Y’all know I love snow — probably dating back to the time that it meant no school. We’ve had our first of 2019, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
All the brown grass is covered and it’s beautiful. Gimme MORE white!
Y’all know I love snow — probably dating back to the time that it meant no school. We’ve had our first of 2019, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
All the brown grass is covered and it’s beautiful. Gimme MORE white!
The holiday season is over and Monday is the day I get back on the ole’ treadmill regularly. Knowing time to do home update projects will be limited, I painted the exercise/tanning bed room today.
Treadmills are HEAVY! Like at least 1000 pounds. Moving it by myself was quite a feat — especially because I have to protect my back somewhat after the surgery I had a few years back.
I got on my knees behind it and pushed with everything I had. When it didn’t budge, my body went forward as it refused to move. When I went to break my forward motion with my hand, my bracelet got caught and I did a perfect 10 face plant… skidding my lips and chin on the tread. The landing was most certainly flawed.
After checking for blood (yes, there was some) and making sure I didn’t have any loose teeth (they were all fine), I tried again. Success!
Me and my fat lips will be ready to roll come Monday — and another room can be marked off my “to do” list.
If you’re not from around here, you might think my awesome family met at some classy establishment for brunch — the Bluebird Cafe. If you ARE from around these parts, you know we met at a bar that’s located in a pretty remote area that only served popcorn with beer tonight.
There was live music for our entertainment. Not a band, but a guy that can sing while playing a guitar and a harmonica all at the same time is almost a band. The REAL entertainment was provided by my crazy cousins…
Debra, (the one with the beer above) was insulted when some old drunk geezer said she couldn’t play pool. Determined to prove him wrong, she whispered (loudly), “Gimme 50 cents. When I’m drunk I think I’m an $@$*$ pool shark. I think I’m a good singer too.” She’s lucky the Bluebird doesn’t charge by the hour for a table AND the rest of us were lucky it wasn’t karaoke night.
The McKain tribe lost another member — the funeral for my cousin, Sue Lauster, was today.
Sue was the daughter of Dad’s sister, Ethel. Oldest of the cousins — closer in age to Dad’s baby sister, Shirley, than she was to any of us — she felt more like an aunt. She and my Aunt Shirley were inseparable from the start.
During adulthood, they went to dirt track races together, lived together for a time, and enjoyed mushroom hunting together every spring. That special bond continued — the bond you can only have with a relative that’s also a friend — until Shirley’s passing. Sue lost a daughter (close to my age), 5 months ago today. Incredibly difficult on the immediate family to lose a mother/grandmother… sister/grandmother… in a such short timespan.
Sue — and her daughter, Jamie Lee — will be missed.
I received a couple personal calls during the funeral. Although I turned the ringer off on my phone, my arm vibrated like crazy each ring as my watch alerted me. It also vibrated to let me know that Tom Judd — my principal from high school now minister — was stretching the eulogy out too long and it was time for me to stand up. 🙂
My trees and decorations are already down and packed away ready for next year. Highlights of the celebration on the Eve included Colette letting everyone know Katie is her very best friend — as referenced in her “GERNELL” (journal).
Dinner was prepared by Chef Shelley on a stove she’d never cooked on before. Even though it thad burners that are MUCH hotter with the same settings on the one she’s accustomed to, dinner was edible (barely).
The pesky non-neighbors left directly afterward and are currently enjoying a warm, sunny days instead of the cold, windy, AND rainy days we’re experiencing here in southern Indiana.
Such a busy time of the year — so I was extra thrilled my favorite brother flew in just for the day for family Christmas.
Perry was absent so it took me 30 minutes (while arguing with Ben) to remember how to set the timer on the camera. For the record, my brother’s head is NOT 3 times the size of everyone else’s. He just needed to take one step back rather than try to be center stage. 🙂
Scott brought Christmas packages on the flight, but left gift cards back in Vegas. Our camera struggle came after a struggle with the printer that ran out of ink trying to reprint those gift cards. The good news is we got a couple (not so great) family photos AND those forgotten gift cards made it under the tree. Whew!
The very first Christmas gift I ever received in a gift bag was presented to me by my late sister-in-law, Sheri. She and my brother, Scott, arrived for our family Christmas Eve celebration dressed all festive, arms loaded with fancy bags with tissue paper sticking out the top.
It made the gifts seem so special… I was sure the magical bags were expensive — and, at that time, they were. Now, the bigger ones are $1 and using them for gifts seems like nothing more than a short cut. Oh… and you can use them over and over if you just fold them up and pull off the name tag.
After much criticism from my kid, I’m using real paper to wrap most all my gifts this year. It takes FOREVER!
I looked for a holiday photo of Sheri to share with this post, but didn’t have easy access to one. I did find this jewel…
Out of the ten, four have passed and Kak is 101. This is yet another reason to embrace gift bags! Time is precious.
I’m in my 50’s and my brother is in his 60’s. We’ve each had our picture taken at least a bajillion times over the past 30 years or so. Imagine my surprise when I recently found the photos below holding the most prominent spot in our Mom’s wallet:
I have no idea if the photo of Scott is from the same year as the photo of me — but both were taken a minute ago. The photo of Ben with the Easter Bunny is now about 30 years old.
As parents, our kids will always be our kids. I know this because my Mom still refers to me as the “baby” of the family. While that used to drive me crazy, I use it now as payback for all the things my OLDER brother did to me growing up.
There’s nothing better than ribeye cap — unless it’s filet mignon. This butcher’s daughter is especially fond of beef. Bacon is great but I’d rather have a burger.
Tonight was one of those rare moments in time when I cooked… and it was… BEEF!
I went shopping on Good Friday once… well… I ATTEMPTED to go shopping anyway. It happened so long ago I can’t remember the others in the car with me, but I do remember I-65 was blocked at the exit we needed to reach our destination. So many cars were wanting to hit the off ramp for the outlet mall, traffic was totally stalled. We turned around and never even made it to a store.
I’m grateful I didn’t shop this Good Friday either! It was a great day to be lazy and eat leftovers — you know, the Thanksgiving goodies on a paper plate.
Another thing I’m grateful for is that I didn’t get stuck doing all the dishes after cooking. 🙂
It’s officially THANKSGIVING ! The holiday is young since it’s only about 2:45 AM ET, but (like always), I’m wide awake.
There’s only three of us to eat this year’s holiday meal unless you count the hounds. The pesky non-neighbors are basking in the sunshine, and my sibling and his family are in Las Vegas and Whole Foods is preparing their spread.
Not me — I’m cooking! The turkey breast is on and Dharma has already asked 100 times if it’s done yet. Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday for sure!
I’m planning on having deviled eggs too if there are enough left by the time we eat. I only boiled 16 for the three of us. Wonder if that’s a sign I’m not so great at cooking the traditional meal or if my deviled eggs are just that amazing.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving… Belly up!
So tonight, this happened…
Ben was excited to wrap Colette’s presents — even more so than I’ve seen him when unwrapping his own. Guess that’s the sign of adulthood. That and he hasn’t given me a wish list this year. 🙂
I posted yesterday about the ice storm that hit the midwest and how I struggled without electricity. Once everything was back to normal, I logged on Facebook to see if anyone was still without power that I could help. I would’ve been happy to loan out a generator to someone in need.
That’s when I noticed a pretty big difference in how our area’s two energy companies handled the outages.
REMC posted regularly (at LEAST every 3 hours… more often most of the time) on Facebook advising their customers how many homes were still without power and how many had already been restored. They shared photos and apologies. They let everyone know they were working as quickly as possible to restore power.
Duke Energy, on the other hand, posted only ONE update. There’s an ice storm; be careful; check on family; we’re working on it. That’s it!
What struck me is that neither are being social as a marketing tactic to attain new customers — you get what you get. I have Duke and can’t choose REMC — therefore; the perception is that REMC truly cares more about the people they serve.
Duke might say they provide a service to their customers where outage statuses can be easily checked. Below is what I found online after being without power for over 8 hours:
Interesting… right? Now I know Duke was working to get power restored as quickly as possible, but as a frustrated (suffering!) customer, I wouldn’t have minded a little encouragement. Thing is… they won’t lose one single customer because they didn’t provide an experience like REMC. You get what you get.
I was so excited when I learned of the forecast for snow last night. What a disappointment when we instead got ice and no fluffy flakes.
I was still awake at 3:00 AM this morning when the power went out. I didn’t get really cold in the night snuggled under covers, and I have a gas fireplace that kicked on at some point. While the fireplace doesn’t keep the bedroom or office toasty, it felt great in the kitchen and living area portion of the house when I rolled out of bed about 8:30 AM. Still no power.
And then… my cell service went to shit. And my phone only had 27% battery life because I always charge it while sleeping. Text messages would go through about 2 per hour, but calls were dropped immediately. I was begging everyone to please notify Duke I was in the dark.
Perry brought me Starbucks and breakfast and Ben showed up a few hours later to do whatever it is you do to electric garage doors to get them open and start my generator. When he left, he said, “I’m outta here. You’re independent now.” Ok…
And then there was LIGHT. And HEAT! And WATER! And INTERNET!! About 8:15 PM everything about life was great again…
…except I still didn’t get the snow I wanted.
While I talk to my brother at least once a day, I hadn’t seen him since… oh my… I’m not sure when the last time we were physically together before yesterday. So when Tammy, my favorite sister-in-law, sent photos she took during our family time, they made me laugh.
Nothing like bonding with family over something you have in common. 🙂
My favorite brother’s birthday was yesterday — celebrated today. What a wonderful time!
Colette and Tammy giggled on the couch watching funny videos and Mom schooled Scott on motorhomes. Perry and I ate lots and Ben and Carl napped. What a party!
As always, Perry was the photographer and didn’t make the photo. (Thanks, Perry!)
Y’all have anyone that does this when told to smile?
I wanted to post this on Facebook to wish my favorite brother a happy birthday with a PS that I told Perry his age. But I was scared of the repercussions.
A wonderful day visiting Perry’s family was only tarnished by road construction EVERYWHERE. The additional hour of drive time had the puppies thinking they were abandoned and would never eat again. But the leaves sure were pretty…
I found the following photo when looking for something else. I sent it to my favorite brother since it’s of him and Dad. He replied to my email, “who is the cute kid with Abraham Lincoln?” 😳
I know the second you start reading this you’ll know I’m old as dirt. Because of that, I might as well start with BACK IN MY DAY…
So… back in MY day, Trick-or-Treat night was always on Halloween — October 31st. I remember years it was so hot that I’d sweat behind that plastic pirate mask — and years it was so cold that the princess wore a winter coat that hid her costume. And yes, there were years it would actually rain.
I guess we were just tough back then (or stupid) because around here, the topic of concern on Facebook is rescheduling Halloween to November 2nd because it’s supposed to rain and be chilly. Some local communities have already rescheduled while others have yet to make a decision. Safety first!
Obviously, parents back in MY day didn’t care about safety! They put us out on the street with masks that you could barely see out of and no one left home until it was DARK! Now, ghouls and goblins start at 6:00 PM and are home by 8:00 PM. (Sunset is around 7:00 PM.)
I wouldn’t care except for the fact that Gracie already has her John Belushi (Blues Brothers) costume.
Have you ever looked around the inside of your own home satisfied with what you see — only to look inside of someone else’s decorated home and decide everything you have looks like crap?
My neighbors to the north moved in a couple years ago. I KNOW what the inside of that house looked like… it was 100 times worse than mine was before renovations. I was inside a few weeks ago and it was AMAZING — floor coverings were amazing, colors.. amazing, cabinets were holy cow amazing, and everything was decorated in muted gray tones with modern decor and… you guessed it — was AMAZING.
I came home and looked around my recently painted, scarcely decorated walls and felt a huge let down. Same house I thought was great an hour before suddenly wasn’t great anymore.
I’ve always liked the color of the brick on this house — but the neighbor’s is likely my least favorite ever.
Today, painters started painting over there (much more quietly than the tree trimmers) and I’m so excited to see it completed. Although jealous, I’m so very happy for them (they are a great family!) — and I know that improvements there only make my property more valuable as well.
I sure hope when they’re finished I don’t suddenly hate the brick on my house. Wouldn’t that be a horrible (and costly) repeat. 🙂
Having lots to do today, it would be nice if everything was simply normal… especially since it’s Monday. But no!
I can understand why one of the trees selected for removal was chosen, but I LOVE mature trees and will miss a couple of the others. All the leaves that require mulching in the fall is a small price to pay for the shade provided in the summer. Still, it makes me happy when the properties on each side of mine are improved. I hear the next project is to have the outside bricks painted. I can’t wait to see it when finished, but I hope painters are quieter than those who cut down trees.
Experts say that although it’s difficult, it is possible to ignore distractions in the work place by breaking tasks down into smaller chunks. It’s also advised to take breaks to help with concentration. I’m breaking down tasks and taking breaks, but I’m not sure any of these experts had huge wood chunks hitting the ground so hard their office would shake.
And that’s when she displays her superior excited face — the best ever worn by a human child!
Mom doesn’t appear to be nearly as thrilled. But me? Tammy didn’t sit in my room and let me talk about flatulence escaping while in Target, but her visit did elicit a pretty big smile on my face anyway…
Tammy can brighten anyone’s day. Even Mom’s! (Caught Tammy by surprise when taking the photo below. Otherwise, I’m sure she would’ve done away with the root beer candy she had hidden in her cheek.) Photobomb courtesy of Dharma. 🙂
It’s been crazy busy around here — book launch, back and mobility related issues with Team Pesky non-neighbors, visiting family members, and more — I’m not sure if I’m coming or going. The main indicator that today is not the same as yesterday is the temperature.
Here in southern Indiana it was above 80 degrees on Wednesday. Today, a mere two days later, we’ll be lucky to see a high of 55 degrees. Pretty happy my fireplace is working because my heating and air guy has yet to show up to install my new furnace and A/C units. And, even better that I like my bedroom cold enough to hang meat.
If I make it 2.5 more hours it’s weekend. My two friends and I are planning to relax until Monday:
My cousin, Celina, has been here for a week from Oklahoma. On her last night before returning home, one cousin increased to two when her sister, Christy, joined us.
One night of going to bed at 5:00 AM turned into TWO nights of going to bed at 5:00 AM and ONE photo taken after a few bottles of wine were consumed.
Both girls were gone before I got out of bed so I sent them the photo above via text message.
I immediately got this reply from Christy (on the left): “WTF do I look like an emoji?“
My great uncle, Theodore E. Hancock (Ted), owned this house before me. He and his wife, Lois, my Grandmother’s sister, purchased this newly built home to be closer to family after having lived in Greenwood for at least 100 years. Ted just LOVED silicone.
We know how much he loved silicone because it’s everywhere in this 80’s house. EVERYWHERE. He squired it behind every bracket on every toilet paper holder and towel rack before placing the screws (making them nearly impossible to replace) and around every window (who needs windows that open anyway?). I would bet money the little old man slept with a silicone gun — and I’ve added 50 pounds of the stuff within trash bags over the past 4 years.
I painted Colette’s room over the weekend and when I moved her bed (an antique that belonged to Ted and I decided to keep), the sucker broke!
Upon close inspection I found… you guessed it… silicone! It was obvious the bed had been broken before because it was repaired with small nails (not screws) and at least a 1/2 tube of silicone — and you can’t fix bed frames with silicone. RIP bed.
There are a bajillion and one reasons that summertime is my favorite time of the year. I’m just going to list my three primary reasons because even if they stood alone, they are enough to make summer the best season:
The burger from Steak n’ Shake was barely ok UNTIL I took off that pathetic excuse for a tomato slice and added a REAL “Carlmator.”
I must enjoy as many of these as I can hold because like summertime, those Carlmators don’t last forever. 🙁
It’s been more than a year since the last brick pillar beside the drive at my house was hit by a car and demolished. The first time, a spider dropped down startling the driver. The last time, I’m pretty sure the dude had consumed too much alcohol.
Yesterday evening, the tree in Ben’s front yard was struck by a car.
Although it started to rain AFTER the accident, the roads were clear and dry beforehand — so I have to wonder what caused the driver to cross into the opposite lane and hit that tree. It’s not like Ben’s house is located on a curvy street or his tree is situated in a blind spot on some country road.
The spider story is a good one because it’s perfectly legal. Drinking or texting would be plausible but might land the driver in some legal trouble. It appears the driver was ok because he didn’t leave the scene by ambulance. He didn’t leave in the back of a police car either so I vote “the spider did it.“
Is my family room so comfy that it induces sleep? Or… was it the homemade Chicken Alfredo I made for dinner that did it?
(Never mind the mirror waiting to be hung because it actually did find a spot on the wall after the snooze.)
Chicken (as in my amazing dinner entree) is a lean protein and contains the amino acid called L-tryptophan. It helps the body produce melatonin… which obviously causes dogs and men to snore.
A friend once shipped me a container of gummy bears that were infused with melatonin. By the time they arrived from Vegas by USPS, they were all melted and stuck together — and when I tried eating a couple before bed, I probably got at least 5 in the melted lump I shoved in my mouth. My friend swears by those lil’ rascals to help him sleep, but they had zero effect on me.
Even chicken and the comfy family room didn’t put me out. I’m seriously becoming my Nanny — the woman who sat up every night… all night… in a chair staring out the window. Reviewing my sleep habits on Fitbit is depressing. 🙁
After the major AC hiccup and temps reaching over 80 degrees inside — and after continued water issues — this weekend couldn’t get here quickly enough.
All well work here is done and the water pressure is amazing. Although we started off a bit cloudy, the water is now clear. Although the Berkey is still used for coffee, drinking and the puppies, (I would use this even if I had city water — check out the benefits), the pressure is strong in the back bathroom even if laundry is running in another part of the house.
The AC unit is patched up and should last until the new unit (and furnace) are in, and the Nest thermostat has already been delivered. I’m ready except for hemorrhaging more money to pay for yet another upgrade. Homeownership is overrated.
The only highlight of the entire week was Colette getting to see Pap-pa Busta for lunch the day before starting 2nd grade.
One more day to relax before starting a new work week that is sure to be 110% better than the last one. Have a fabulous weekend, you guys! 🙂
It’s been so very hot in Indiana the past few days — compounded by the humidity — it’s downright too miserable to do much outside in the afternoons.
Even with a fan in the “three season room” (which is only comfortable for two seasons out of the year), it was still ridiculously warm. Add a dog blanket — as evidenced by the security camera in the photo below — and it’s a miracle I didn’t stroke out.
Back in the olden days (heh), we didn’t resume from summer break until after Labor Day. It’s doubtful that had much to do with no A/C in the building, but even 10-12 years ago I can remember many pukers because of the heat in that yellow tin can that transported them to and from school. I’m assuming some buses have air… but would imagine some still do not.
Many surrounding schools have already started and Colette begins 2nd grade on Thursday. I asked her if she was excited. She said she was, but she was dreading her Dad singing to her to get up every morning. 🙂
For the record, no one ever sang to me on any given school morning.