Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day

According to Wikipedia, "Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces."

Also according to Wikipedia, "Veterans Day is an official United States holiday which honors people who have served in armed service also known as veterans.  It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I." 

Wikipedia also goes on to state:  Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving.
 
 

While there does seem to be a distinct difference in the holidays, I do think it's important to honor, respect and remember ALL of our service men and women. 

We had a very nice couple of days and loved having a 3-day weekend.  Coach flew in from Baltimore Friday afternoon and we had a nice family night.  Saturday morning Coach made bacon and eggs for breakfast, T worked at the lax store and had a couple of graduation parties to attend to while KJ and I got pedicures so we could be "sandal worthy."  Saturday night we joined friends for their weekly steak dinner.  The last time we were at their house, a huge possum walked by their front door and scared the heck out of all of us so the big joke was "were we eating steak or are we eating possum?" 

Sunday Cosmo made French toast for breakfast and Sunday he got Bagels.  Love when the
bagel boy is home!  Monday Coach and KJ went to TreeTops out on 280 for some father/daughter bonding time and then we all had Outback. 

 
Coach's flight back to BWI left BHM at 6 AM.  Daughter #1 got up at 4 AM and drove him to the airport.  Such a good girl.  She worked at the lax store this afternoon and took KJ with her.  After work, they headed downtown to the Baron's gamel  Some good, quality sisterly bonding time. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

SPF it UP

Believe me, I truly believe in growing old gracefully but certainly not before I'm damn good and ready.  I'll fight time to the very bitter end but as of right now I have no plans to be injected with anything or go under the knife. 

Take care of your skin!  Drink lots of water, take vitamins but please, please, please also remember to wear sunscreen!  I love laugh lines, a face with character and a healthy, natural glow.  However, you don't want to look like this, do you (see photos below)???  In all seriousness, it is SO important to take care of your skin.  Champ learned his lesson the hard way after being diagnosed with melanoma this past Spring. 

 
 
Recently, we ran into a friend that we hadn't see in a long, long time and later in the car KJ asked who was older -- me or the friend?  When I said that the friend was about 6 or 7 years younger than me, KJ was kind of shocked and said she thought the other lady was at least 5 years older than me. (way to score some brownie points KJ!).  Our friend smokes, drinks a lot and tans hardcore.  And it's starting to catch up to her. 
 


Friday, May 24, 2013

Gobsmacked

I have had one of the craziest weeks ever and I'm still in absolute shock at this week's turn of events.   I am 45 years old and began working when I was 15.  I have worked with all types of people from all walks of life and never, in my 30 years of experience, have had something like this happen to me.  My jaw is still on the floor and I really have no words.  But here are a couple.  I think the very last definition of "stun"  applies in this situation.  And gobsmacked.  I really like the word gobsmacked. 

Astonished
as·ton·ish/əˈstɒnɪʃ/ Show Spelled [uh-ston-ish]
verb (used with object)
to fill with sudden and overpowering surprise or wonder; amaze: Her easy humor and keen intellect astonished me.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Origin:
1525–35; Middle English astonyen, astonen, probably < dialectal Old French *astoner, Old French estoner < Vulgar Latin *extonāre, for Latin attonāre to strike with lightning, equivalent to ex- ex-1 , at- at- + tonāre to thunder; extended by -ish2 , perhaps reflecting Anglo-French *astonir < dialectal Old French
Related forms
as·ton·ished·ly, adverb
as·ton·ish·er, noun
su·per·as·ton·ish, verb
un·as·ton·ished, adjective
Synonyms:  astound, startle, shock. See surprise.

Astounded
as·tound/əˈstaʊnd/ Show Spelled [uh-stound] 
verb (used with object)
1. to overwhelm with amazement; astonish greatly; shock with wonder or surprise.
adjective
2. Archaic. astonished; astounded.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English astoun ( e ) d, past participle of astonen, variant of astonyen to astonish
Related forms
as·tound·ment, noun
Synonyms:  See surprise.

Gobsmacked
gob·smacked/ˈgɒbˌsmækt/ Show Spelled [gob-smakt]
adjective Chiefly British Informal.
utterly astounded; astonished.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Origin: gob3 + smack2 + -ed2

Shock
shock1 /ʃɒk/ Show Spelled [shok]
noun
1. a sudden and violent blow or impact; collision.
2. a sudden or violent disturbance or commotion: the shock of battle.
3. a sudden or violent disturbance of the mind, emotions, or sensibilities: The burglary was a shock to her sense of security. The book provided a shock, nothing more.
4. the cause of such a disturbance: The rebuke came as a shock.
5. Pathology . a collapse of circulatory function, caused by severe injury, blood loss, or disease, and characterized by pallor, sweating, weak pulse, and very low blood pressure. Compare anaphylactic shock, cardiogenic shock, hypovolemic shock.
6. the physiological effect produced by the passage of an electric current through the body.
7. shocks, Informal. shock absorbers, especially in the suspension of an automobile.
verb (used with object)
8. to strike or jar with intense surprise, horror, disgust, etc.: He enjoyed shocking people.
9. to strike against violently.
10. to give an electric shock to.
11. to undergo a shock.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Origin:
1555–65; < Middle French choc armed encounter, noun derivative of choquer to clash (in battle) < Germanic; compare Dutch schokken to shake, jolt, jerk
Related forms
shock·a·ble, adjective
shock·a·bil·i·ty, noun
shock·ed·ness, noun
shock·like, adjective
un·shock·a·bil·i·ty, noun
un·shock·a·ble, adjective
Synonyms:  stagger, astound, stupefy. Shock, startle, paralyze, stun suggest a sudden, sharp surprise that affects one somewhat like a blow. Shock suggests a strong blow, as it were, to one's nerves, sentiments, sense of decency, etc.: The onlookers were shocked by the accident. Startle implies the sharp surprise of sudden fright: to be startled by a loud noise. Paralyze implies such a complete shock as to render one temporarily helpless: paralyzed with fear. Stun implies such a shock as bewilders or stupefies: stunned by the realization of an unpleasant truth.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

It's OK Thursday

Link up with http://www.brunchwithamber.com/ for the very last It's OK Thursday. 
I have had so much fun posting "It's OK" and I thank Amber and Neely for this wonderful opportunity!

Its Ok Thursdays


It's OK . . .

...that I have absolutely zero plans for the weekend other than laying at the pool with an adult bevvie and my Nook.
...to be extremely proud of the sweet high school kids I work with.  Congratulations on your graduation!
...to be extremely proud of my girls.  T is really enjoying her internship with Rick and Bubba and KJ is just so happy to be a rising 8th grader and is looking forward to volleyball season.
...that the 13 year old has a better social life than me and is breaking the bank. 
...that I really like Mariah Carey's new song "Beautiful."
...that I've been walking around with a Flat Stanley in my purse for over a week now. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tradition

Tonight is our annual "End of School" sleep-over tradition.  T started it way back in elementary school and KJ carries on the torch.  It's such a fun way of kicking off the summer!  I don't even know why they have school this week -- today they got out around 1 PM and tomorrow they are released around 11:30 AM.  T will take them to school in the morning and then head over to the SEC games at the Met.  #hottytoddy

Monday, May 20, 2013

Who Does That?

Tonight the girls and I had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen.  They don't serve Coke products.  Only Pepsi.  Who does that?  Made me think of that old Saturday Night Live skit with Jim Belushi. 


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sneaky Spot

T and I cleaned the Sneaky Spot yesterday while KJ was whooping it up at Six Flags.  I guess I should back up a minute and explain what the Sneaky Spot actually is.

T was not quite 5 years old when we moved to Birmingham.  We were taking the tour with the realtor when we opened a door at the top of the stairs which lead to a little office/study.  T took one look at it and said, "Ooooohhh!  A Sneaky Spot!"  And the name stuck.  It's a really neat little space / bonus room with built in shelving, an angled ceiling and a parquet floor.  When the girls were little they used it as a playroom and had the Little Tykes kitchen set up there, they played dress up, read books while relaxing on the beanbag chair, colored, etc.  Then, as the girls got older and outgrew the Sneaky Spot, it became a bit of a junk room.  If you didn't know where something belonged, "just throw it in the Sneaky Spot; no one goes in there any more."  I tried to take it over as my office at one point and Cosmo installed a counter for me to do scrapbooking, etc.  It just never took hold.  So, the Sneaky Spot became more of a Catchall Corner over the years.

We tore that room up yesterday and I'm happy to say we have a nice, clean, organized Sneaky Spot once again. I keep all of our photo albums up there and T and I had a lot of laughs over some old photos.  KJ was a beautiful baby and toddler but had the worst smile.  It was more like a grimace.  We used to have to bribe her to smile in photos.  Even now it's a bit of a struggle to get her to smile in photo but she's kind of learned if she just gives a quick grin, I'll snap the photo and leave her alone.  As long as she doesn't do a bunch of those awful duck-face "selfies" I'm OK with it. 


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chicks !!!

Fathers, be good to your daughters

Daughters will love like you do

Girls become lovers who turn into mothers

So mothers, be good to your daughters too
(John Mayer)

So happy to have "all my chicks in the nest!"  (So dorky but that's one of my favorite sayings!). 

I drove out to Oxford Friday morning and pulled up in front of T's dorm around 12 noon.  Her car was already packed and ready to go so we took my car and had a nice leisurely lunch on the Square, did some shopping, she returned a couple of textbooks, re-newed her mail box, etc.  We had my nephew's Flat Stanley with us and took some photos of Flat Stanley at the Grove, the Walk of Champions, in front of T's sorority house, on the field at the Vaught, etc. 

T was so organized for move-out it was crazy scary.  She is one of the most organized people I have ever met in my life.  I don't know where she gets it from.  I'm organized but she takes it to a whole different level.  The only thing left in her room were her mini-fridge and a garment bag w/ cocktail dresses.  Other than those two items, she had her car totally and completely packed.  She swept out her room, called her RA check her out, we slid the mini-fridge in my backseat and off we went.  Basically, I drove out to Oxford to pick up a fridge.

Love having T-bone home; she's such a big help to me!  This morning KJ had to be at school early so T drove her (I heard some type of yelling in the garage before they left --KJ was wearing a pair of T's shoes w/out asking), the girls have menu planed, grocery shopped and plan to cook every night this week and they've even played tennis a couple of times.  T starts her internship tomorrow morning and has to be at the studio at Zero Dark Thirty.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Summer Shows

When I was a kid, summer was for re-runs.  There was never anything good on TV which was fine because we were usually outside playing until quite late at night (we played kickball and dodge ball until the street lights came on and then played flashlight tag until our moms yelled for us to come in -- we must have gone through hundreds of D batteries a summer!). 

Nowadays, most networks have summer replacement shows or start their viewing season a little later in the year so that it carries over to the summer.  For example, Walking Dead season 3 premiered in February, Game of Thrones aired March 31, Long Island Medium aired last night and Breaking Bad Season 5 airs mid-July.  True Blood season 6 starts in June and I also think a Bachelorette is starting soon.  A couple of my favorite shows will be starting back up this summer and I can't wait! Necessary Roughness (USA Network) airs on June 12 with John Stamos joining the cast (whoop! whoop! that Uncle Jesse sure is cute!) http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/05/02/necessary-roughness-john-stamos/.  Falling Skies (TNT) has a big 2-hour season premier on June 9 http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/05/04/falling-skies-capetown-film-festival/
and HBO's Newsroom returns July 14.  My favorite neurotic house flipper returns on July 9 on Bravo (Interior Therapy With Jeff Lewis).  USA is also airing a new show called Graceland on June 6 (it has nothing to do with Elvis); looks pretty good and I'll probably set the DVR. And finally, my husband's favorite show, Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family) season 4 premieres June 11 (just kidding!  One night he walked in the door and asked if the girls and I were watching "Pretty Little Housewives Say Yes to the Dress"). 

The summer is also a great time to catch up on shows or episodes you might have missed (via Hulu or Netflix, something like that).  Summer is actually when I started watching Lost.  I had really wanted to watch when it first aired but missed a couple of shows and thought I'd be too far behind.  ABC re-ran the show, in order, over the summer and we were hooked. 


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tale from a Garage Sale

Today was our annual neighborhood yard sale.  We've lived here almost 15 years and have only been able to participate once or twice.  It's always on a Saturday when we've had softball or lacrosse or something else. 


Earlier in the week KJ and I started to gather up some stuff -- games, outgrown clothes, etc.and threw away a lot of stuff, too.  By 7 AM this morning we could hear the early birds cruising around our cul-de-sac and the minute we put out a table, people were running up the drive way. 

Some people were just out browsing, some were looking for specific items (one lady asked KJ if we had any iPads we wanted to sell and another lady asked if we had a Belgain waffle maker). 

We ended up getting rid of KJ's old fish tank, a really nice fishing tackle box thing that one of Champs vendor's had given him years ago and still had the tags on it, a chair and ottoman that have been in our attic for at least 10 years, a bike, a lawn spreader thing, a pair of wiper blades, a box full of Polly Pockets, a couple of Bratz dolls, some Littlest Pet Shop stuff, the Easy Bake oven, a couple of old ski jackets, a couple of soccer balls that needed air, a ton of books, some naked Barbie's, an old microwave and the mini-fridge from under our bar area that hasn't worked in couple of years.  I don't know why we still had the fridge but the guy who bought it said he could use the parts.  Then, a local charity came buy and asked if they could come back in the afternoon and pick-up donations.  Smart move.  We weren't about to lug all that stuff back into the garage so we piled everything up and they took it all off our hands. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's OK Thursday

Another week, another "It's OK Thursday!"

It's OK . . .

Its Ok Thursdays

...that my daughter has officiallly, successfully completed her freshman year of college! 
...I haven't watched this much hockey / New York Rangers in years.
...that I have admitted defeat and hired a housekeeper.
...to be really, really looking forward to my annual "Mother's Day French Toast in Bed" this weekend!
...to be happy the hockey-playing brothers won Amazing Race!  I intensely disliked the smug newlyweds.  He was a total putz. 
...to love when my husband travels and he comes home bearing gifts!! 
...that I saw the craziest thing the other day while driving to work!  A car was drifting in and out of my lane.  I immediately thought the driver was texting.  Nope.  She had her eyes shut tight and was spraying hairspray! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Yes, But I'll Have Nice Teeth

Flashback to Spring  Break 2008.  We're all on the beach in Fort Meyers, FL enjoying the sunshine and the kids are frolicking in the waves.  KJ comes rushing out of the water holding her mouth.  She somehow got hit in the head by a wave and broke her front tooth.  That June she got a veneer.  Over the years her mouth has changed and her teeth have shifted and the veneer has popped off a couple of times.  Easy fix though, the dentist just pops it back on. 
 
Well, the night before Champ & KJ headed out to Baltimore, the veneer popped off and we had to make an emergency visit to the dentist.  This past weekend she bit into a sandwich, the veneer popped off and she almost swallowed it.  Another quick trip to the dentist today.  Except this time we decided it's time for a brand new veneer.  $900.  Cash.  Insurance doesn't cover it because it's considered "cosmetic,"  Other than my engagement and wedding rings, I told KJ I don't own anything that costs $900.  I have some great designer handbags, some good jewelry, some expensive shoes but not one single item that comes close to costing $900.  My wedding gown wasn't even $900 way back in 1982.  And now my child has a tooth that cost $900.  I told her she's got to take care of the temporary veneer until the new one comes in because I can't keep taking off from work to get her to the dentist.  I teasingly told her I'm probably going to get fired.  She said, "Yeah but I'll have really nice teeth."  Smart Ass.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gatsby

I usually stay far, far away from musicals of any type (I didn't see the Sound of Music until a couple of years ago).  I don't watch Glee, don't watch Smash and I still have absolutely zero desire to see Les Miserables.  I positively hated Moulin Rouge and I've also never seen that Abba-inspired movie with Meryl Streep.  The exceptions, of course, are seeing a show on Broadway, Grease and Hairspray (both starring John Travolta) and I recently watched Rock of Ages with Tom Cruise not knowing it was a musical.  I thought the 80's music was the soundtrack to the movie. 


Having said all that, I really, really want to see The Great Gatsby when it comes out.  Maybe I'll take the girls if Champ is out of town.  Leo is like a fine wine and has definitely gotten better with age.  He's grown into his face and I love the little crinkly wrinkles around his eyes.  He's going to look distinguished with gray hair, too. 


Of course, for many people, Jay Gatsby will always be the one and only Robert Redford.  Redford starred in the 1974 adaption of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 book of the same name.  The 1974 screenplay was started by Truman Capote but he was fired from the project.  Francis Ford Coppola picked up the pieces and the movie opened to mixed reviews. 


Old School Gatsby (1974)  vs. New School Gatsby (2013)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Queen of Versailles

This weekend I watched "Queen of Versailles" on Bravo.  I had heard about the movie when production began but then the economic bubble burst and the movie took a different turn. 


Back in 2008, David Siegel owns Westgate Resorts, one of the world's largest timeshare companies  (David's son runs the Vegas branch of the company and readily admitted that their target client is the un-educated Wal-Mart customer who is just looking for free tickets to Vegas shows).  The guy is worth billions and claims to be solely responsible for George W's second term (he insinuates that what he did wasn't entirely legal) yet he cannot buy his family an ounce of class.  His wife, Jackie, is a clueless big-boobed, blond, former engineer / former beauty queen / trophy wife.  These two are planning to build the largest single-family home in the USA: 90,000 square feet.  The home is to include thirteen bedrooms, twenty-something bathrooms, multiple kitchens, a bowling alley, an indoor skating rink, an arcade, an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center, a spa, and staff quarters. The kids will have an entire wing made just for them (natch), complete with a living room, a computer center, and a movie theater. The adults will have a theater of their own, as well. 

Their current home (25,000+ square feet) is disgusting -- dog poop everywhere, dead fish floating in the fish tank, a dead lizard (one of the kids claims "I didn't even know we had a lizard!").  Jackie is so clueless she pops out a bunch of kids and claims that she wouldn't have had that many children if it wasn't for her nannies (at one point they had 19 employees in their home; unfortunately they had to let them go when they went belly up).  One of the nannies is actually living in the children's former play house.  I kid you not. 

The documentary starts with David talking about their fortune and the home.  He's kind of likable at the beginning but then when the market tumbles, David starts the blame game.  The Segals are not able to finish their home and have to severely reducing their lifestyle.  Apparently, Jackie didn't get the memo.  She continues to spend (one disturbing scene shows her Christmas shopping in Wal-Mart filling shopping cart after shopping cart of nothing but random crap) and plastic surgery/treatments (she gets a peel or something). This woman is white-trash personified.  She flies home to Binghampton, NY to visit family and friends and claims it was her first commercial flight (I find it very hard to believe that a girl from humble beginnings in upstate NY has never flown coach before!) and she asks the clerk at the Hertz Rental Car desk for the name of her driver.  What the hell?  It kind of felt contrived and she was playing up to the cameras.  David is much, much older than Jackie and he plays the typical the creepy old rich man.  The type who indulge their wives as long as they are hot and attentive.  He has grown children from previous marriages and the one son seems to delight in referring to Jackie as "Grandma" in front of her Christmas party guests as he and his kids enter the home.  Towards the end of the movie, David basically ignores Jackie and his brood and prefers to take his meals privately in front of a big screen TV.   These two idiots are worth billions but have no savings and lament about how their kids might actually have to work (quelle horror!!!).  Jackie is actually quite perturbed that they didn't receive any bail-out money.  You know, the money that was supposed to go to the "common people."

Jackie's only saving grace is that she seems, at times, to understand her family's responsibility to it's former employees and has started a consignment / thrift store to benefit the locals. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Oh Spring! Where for Art Thou??

We are currently experiencing some cooler than normal temperatures in Birmingham.  Having lived here for almost 15 years, you kind of forget that this is the kind of Spring weather that most of the country experiences at this time of the year.  As a matter of fact, it was warmer today at my brother's house in PA than it was here.  I, of course, am enjoying the weather and love having the A/C off and the windows wide open.  Plus, I don't have to water the flowers tonight. 

Coach had a good week in MD.  He really likes the people in the office but is definately not used to being on Eastern time and is definately not used to the traffic!  Thursday night he was able to find a single ticket on line and went to the Rangers vs. Capitals game.  Can't remember the last time he went to an NHL game much less his beloved Rangers.  This morning he drove up to my brother's to surprise my nephew at his lax game.  After Mr. B's game they had lunch w/ his temmates (one of his little buddy's is JoePa's grandson) and then they stayed for my cousin John's game and walked around campus for a bit.

Thursday night the varsity boys team played Vestavia in semi-finals.  I did NOT want to go to the game at all but had to take some stuff to Patrick and KJ begged me to stay.  I swear, that kid thinks of all those boys as her big brothers, her extended family.  Well, I'm glad we stayed because it was a great game and they ended up beating Vestavia 12 to 7.  Plus, I think Coach was glad we were there "representin'." 

In other, equally exciting sporting news, KJ made the 8th grade volleyball team!  They had a clinic Monday and Tuesday and try-outs Wednesday.  The coaches weren't sure if they were going to put the list on the gym door or on-line.  KJ had checked the website a couple of times but nothing was up.  I was about to make her go to bed because it was getting kind of late but let her check on-line one last time.  She must have timed it just right because her name popped up and she sq2uealed!  So proud of her!!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

It's OK Thursday

Wow!  Thursday already??  Awesome!  This week went by super fast (and I'm not complaining!).  If you haven't already, link up for It's OK Thursdays!

Its Ok Thursdays

...It's OK Coach is going to the Rangers vs. Capitals hockey game tonight.  He's been a life-long Rangers fan and and I remember how he used to take T to the games whenever they played the Caps at the crappy Landover arena.  She'd sit on his lap and eat popcorn the entire time.
...It's OK that I had to have some additional mammograms/tests this week.  Everything turned out fine but my heart definately skipped a couple of beats when I got the phone call asking me to please come back into the office for further testing. 
...It's OK that T probably won't be working with me at the hotel this summer.  She's got an awesome, awesome, awesome internship!
...It's OK that I enjoy a good mozarella, pull-apart, string cheese stick every now and then.
...It's OK that I had a weird, strange craving for wedding cake today.
...It's OK that as much as I love shoes, I'd much rather be barefoot or in flip-flops!
...It's OK that KJ has made me watch Full House 4 or 5 nights in a row.  That Uncle Jesse sure is cute!
...It's OK that I wore Yoga Pants out in person when I swore I would NEVER EVER be "that" person.  I picked KJ up from vball try-outs and we were going to drive thru Zaxby's so I wouldn't have to get out of the car in my yoga pants but on the way a friend called and asked us to meet them for dinner.  The 13 year old said I didn't look "too" bad so I guess that's a compliment in a weird sort of way.   At least she didn't say, "OMG You're NOT wearing THAT are you?" or "OMG You are embarrassing me!!!" 



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