Birthday Weekend & Joy in the Kitchen

First of all let me just say that this weekend was glorious. Getting to catch up on sleep did my soul and spirit wonders. I had to make myself stay in bed though at 3 or 4 a.m. for another round. And while I missed “to do” time at home, I made up for it by having double energy and a good attitude. 😉

The early parts of Saturday and Sunday were spent sipping coffee, doing laundry, spiffying up the place a bit, and for me, writing and doing things on the Mac.

And somewhere along the way, while putting up a southwestern towel with cacti on it, another with turquoise and orange and yellow (southwest colors), it occurred to me how well these colors would go with the kitchen. I’d been trying to think what would make me happier with the kitchen since the stove is old and the linoleum is “forever blue” — named forever as I’ll probably never see another color in this house. Maybe one day. I’m trying to be patient but I do realize that it was one of the first things I wanted to change and we have been here 12 years. The counter tops are ugly and old as well. Before I die, I’d like to have an updated kitchen. By the time that happens I’ll be too old to do anything in it. lol. George doesn’t like to replace anything that still works. I’m lucky we got the fridge. So I’m trying to be patient. And decided I’d give the kitchen a facelift. Only in the curtains, decor, and a bigger chalk board for menu planning. I told George about this and was met with a blank face and no return comment, which anyone can give their best interpretation. However, it was my Christmas and Birthday money to spend. ;-). Also I’ve been dumping my Isagenix earnings into our account to help pay for Christmas. And I also quit getting my hair colored saving us about $60 or $70 the other day. ;-). We did Christmas up right. Holidaying and vacays are over.

And now it’s time to save. (It’s really time to start planning the next vacation but that has been halted for now as George says he is unsure about what will be going on with work. This work thing getting in the way of vacations sucks. I think we have to wait til Feb to plan this one as he will have a better idea of what week will work and what is going on – recently taken over by another company.). However, I guess Katy and I can get our time on the books and get the date on the calendar. Then we can pick the place for sure and get that booked later. Getting it on the calendar is the hard part. But it is time to save some. We have been spending like there is no tomorrow. And well, you never know.

We do have a lot of things to do at home and I enjoy being at home so much. We also have our friends who love foodie excursions – either out or on the Homefront. And here’s me wanting to lose more weight, but love my Nashville cuisine and friend time.

We did it up right this weekend too. We went to Mexican Friday after work, already mentioned and then Saturday we headed out at 3 p.m. to go by Farmer’s Market and also the TN State Museum. George wanted a pewter TN license plate holder for his car for Christmas. You couldn’t get them on line but he had seen them there. But They didn’t have them.

Nashville’s Farmer’s Market and Capital in the background.
Inside the Food Court and Shopping section of Nashville’s Farmer’s Market

We got a beer at the Picnic Tap room there. As we were leaving a gentlemen stepped forward and asked if I remembered him. It was my friend Mac from Cain-Sloan and Dillard’s. I am not sure he worked long at Green Hills but we had hung out some during that time after Cain Sloan closed. My memory fails but I believe he worked in security. We had lunch some. I was really close to his Mom when I went to the Dillard’s Green Hills location as she worked there in Customer Service and Gift Wrapping. (Dillard’s bought Cain Sloan and that was their introduction to Nashville many years ago – an Arkansas based extended family business at least at that time. I’ve seen Mr. Dillard in person! Although he is probably not around now.). So it was fun running into him and he and George talked about the Gibson and guitars and such.

Then we headed to dinner but we were early so we stopped at Union Common and got a cocktail to pass the time. We had been there on a “foodie tour” once and had always said we’d like to go back. No one is ever there, but as George said “we are early as the crowds eat late these days”. It’s turning into New York lol. Places have to stay open later and later for dinner service I guess as people just can’t get there by dinner time. And to think I grew up when 4:30 to 5:30 was dinner hour – it was ready at some point during that time frame. Then when I moved to Nashville it became 6. George always ate around 8 or 8:30 so we had extreme adjustments on when to eat. I will never get used to 8 or 8:30 as a meal time. And George will try to have it ready by 7:30 or 8. He usually cooks. When I cook, I have to clean and have the kitchen perfect and do the laundry reboot first, so mine is often late too. But there was hardly anyone in Union Common and hardly anyone in Giovani’s.

Giovani’s Nashville, and George on the front steps.
A “lighted” wine list

When you open the wine menu it lit up. How cool is that? There were also some $2500 bottles of wine on there. No Thank you.

Barbera D’Asti, Michele CHiarlo 2016 – an Italian Wine, and a very good one.

We picked one and it was so good. I got gluten free spaghetti. It just seemed better for you since it was available. And there was an awkward moment when the waiter said “ok I will remove the crouton’s then from your salad” and I said “oh please don’t I want the croutons”. (lol). He said “but if you have gluten allergies?”. I said “I don’t have gluten allergies, just cutting back on…” and he looked away and finished taking George’s order. I wasn’t sure if I was cutting back on calories or what I was cutting back on – “bad stuff” I guess. That is it. Cutting back on the bad stuff.

Anyway, we had a wonderful dinner. The food was good. I had a Caesar salad. I wish the lettuce had been broken up a bit and easier to eat without having to cut the romaine, but it was good and served with a crispy piece of bacon. I have had better Caesar salads, but it was still good. No picture of my spaghetti bolognese which was really ziti I think as that was what was gluten free. You just don’t feel as bloated when you eat the gluten free, but often it is not as good. This however, if it was truly gluten free, was good. The sauce was excellent. The bread was good. It was a pretty place. A fine dining experience.

And then Sunday afternoon at 3 my SIL and BIL came over to swap Christmas and also we headed out to do my Birthday celebration.

Susan and Kevin

This is George’s sister and her husband. We had a fun Christmas swap and then went to Bar Taco where I had picked for my birthday.

Bar Taco, 12th South, Nashville, TN
Bar Taco, Nashville, TN
Nashville

Some may have wanted to go out to another place and I was game if they wanted to, but they let me decide and I chose home. The 4 a.m. hour comes way too early.

I finished shopping on line as I had not gotten to finish earlier and then I realized – yikes it’s 10 p.m.!

Anyway it was a splendid weekend and now that the birthdaying is over, and Christmas events are over, I can go ahead and begin gathering up the Christmas stuff, and look forward to doing the kitchen decor redo. I’ve taken the before pics already. You won’t be able to see much difference I’m sure as it’s only a few small changes. And mostly have to be upclose. So I probably need to take some more unclose photos for my before shots.

Very few “to do’s” scheduled for this week. A birthday gift to send out, and schedule doc and dentist and dog appointments, and see when friends want to set dates for various things. There are about three friend dates hanging out there and I’m afraid they are all going to come about at once. Also friend Christy wants to go see Little Women.

Anyway, I better go get ready for work. I really need to be leaving about now. Probably won’t blog for another couple of days or toward the end of week. It seems to be working well to do it this way. I also have more material to cover, lol. If I blog every day I end up getting too deep and personal and this way I keep it on the surface. For the most part. I still usually thrown in if something is heavy on my mind though.

Hope you all have a great week. I’m about to dive into mine.

Haircut Woes and Birthday Joys

Hey there! I realized since I did my Year in Review post, I had not posted about our dinner at Aunt Gwen’s who we lovingly call “OAG”, for Old Aunt Gwen, when George taught Katy to call her that for fun when she was tiny. It stuck. We had a nice time at Gwen’s. Her house beautifully decorated, conversation always fun, and her lasagna makes me long for the recipe. We did this on the 30th of Dec.

Our November and December has been such a whirl that I don’t know which way is up. It’s been fun, exciting, but I’m worn out. My next goal in life is to get caught up on sleep and rid myself of the dark circles and puffiness under my eyes where I’ve had so much on every to do list that it has hampered my ability to sleep. I think the brain has to have “think time”. And when you don’t get it – you wake in the night doing it. In the couple of days I’ve tried to use my drive time as think time so that my mind can just ramble through what it needs to. I’ve also ignored my to do list since the 1st b/c every moment has had something planned this week so no free time to try and knock anything out.

Why is time always a problem and why do we always try to fill our time up? Are we afraid we are going to be bored?

Mom and Dad

Mom posted a pic this week on Facebook of her and Dad back about when they were first married. I didn’t have that pic. I do now! 😉

George’s ham pot pie

I don’t think I have posted this here. Forgive me if I have. I think I only posted to Facebook but George made this with the leftover ham. It was really good.

Roger and Little Bit’s “Stare Down”

Roger and Little Bit had a “Stare Down” this week. Roger won. The stare down lasted for two or three minutes it seemed. Maybe it was just one or two but it seemed forever. George kept telling Roger to stop it but he can’t hear. I really didn’t think it was a big deal, but I guess George knew what was going to happen. One of them finally moved and the cat ran out and Roger chased him – both going at lightning speed. It was pretty funny. Especially since Roger is so timid and laid back and friendly and often scared of Little Bit in Little Bit’s turf (outside on the porch). Inside, Roger had the lead and confidence and ran him out of the room.

New Year’s Day was nice. It was just a total forget the world, forget the to do list, forget everything day. I did what I wanted – didn’t even do laundry and usually I want to do that. I played on the new iMac – still kinda setting up some things and figuring it out. I will be for a while. I also watched some YouTube shows on the iMac, having brought a comfy chair in and setting up a make shift foot stool. George laughed. I think he was laughing as I was using it as a TV. I mostly think he’s happy I’m enjoying my gift. I also took a nap and then it was dinner time. And I believe we watched Below Deck. On New Year’s Eve we watched a Julia Roberts movie (directed by Tom Hanks and also he was one of the main characters.) I’d never heard of “Larry Crowne”, which I enjoyed even though the ratings reportedly were not as good as hoped.

On the 2nd, it was hair cut day. If this were a conversation I’d say “don’t get me started”. I’ve grown my hair out for many months now to get out of the “feathered” stage and have long layers, so that I could get a different type of cut than what I usually get.

Me, on Ugly Sweater Day at Christmas time.

So I have increasingly had a problem styling the back as it grew, but I liked it long on the top. So I picked out these hair styles below to give to my hair stylist as an example, of keeping it long on the top and short in the back.

Me, after Hair Cut
Ya’ll don’t get a big pic of this – I look horrible in this pic!

However, I ended up with a feathered hair cut again like always. I was so upset. I cried when I got home. It took so long to grow the top out of the feathers I had before. I guess I will google what makes your hair grow (in foods) and eat that for two months. lol I would never want to hurt her feelings but I think the stylist knew I wasn’t happy. She left it long in front of my ears like a bob at first but since the top was so short I didn’t like that and had to get her to cut that off. I cut more of it off when I got home. And I’ve never been one that liked the style of longer hairs in the front hanging down like fangs or wings. The long part was supposed to be on top. Anyway, you can’t glue on cut hair so it is what it is.

I wasn’t sure how it was going to look but I did not like the style, so I came home and stuck my head under the bathroom faucet and poured water on it and restyled it. It looked better styled with a round brush to give it body and make it look longer. But it was ruined already. The tears just poured. I think I look horrible with the cut. It makes my nose and cheeks look big. The longer layers distract from that. I had wanted to keep it longer on top like the pictures showed and just have the back shorter at the nape of my neck. I had been so excited for weeks about this cut.

George, knowing he had a crises on his hands the day before my birthday, tried to cheer me up by giving me a birthday card to open that had come in the mail that day. The timing was impeccable.

I don’t “still got it” but at least the message made me laugh. And with descriptives using my middle initials. How sweet. I DO wish I could have that dogs head of hair and start over.

Anyway I look like an old woman that I am I guess – birthday at 57 and short butchy hair cut feathered all over. I’ve a good mind to go ask Rod Stuart how to just spike it up all over and do that til it grows out. I’m at such a loss. But, I’ve got to do something different. But what? Nothing? I guess it just has to grow and I’ll just have to get over it. I have some research to do I guess to try and find someone that thinks they can do this cut. I really didn’t think it was that difficult of a cut. I just don’t want heavily feathered hair like a bird. I want long soft layers.

OK anyway, it is what it is and it will grown and I will get over it, but I cannot control my feelings and I’m very disappointed. I think it’ll take about six months to get the layers on top back down to a reasonable size. I will probably like the cut better in a couple of weeks. Right now it is just so tight against my head that it’s hard to even get any body in it. So looking on the bright side: Getting ready in the mornings sure will be quick. lol And I don’t want to hurt the stylist’s feelings. She is a good person and I can’t account for what went wrong. I just can only account for my disappointment. It was evident by my reaction. I also have decided not to color it again due to where I had that surgery. So I’m afraid it might be seeping in. It seeps in the pores anyway and I just don’t want the chemicals in my body anymore. So I will begin to look old soon. If not already by this cut. I must go back on the shakes in a serious way to get rid of those fat cheeks!

Deer in the back yard upon arrival home

Yesterday – my Birthday was fun. The first thing I thought of when I was drinking coffee is that I would order myself some Cracker Barrel on line and pick it up 45 minutes later on the way to work. Cracker Barrel is 2 min away from my office. I got there in record time but had to wait like 30 minutes. I would have had time to get seated and eat almost. I did have some time to shop and bought a plant. They had some great deals and I needed to get out of there before I bought lots of clothes.

I did buy the plant. Of course it wasn’t on sale. But it was my birthday and I had blow money left. lol

It meant so much to me that Lauren brought over a little gift. Also had conversations with friends Tracy and Mia and others who went out of their way to say Happy Birthday. Of course there were lots of messages from family, nice little messages and texts from church buddies. We have not been in a while since I usually just worship on the go – in the car or office as church takes a 1/2 of a day, and with my psyche, I just need down time. But nice to hear from them. I really didn’t think they had missed us. lol Anyway Facebook was fun. That Story thing was new where people add a birthday message to your story. That was nice. I liked that.

After work I got my nails done and they needed it desperately. They tried to charge me too much though but it was a misunderstanding they said. No problem I let them know it was wrong, lol.

Then we went out to eat Mexican last night at Margarita House. What a crowd. It was good though. Once inside someone dropped a big huge trey of dishes in the hallway. Scared all of us to death as it was really loud. I guess everyone was turning to look at my hair cut and they had a mishap. lol. JK

Anyway, we came home and I watched some of my shows on the big TV. I just needed to zone out for a bit. Had been a long hectic day of looking up over a 100 people’s PTO’s – coding them and having to figure their PTO’s using last week’s report and subtracting out this week’s report which had the last week’s PTO used on it – so I didn’t allow PTO to go through that wasn’t used while our PTO system is “under construction” for the adjustments that take place end of year. Thank goodness next week it should be back to normal. If not I’ll be looking at three reports to get totals, lol. Also keeping a tracking list of the hundred folks that took PTO on the 30th or 31st or both so those can be tracked out of their 2020 totals. So a time consuming day and the more forms I did the more forms that were sent. I thought I’d never get through. Biggest PTO week ever since I’ve been in PR. Didn’t have time to work on tax stuff for monthly, quarterly, or year end stuff. The next few weeks I will have to come in early, stay as late as I feel comfortable doing without people being there. And probably will not have much lunch time just to get through. It will be a busy month work wise. The busiest ever I think. The last two weeks were holiday weeks and they were pretty nutty.

So here we are to the current day of Jan 4th. George and I are going to do some birthdaying at some point and I’ll let you know how that goes. We also do Christmas and birthdaying with my SIL and BIL tomorrow. So much fun ahead. But today I need to go so I can get laundry done and work on the house some. I’ve not had time to do laundry all week – well I could have done it on New Year’s Day but didn’t.

Oh, George gave me $85 in credits for Amazon to order what I wanted. And that along with the $50 Mom gave me, I have ordered some new tennis shoes (two pair), some lipstick (2 colors), and some body wash lotion for winter, and also some cute kitchen dish rags. George took the other $85 for him on Amazon. We split our money back from ordering things on Amazon. I think that is so cool. I bet Target and Walmart wished they had been more successful with their online shopping. I just got tired of them not having what I wanted and they changed to that Shipt program where you have to pay the service. So it began to not be worth it to me anymore. I just buy at the grocery now since I go to buy fresh foods anyway and pet food. I know that Amazon has their own Prime Pantry or whatever, but I’ve still been able to find what I need through Amazon almost perfectly even food at times. I’m not paying for additional services through shopping unless it’s a major thing for me. Amazon is enough. The rest I’ll just go buy in person.

Maisy girl Ready to go to Bed!

She was waiting for me to go to bed last night. And for her “meat treat” from George. She knows the routine. I get up, grab my phone, get water for bedside table, and take her out and they get a meat treat while I brush teeth and wash my face, and then she comes to the bedroom about the time I get in the bed so she can join me. We talk and play a bit and I rub her tummy and she licks my hand for more. Finally when I say “let’s go seepy” She will move over onto George’s side and we snooze.

Snoozin’ was good last night but I did have weird dreams when sleeping in this morning. Anyway better go get that laundry started. Hope I don’t get this long hair caught in anything! LOL