together and enjoyed our meal.  We were an "old dating couple" by now and it was nice.

As we got into Dave's car at the end of the evening, he reached into his back seat and (yes) presented me with, not one, but two beautiful red roses....reminiscent of that cold January night so long ago.

Well, UAB just lost in overtime....their 10th loss to Memphis.

But, there's always next time.

I think that I will go and smell my beautiful  roses.    : )

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I have to admit....

....that I really did enjoy the new judges on American Idol last night.  They were funny, sweet, kind, (can you imagine what Simon Cowell must be thinking?) and seemed to make good choices.

I also appreciated that the show cut down considerably on the "silly" contestants that were just there for their two minutes of fame.  This got pretty tiring last year.  In fact, I would have to say that the editing and production was excellent.

It looks like it is going to be a pretty good year!

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I only have 20 minutes before.......(ta dum!) American Idol starts their new season....so, I will have to type quickly.

Yes, I am probably going to get hooked on this exhausting show again this year.  I just can't seem to stay away.  I guess that I am an Idoloholic?

It will be interesting to see how the new judges do.  I am wondering who will be stepping into Simon's shoes?  Maybe they will all be kind this year to the fledgling stars.

I call it getting "the works"...

Haircut/color and pedicure today as I begin to get ready for my trip next week. 

I am heading down to S. Florida to celebrate my baby sister's 11th year of breast cancer survival!  The Susan G. Komen Walk is taking place on the 29th and she has had the daunting job of co-chairing this ginormous event this year.  So, my other three sisters will be joining me as we show our support and love to this great cause.

Wouldn't it be nice if someday these fundraising walks become unnecessary?
The weatherman did a tease tonight on the news as he mentioned the "chance" of some more snow here in the South.

I stayed glued to the tv and found out that the "chance" is a tiny area up in the northwest corner of our state.

I guess that the station was needing to up their ratings with some enticements...
Again, my great state of Alabama finds itself embarrassed.

Our new Governor, Dr. Robert Bentley, has made national news by making the following statement that..."anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother."

I took that to imply that the newly elected governor might apply different standards for those Alabama residents who are not Christians....and I found that to be quite bothersome....especially since I am of the Jewish faith.

I have great respect any highly religious people....but, when they are elected by the people to be the leader of my state, I believe that they should use more tact when publicly speaking....and, keep their personal religious views out of it.

He did make an apology on our local tv station's news broadcasts tonight.

He sounded sincerely sorry for his words and I am hopeful that this will not be the start of many misstatements.

Time will tell....
And, speaking of time....it is 7:oo p.m. Central Time and I am off.... : )

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wisdom on this special day...

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.- Martin Luther King, Jr.

These words were meaningful then and still strongly resonate in today's world....while holding promise for tomorrow. 

Rest in peace, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

There I was....staring at this incredible sight....

....watching as the basket went round and round while water continued to pour in.

Yes, I was watching my brand new front loading, energy efficient, washing machine.

I couldn't help it. This brand new "toy" of mine was fascinating to watch.

Dave brought over a huge comforter for me to try out in my new appliances.  As I stuffed it into the machine, I was concerned about how big it was.  But, I went ahead and pressed the "start" button and observed this new washer in action.

So, there I was....mesmerized by a washing machine. :  ]

First it got the entire thing wet.  Then it began to actually wash it.  It turned one way....stopped....and then turned in the opposite direction.  It was "riveting" watching this occur. (ok, a little sarcasm here)

When the cycle was over....I stuffed the comforter into the dryer...and, that was where the "magic" happened.  The setting was  "bulky load" and it did its thing.

Bottom line is that the comforter came out fluffy and fresh.

I think that this may be the beginning of a wonderful, new relationship...... :  )

Friday, January 14, 2011

They came, they assembled, they left......

My new washer and dryer (finally) arrived yesterday afternoon.

They took out the old.....and brought in the.....


Holy Cow!  Now what do I do?????

A lot of changes have occurred in appliances in the last 20 years and I am quite intimidated by it all.  I feel like I have a mini-laundromat in my home.  I'm almost expecting other people to come over with their laundry for me to do.

I began to read the manuals for both of these huge machines last night....but, finally put them away and went to bed....dizzy with so many instructions going through my head.

These new energy efficient front loading appliances are big....and, they use different detergent than I am used to....and have a cleaning tablet to use once a month.....and there are so many settings to pick from that I really don't know where to start.

I know that the first thing that I must do is run the washer through an entire setting with soap, but no clothing.

Now, that I can do. 

It is when I actually have to wash real clothing that I get concerned....

: O

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"You're way too nice," Dave said....

...as I hung up the phone.

He was listening as I was dealing with Sears on the continuing saga of "Where in the world were my new washer and dryer that were ordered December 1 of  last year?"  He felt that I wasn't being forceful enough with the people on the other end of the line. He thought that I would get better results by being a little more demanding....and, not getting taken advantage of.

After three separate attempted and canceled delivery dates, I was finally being told that the washer was now discontinued and I would have to go back to Sears and pick out another set.

I am just not the type to get angry over the phone when it comes to dealing with this kind of stuff.  First of all, the person that I am speaking to may just be an innocent messenger....so, why should I waste my energy getting frustrated with them? I also am a great believer that "what goes around, comes around"...so, being kind is something that I try (not always so easy!) to practice as much as I can.

So, even though I have been stuck here with my 20+ yr. old washer that leaks and the 17+ yr. old dryer that takes running the clothes through 2-3 full cycles before anything dries (!)....and, I was terribly frustrated....I decided to take the high road in dealing with all of the people involved.

Well, what has happened since that phone call a few days ago has been nothing short of incredible.  After getting in touch with the appliance manager at the Sears where the set was purchased, I was told to come in and meet with him and pick out a replacement set.  He couldn't have been more apologetic or sympathetic to my situation. (He also said that he wanted to credit me $100. on what I had already paid because of my inconvenience and patience. He did that right away.)

As I arrived there I was greeted, not only by the manager, but by the sales associate that was going to be helping me with my selections. We began the process of looking at what was available that was comparable to what I had purchased....and they were willing to upgrade if necessary.

It just so happens that a Maytag/Whirlpool expert was in the store that day and he joined the three of us as we looked over the models.  Now, it seems that Whirlpool has come out with a new model that has taken care of some of the issues that the older models had.  I was pretty impressed with this new model...BUT, it was quite a bit more expensive than what I had purchased.

The manager saw my interest and asked me if I would be happy with this newer model. "Of course", I thought to myself excitedly....but, tried to act cool and calm.

Next thing I knew, the manager and I were sitting in his office while he began to juggle figures around to make this happen. 

"Let's make this work. I will give you free delivery, take 30% off of this price and add in another $50 credit and have it delivered to you this Thursday...etc. etc. etc." the manager said.

I was astounded in that the total price for this completely upgraded washer and dryer was actually several hundred dollars less than what I had paid for the first set!

"I don't know what to say," I expressed to the manager.

"Well, it is the least that we can do," the manager said, "Everyone that you have had to deal with has told me how patient and kind you have been." 

Of course, I immediately called Dave to tell him my story...and, gloated a bit about how you can catch more flies with sugar than you can with vinegar..... :  )

Then, today my daily inspiration email came with the following message:

"Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck."- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Weather update....?!?

These "progression" pictures pretty much tell the story....

First we had sleet.

Then we had about an inch of snow.

Then we had freezing rain.

And, finally, we had sleet, again....which made most of the snow go away...but, left little icicles hanging from whatever it could hang from.

The Great Snowstorm of 2011 had a lot of roar......but, very little bite.

Such is winter in the deep South.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

The grocery store was mobbed yesterday as the news began to spread about our upcoming snow and ice!

This is just what we do in the South.  We don't know any better, I guess. 

The parking lot at my local Publix was almost totally filled as I drove around looking for a space to park. Once inside, the looks on the shopper's faces was so funny that I could hardly keep from laughing.  I was trying to think about how I would describe their look....anxiety? fear? excitement? concern? anticipation?

Maybe it was just delight at the fact that the impending "winter storm" was a great excuse to stock up on lots of things that they might never eat otherwise!  I had a good time peeking into their baskets to see what others were buying...and, then looking up and giving the shopper that "knowing" glance. : )

Of course, I really shouldn't make fun of them because there I was following right along....pulling things off of the shelf that didn't even make sense.  But, I found myself in a kind of shopping trance thinking that it may be months before we thaw out from this "huge" storm! ha ha Who was I kidding?  The temps are forecast to reach the 40's by Tuesday!

However, there I was with my basket filled with some of the following: Romaine lettuce and some tomatoes(the only healthy thing on my mind was possibly making a salad), a big ole bag of marshmallows and a box of Rice Krispies (Rice Krispy squares, anyone?---and, what about some hot cocoa with marshmallows melting on top?), a huge loaf of cinnamon raisin bread (mmmmm), some claw crabmeat (to make a delish appetizer while we are sitting by the fire, sipping wine and watching the snow!?), some of my favorite Ranch flavored rice cakes (oh yeah), crackers for the appetizer, snickerdoodle cookie mix (cookies to go with the hot cocoa and marshmallows) and, of course, some apples (boring).

So, $52.69 later, I was heading home with a smile on my face knowing that I was ready for anything!


Bring it on, Mother Nature.  : )

Friday, January 07, 2011

More etc.

The weathermen are still predicting lots of snow for us late Sunday into Monday.  The last I heard was anywhere from 3-8".  If that really happens, the entire city will shut down.  That's what happens in the South when the flakes drop from the sky.

The snow would be nice, but I'm not particularly thrilled about the possibility of freezing rain and ice....which is also in the forecast.

Of course, the first thing that one thinks of when snow is coming is going to the grocery store.  So I guess that I will do that tomorrow.  Not sure what I will be purchasing, but, it is a tradition, after all. I will probably stock up on some good junk food. Yeah.

Better dinner tonight than last night.  Homemade pizza!  I use that delicious yeasty crust that comes in a bag and rises when it is out of the refrigerator....roll it out.....make a line down the middle.....Dave puts his toppings on his side and I do mine.

Tonight's pizza for me was: pesto sauce, feta cheese and fresh mushrooms and spinach.  Dave's choices were tomato sauce, pepperoni, black olives, mushrooms, spinach, and lots of mozzarella.  I only had fat free cheese in the house....so, there were a few moans about that.

My dentist appointment went well this morning even though the novacaine didn't really take like it should have.  I told the dentist to go ahead and drill anyway.  It wasn't too bad....but, I don't really recommend it.
I just winced a little.

I got out a little bit from under all of my paper work.  Quarterly taxes have been paid. Sales taxes have been filed. Next on the agenda will be getting stuff ready for the accountant for my 2010 income taxes....and filing all of my medicine charges with Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

I wish that I could just hire someone to do all of this for me.

Two things that I read about today that made me say: "HUH?"

The first one was that Donald Trump is considering running for President of the U.S. I hope that he was kidding.

The second one was John Edward's announcement that he is engaged to Rielle, the woman that he had an affair AND a baby with while still married. Elizabeth's passing was so recent...couldn't he have waited a bit?
All I can think about are those poor kids....what must they be feeling?!

Going to an afternoon college basketball game with friends tomorrow.  The game starts at 3 o'clock.  I figure that we will be going to dinner around 5-5:30.

Sounds like the Senior Early Bird Special to me...!

:  )

Thursday, January 06, 2011


When I got back in town from my trip, I noticed that the pool outside was very low on water.  It was about a foot and a half lower than it should have been and that concerned me.  So, I began to slowly fill it back up with water to make sure that there wasn't a leak somewhere and this was just due to the lack of rain in the last month or so.

Today, after running the water into the pool for about three hours, it finally reached the skimmers.  That meant that I could now go and turn the pump back on.  As I headed back there to the pump I heard the sound of water rushing. This was not a good sign.

It turns out that one of the pipes that went from the pool to the filter was totally cracked wide open and the water that I had been putting into the pool was flowing right back out!

I can't wait to see my water bill this coming month. *groan*
Well, the local weather forecasters are all in a tizzy tonight at they are predicting freezing rain and snow here starting Sunday into Monday.

I'll believe it when I see it.....but, in the meantime, I will probably head to the grocery store and stock up on some chocolate and wine....just in case!
: )
I am drowning in paper work lately.  I have all of this "end of the year" stuff to go through....business sales taxes to deal with...and my quarterly income tax payment.  This is on top of property taxes, a new washer and dryer and a brand spanking new heating/air conditioning system.

This is not  a good way to start 2011....
Dave and I had a strange dinner tonight.  I decided to try something a little different so I sauteed onions and mushrooms and then added some cream cheese/mayo to the mix.  The whole thing was then spooned into some wonton wrappers that were stuffed down into my cupcake pan and then baked.

The edges got crispy but the rest of it was pretty soggy.

It would probably have been a good appetizer....not so much for dinner.

Back to the drawing board.
Back to the dentist tomorrow morning to have a small filling done in one of my crowns.

Oh, joy!

Something to look forward to, eh?
Have a nice rest of the evening, All.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Monday, January 03, 2011

Finding one's voice....

Based on the true story of King George VI, THE KING'S SPEECH follows the Royal Monarch's quest to find his voice.After the death of his father King George V and the scandalous abdication of King Edward VIII, Bertie, who has suffered from a debilitating speech impediment all his life, is suddenly crowned King George VI of England. With his country on the brink of war and in desperate need of a leader, his wife, Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother, arranges for her husband to see an eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue. After a rough start, the two delve into an unorthodox course of treatment and eventually form an unbreakable bond. With the support of Logue, his family, his government and Winston Churchill, the King will overcome his stammer and deliver a radio-address that inspires his people and unites them in battle.

Dave and I went to see the movie: The King's Speech yesterday afternoon.  Luckily I bought our tickets on Fandango because it was sold out by the time that we got to the theater.  I guess that the word is getting out about this brilliant movie. I highly recommend it.

The acting is superb...the scenery magnificent....and, the story, inspiring.  I guess that you can tell that I liked it very much.

Sitting next to my dear friend of 30+ years who has dealt with a stuttering issue most of her life, I was especially touched by watching King George VI's struggles with his speech impediment and the role that it played in many of his life decisions.

I know that it had affected so many of my friend's life choices throughout the years....one being that she became a secretary instead of a teacher so that she didn't have to struggle speaking in front of the students...even though teaching would have been her preferred profession. 

After years of going to "specialists" or "clinics", it was quite an emotional and courageous feat for her (years later) to find herself teaching aerobics classes. She bravely stood in front of a large class of women and began calling out exercise movements without any pauses or hesitations...and, from that point on, she never looked back.

She did this for many years and gained a reputation of being one of the best instructors around. People who took her classes still comment to her about what a wonderfully inspiring teacher she had been. Pretty amazing.

One can hardly notice any speech difficulties when speaking with her now. In fact, I hadn't really thought about it for so many years....until this movie brought it all back to me. I know that she and her husband had tears in their eyes as they sat together watching the movie and remembering much of her own struggle.

She, like so many others who face challenges, had finally found her voice....and, I, for one, am so very proud to call her my friend.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


This comic in today's paper pretty much tells the story of mine and Dave's New Year's Eve celebration last night. I use the word celebration with some hesitancy...The only difference with us and the above comic was that we may have made it up to around 10:30, but, not much later than that!

Poor Dave sneezed, coughed, and pretty much slept his way into the New Year.  He has been under the weather for the last week and hasn't been able to shake it. 

The only "toast" that we were able to have last night was the piece with jelly on it that he had with his hot tea.

Oh well, there is always next year...we're getting too old for these midnight ball drops anyway. :  )