Weekend Trip, Weather Station, RV Dream, and Picking the next Hair Style

Didn’t get the daily blog in the last couple of days. Left early Friday morning to get to work early so I could leave early. When I go to see Mom it’s good to get out before traffic is horrible around Nashville. It was already bad enough. But honestly other than Franklin traffic on I-65 South where three lanes come down to two, the only bad traffic was near Columbia (Tennessee) where I guess everyone was getting off work from Saturn (auto plant) or other factories and offices. I’ve never seen such traffic there accept for Mule Day weekend. And that is not until April.

Before leaving work though I had a productive day there. I have been trying for two months to get boxes packed but quarter end, year end, vacation week, snow weeks, and two month ends, kept me from finishing. I managed a box here and there. When all was said and done I had 34 boxes of 2018 and 2019. Now I should have room hopefully for all the 2020 and 2021 records. Everyone keeps commenting about how boxed in my office gets. Teasingly I tell them “I know I’m getting a little claustrophobic back here. lol”. I had to tag each box and label it and also keep a sticker for myself on another sheet with the description. I will turn that in to the master book and scan a copy for myself so if we have to ask for a box back at any time I will have the tracking number. Pretty neat system. I got all 34 boxes labeled and logged and scanned for my records! I was also tired and used muscles I’d forgotten I had.

I felt like the Cat’s Meow by the time I got the project finished!

That said it still felt like forever til “getting off time”. I watched the clock, ready for my escape into the weekend! But once there at Mom’s we left to go eat dinner. Mom chose Ruby Tuesday’s (in Columbia, TN). She knows I love to eat there and like their salad bar. We were not sure they would actually have a salad bar in the COVID world. But they did! However, upon a quick glance it did NOT look like it had been maintained. It did not look inviting. It looked picked over. It looked tainted. It even had big huge chunks of lettuce and salad ingredients lying about. So we turned down the salad bar. I was disappointed but I was not eating off of that. I was thinking that at dinner time they should definitely have the salad bar refreshed and ready to go for the evening meal. After all there would be a rush. But…ummm…look around. There was no rush. There was hardly even anyone else there. Maybe two other tables one on each side of the building and one lonely guy at the bar, lol. There seemed to be only two people working the restaurant and the bar itself. The person seating people and what looked like a manager type woman that was waitressing and doing bar. And believe me there was no rush there either. lol. The woman was busy but also managed to have conversations and such with others. Meanwhile our food came out by some dude from the back in the kitchen. It was lukewarm. It had been sitting back there. Even the cheese on my baked potato had gelled. We had waited a long while – maybe 45 min for our food, which is not usually that long. Or maybe it is and we just never noticed as we had salad bar first usually. But we were both so hungry we didn’t want to complain b/c they would take our food away to heat it up or bring new! We didn’t want to have to wait another 20 to 45 minutes for either option so we ate lukewarm food. The food was good – just not hot like it should have been. I guess it sat back in the kitchen while the one waitress flit about having her conversations with everyone, lol. Grrr. I’m surprised Mom didn’t say something. But we just ate, knowing we would not be back, and making comments under our breath no wonder those other Ruby Tuesday restaurants closed and Mom said that is the reason I wanted to come here and go ahead and use up my gift card, lol. So I guess we’ve had our last Ruby Tuesday meal there in Columbia. I won’t go back now. Unless Mom hears that something has changed. That is so sad as it has good potential. It needs a revival of some sort. I guess the Pandemic steam rolled what was probably already a weak link.

At Mom’s I was quite impressed with her weather station! I mean OMGosh! How cute and pretty is that. My colors too! ha. I may have to check that out. Like I need one. I have all that in my phone and on laptops. But the display is nice with date, time, inside/outside temp, moon phase, humidity, and you can see if pressure is falling or rising, indicative of storm prediction and systems coming through. I love it. I looked them up on Amazon and there are several ones. There is one with a WiFi app. And that one was twice the price at $82. But that one would be the one I’d want, of course, LOL. The others were around $40’s on Amazon. I need it like a hole in my head but it would make a nice gift for someone! (Moi! lol).

Anyway at Moms I slept in the Gone with the Wind Bedroom. IF you follow me on Instagram you got a little bit of a scene with that in my stories there. (My instagram is in my side bar – if on laptop and and scroll down if on iPad or phone. But it is: @lesshustlemorecoffee)

Mom’s bathroom also is very colorful.

It’ll wake you up in the mornings, lol!

Little Roo has had some really good smiling pics lately. I love the fact that he is starting to show personality. They love to make him laugh. Laughter is a happy thing! He laughed a lot after his bath time.

He is just the cutest little thing. I just want to hold him so bad! It hurts my heart that I cannot be there to hold him and love on him. I miss him deeply! And can you believe he is already 2 months old! I get to see him in June! His Momma goes back to work soon after their spring break there. She is going to miss this little guy during the day, but I’ve done it and many of us have done it – having careers and babies at the same time. WE used to be told in life it couldn’t and shouldn’t be done. We are doing it and while it might not always be ideal, it does provide more opportunity in many cases. We all have to make decisions. And well, it’s hard to have a lifestyle you want if you both don’t work. It just depends on what the situation is and whether one spouse can carry the load or two of you. We always needed both of us to be able to afford everything. We had grandparents though to help with child care. Day care called ALL the time to come get Katy. That will be the hard part is having no one to help out. Of course even if we were there or they were here, we work too still. But he’s my little cutie pie and I miss him and I can’t wait each day to see pics and videos. His Momma is good to share with us or post on Instagram. I got Momma set up on her new tablet so she could see him too. I tried to copy and send videos to her but it didn’t work. So now she can see the instagram ones. Is he not a little ham? I could stare at this pic all day and smile!

I did get to love on Mom’s dog Fancy some. She is due for her grooming. But she came to see me and sat in my lap for a few minutes and also gave me a hug and let me pet her tummy. Then she wanted to go back to her Momma. I told her, teasing Momma, I was going to sneak her home with me as I didn’t have a dog and needed company, and asked her if she thought her momma would notice, lol. Fancy is on heart meds now and it took a LOT of fluid off of her and she is now able to move about more and has more energy.

Spring rains brought greener grass in these parts. This was Mom’s backyard. I love the “Texas Star” as I call it.

Mom fixed breakfast for us of eggs and bacon and biscuits. It was so good. And then we went out to run some errands: Lowe’s to get grass seed booster and Mom had a return. We went to get her car washed and we vacuumed it out. We went to Sally Beauty supply and she bought shampoo and nail polish. I bought also an OPI brand of polish for $12. I have never in my life spent that much on polish but after everyone says it stays on longer, I thought I’d try it since I’m not getting my French nails done anymore. I will do an occasional manicure though and polish when my nails get in horrible shape. But I’ll try to keep them up myself and save money.

We went to Dollar Store and I bought 4 tops! All were $12.50 each or under. They were good brands and poly/cotton blend that won’t shrink. And made well. So why not. Not ALL of their clothes are made well, but I’ve found sometimes you can pick up a good find there. I mean two of the shirts were Bobbie Brooks. That used to be a brand we loved when I was a young girl, and sold in the dress shops as a high quality find. After we did all that we finally decided we were about ready for lunch. This time we picked Legend’s. Oh my gosh it has been renovated and it’s the bees knees now! I failed on getting proper pics on this restaurant. I find when I with Mom I’m less likely to be focused on taking pics and focusing on her needs. I was driving, parking, locking the car, making sure she sees steps, opening doors – all that is normally when I’m taking pics! I did get a pic of our food. The food was excellent, the wait staff superb and very friendly. I got the strawberry walnut salad and oh my gosh it was perfect! I may have to recreate this salad at home with it’s grilled chicken, walnuts, dried cranberries, blue cheese, and real bacon bits and fresh strawberries!

I left mid afternoon to come back home. Mom seemed happy to have gotten out. Here’s her Facebook post I noticed later.

That said, Mom does not want the vaccine. And we still need to be careful. But life seems to be heading back to normal. I’m not thinking I want the vaccine either. I don’t want the chemicals in my body. I am wary of so many things about all of it. And I’m not so sure we haven’t already had it. I mean they said that the antibodies don’t stay long and of course the thing morphs so I guess people will have to be revaccinated again in the future. I quit getting the regular flu shot because I intake pure ingredients with the system I use that expel toxins from the body and when I get a vaccine it tries to get rid of the mercury and other elements that are not supposed to be in your body. I understand that certain things have to be in it for it to take and be absorbed. But I’m not sure this is for me. It may be that we have to get it at some point to be able to have access to things. I don’t think it is the mark of the beast as some do b/c it is not a matter of worship or making of a spiritual choice. But I was already not wanting the regular flu shot. So it’s not to say my mind won’t be changed at some point, or changed for me, as I age and become even more at risk, but for now I’m saying no.

Anyway, on the way home, I saw an RV place on Nashville Highway that has some Minnie Winnies. It was all I could do to NOT stop. So I didn’t stop. I was curious how much it was though.

Mom had told me at her house she didn’t see how I could tow an RV with the truck I wanted. I asked her if she had done her research before declaring such. She knows I don’t want a big truck. But I do want a Ford truck for my next vehicle and that is half way to getting my dream set up. I have not done the exact research but know of others that are able to tow a small RV as I watch them on YouTube do it every week. lol Anyway, here is my dream set up. Don’t tell me I can’t do something or I will surely do it. Don’t be messing with one’s dreams! That makes for a dangerous lot! I just picked a ford – any ford any year. I don’t have to have a new truck. I will want a dependable one. One with a sun roof so it doesn’t feel closed in and lets sun through, one that has the closure top in the back for storage (this bed looks shorter than I’d want I think) and the twin cab so others can ride.

And I then I want to get a Micro Minnie. It also does not have to be a new one. But I want to be able to get some extras such as lithium batteries and solar panels so I can dry camp some when needed. Will also have to get a Mac laptop at that point too, lol. Might as well include that in the package. So I can make the videos from all the travel.

I professed my love for this again to George last night. I told him I wanted to go out in loops after we retire- it didn’t have to be full time. He does not want to be cramped to live in a small space even for a time. He didn’t say “no” but he didn’t say “yes”. I told him I’d worked too many years not to be able to do something like this at retirement and buy a small RV. No argument there. I mean I have worked too since age 15. So we’ll see. When I told him how I wanted to go out west and listed the places, I actually cried when I said “and see the redwoods – I’ve never ever even seen redwoods”. I was shocked that I had tears start to fall. I began realizing this dream after watching people on YouTube and I have a deep driven desire to do this. I’ve tried to overcome it and deny it as it is not George’s dream. It’s mine. But we are a marriage and marriage is compromise. I don’t have to travel full time or sell a house. But I feel I’ve chosen a way that is manageable, affordable, and doable – and if ever we can get to the point of traveling and monetizing our videos, it will help on the funding of the travel so we can do more when we go. We can do long loops and come back home. We can do long weekends. We can go see Katy and Cody on the ranch. We can go to the Keys. We can go up the coast to Maine. We can go up the west coast and go to Canada. We can do loops and come back home! Or I can go and he can fly out and meet me when he feels like it. lol

But, I need to go. It’s Sunday but it’s my Saturday of sorts. I have to do laundry, clean my house, run errands and try to get something done on my list today and try to relax too. Yeah, big week ahead with appointments. And I’ve also got a hair appointment. I picked out my possible hair styles. I’m wanting to get a “shaped short and sassy cut” to match my short and sassy self, lol. And I’ll let it grow out again as I enjoyed all the different stages last time. While we sat around at Mom’s yesterday some, I picked out some short styles that I can show my hair stylist. Of course we all know that I will end up with the same Laura Bush cut I always do. But I’m changing hair stylists to see if I can’t get more of what I want. But I think it’s not easy to for them to copy what is in a picture. They do the best they can. But here is a few:

I like the longer one there, but honestly I’ll go shorter and as it grows it will look more like that. But I don’t want it real short. But this is what I like longer layers at the top and willing to go shorter in the back. But not stupid short. This is what I mean when say “long layers”. I don’t want feathered hair like a bird and that is what I tend to get! This is feathered below. I don’t want that! When I say long layers I usually get some form of the below (a bit longer). So I’m taking a lot of pics of the right way and this pic of the wrong way! lol. Out of all the above cuts, my favorite is the blonde in the red shirt. But if she can do any of the above, I’ll be happy!

OK off to conquer this day!

Back Home in Tennessee!

What a long one! Two days of travel but we are home again. Thanks for all your prayers over this long awaited and quickly fleeting trip to meet our Grandson. We made it. And here is a very tired ME, consoling Roger for the last few miles as we headed for the last 40 minutes to home.

Hoping George picked Nashville and not Jackson, MS LOL!

It was a pretty quick day. But the last few miles always the longest. We played “What am I thinking of?” And it lasted many miles! It takes a while to guess things like: Dust, Catholicism, Boppy, Cell Phone Tower, and Brewery. We had quite a few laughs.

At home we unloaded of course, which seemed to take forever in the cold wind. And I fixed spaghetti, which I’d been craving. Called my neighbor/house sitter/Little Bit looker-after and gave her a few surprises (and payment) for taking care of things, and got the remote back to the house/garage so I can get back in/out of the house tomorrow. It’s so nice to have someone to take care of these things.

We watched Below Deck and I went to bed at 8:00. I feel somewhat rested this morning and ready to tackle the things ahead. I had a bad dream though. I dreamed that the person in the position before me in my job, came back and fired me saying I was making too many mistakes. I kept saying “what mistakes?” They couldn’t tell me what they were as there were not that many other than just human ones that everyone does (+ or – 3%, lol). I realized I was being cast out because they liked someone else better than me. And came home and told George and we went to call our lawyer. Then I woke up and realized it was just a dream, LOL. Thank goodness. I like my job and want to keep it. I guess we dream of our fears. I’ve feared that I would lose the job because my grandson was born during the most critical time of the year. Of course, my company has been very kind to me through this. I’ve worried about this for some time because I am a responsible person and want to meet my obligations. And I’m happy to say that everyone realized family responsibility does indeed come first and my horribly timed vacation was approved. I was prepared to lose my job over it if I had to. But of course I’ll also be expected to pick up the pieces and get the quarter and the year closed as if nothing ever happened. I will try to do just that as best as I can. I will do what is humanly possible and will give it a few extra hours. And as George says, “You will do what a reasonable salaried person would do in this situation”. So yeah I won’t be living there but I’ll be trying to get the boxes ticked off the best I can. The first order of business though is getting the next payroll done and making up for being off last week. Then I can move forward to the rest.

Also there is a LOT of stuff to be done at home. Big things and little things. But we have a lot of time to work on it and through it. Plenty to keep me busy for a while. Most of it fun things. I will come up for air about March! lol

Anyway, glad to be home but I miss my Little Roo. Katy sent this to me yesterday of Findlay watching him in his swing.

So I better be off to work. Gotta shower and get ready first so as not to scare anyone. I’ve not even had coffee yet. I came to let you all know I was home while it was brewing and kept typing as usual!

What Would it Be Like to Have Christmas at the Beach?

I have always dreamed of having a Christmas at the beach. Well not ON the beach but in the condo or house by the beach. Mild tropical air, seafood, and seashells on the Christmas tree. During times of distress – you know – pandemics, your dog died, dealing with old dogs, no sleep, life demands, lots of responsibility – it’s a perfect time to dream up some good thoughts. This is where my day dream went yesterday.

What would it look like to spend Christmas at the beach? First of all let’s set the scene. It doesn’t have to be hot, it doesn’t really even have to be warm – but warm enough to enjoy a patio sit and beach walks would be nice. So far enough south you could do that. An ocean view is a must. A nice roomy cute condo with kitchen big enough to be able to feed 6 or 8 and a living room able to sit as many. A nice big TV, and a big huge picture window or wall of looking over the ocean. A Christmas tree over in the corner with sea shells and boats and lobster and all things nautical hanging from the tree. Outside there are palms, with their fronds flipping in the wind, a lure as if to say, “come outside, come play, there is more to be discovered”.

After settling into the condo, with our luggage and unpack, we set off to the grocery store to stock the fridge with favorite snacks, beverages, items for a tropical breakfast which would include eggs, bacon, and fruit every morning, not to mention leftover seafood from the night before. Several meals would be planned for the week, some meals would be eaten out, some cooked in. One meal would include a home cooked seafood meal and another night would be an Italian night, as even in paradise, one needs a break from seafood one night out of seven. 😉

A scope of the town would be made, favorite restaurants for eating out during the week would be selected and debated as everyone would have their own wishes. Pitches would be made as to why we should try this one or that, googling sets in for the competition of which ratings fare best and which have best reviews and character. An assessment of town shops would be noted, and plans to visit each and every favorite. A quick internet search would reveal which was the best of the seafood shops in town and arrangements would be made as to the day and hour to visit, once the home cooked seafood night had been selected.

This beach house has a ping pong table in it’s extended family room area. A family member posts a game tournament with brackets on the fridge. The first few players would be urged to tackle their games as soon as possible so the tournament could continue in timely fashion and winners determined by end of week.

After a trip to the store, the curtains are drawn back to display the sunshine, over a beautiful sea. George makes everyone a happy hour drink as the groceries are put up and fruit is chopped and placed in the fridge for easy nibbling or adding to breakfast plates in the a.m. (Correction to the story as I reread this, lol – George would have already handed out cocktails at the unpacking of the luggage on arrival- he wouldn’t wait til after the grocery run, lol.)

What about a quick walk to the beach before we head out for dinner? After a fairly good drive to be there, and a nice grocery adventure, let’s take a relaxing stroll and see the beach and put our feet in the sand. It feels so good to take the sandals off and put the bare feet into the coolness of the sand. It’s not summer and the ocean breezes blowing across the dunes are taking precedence over the heat of the late afternoon sun. Wait, is that a dolphin fin? The sea gulls dip down for that pringle someone dropped on the beach earlier, and oh, look, it’s a sand crab digging a hole as the wave crashed on the beach over it. And look there comes a few fishing boats heading toward the pass toward the marina. I bet they have had an awesome day’s catch. Maybe my grouper will be on it from tomorrow nights meal? Or the seafood for the meal we will be having on Wednesday, did we say?

By the way, what is our plan for the week? We talk about which days we should do what. Better consult the Weather Channel when we get back. Let’s plan our shopping days and eating in the condo for the rainy days and save the nicer ones for our drive day excursions and explorations and beach walks.

The days are quickly planned and take shape and the night’s seafood place is selected. Everyone spruces up and piles in the car and heads out. Smiles abound and moods are cheerful as the week’s events are about to unfold and possibilities are endless. What will we discover this week? What will we see? What meals will be our favorite? What will we get for Christmas?

So how do we handle Christmas at the beach? What about gifts? The rule was no gifts could be brought to the beach. Everyone gets a certain amount of $ to spend to buy each person a gift while there. That meant we better get to shopping early on, so we have time to get them and wrap them. The gift paper in nautical theme, or in colors of white, sand, turquoise, and ocean blues and greens have been purchased along with wrapping supplies and have been placed in the condo corner, ready for the wrapping. How cool are beach souvenirs for a gift this year? A sweatshirt from the beach town, an ornament, a beachy looking handbag? Oh what will it be?

Darts in and out of shops will take place and gifts wrapped and placed by the tree that stands beside the window looking onto the sea. Seafood meals will have been eaten and meals will have been cooked in the condo. Books will be read on the patio while hearing the waves crash onto the sea. Walks on the beach several times a day will help offset the hushpuppies we had with the fried seafood platter last night. The homemade seafood meal was something too. The Big TV would be watched late in the evenings until eyes were drooping. Sleep would come at the sound of waves crashing outside, enhanced by the iphone app because the breeze is a little too chilly at night to leave the window open.

The last days are coming of our trip, our Christmas was wonderful. We must eat all the food we brought in the fridge – come on – you want that last few shrimp with your eggs this morning? Now we pack up and head home, ornaments taken from the tree, gifts packed, cooler packed with drinks for the drive in, and that extra pack of gourmet cheese we never sliced into. A couple of cold beers are on ice for arrival back home just waiting for the moment when the luggage and the last package is brought back into our home on the home front.

It was a wonderful beach trip. Let’s do it again next year. What? We arrive home and there’s activity in the driveway? Who is that? What is that? huh? What do you mean Christmas isn’t over yet? We pull into the driveway. There is a white Ford truck twin cab and something behind it? What? A Minnie Winnie! What???? You didn’t! You Did! You love me that much? What? A friend had been arranged to bring the surprise to our driveway so we would see our RV upon arrival. I was so excited I couldn’t even get out of the car fast enough. There was someone in the RV. I heard voices and then a “shhhhh”. I opened the door and a puppy was shoved in my face! And then a glass of champagne.

Did it have the off grid package I asked? You know, solar power and lithium batteries and such.

The dog? No she’s off grid alright but she’s very real and able to move on her own.

No the RV!

Yes, yes yes, and it came with the cold weather package too in case you get caught with a colder night.

Is she potty trained?

What the RV?

No the dog!

Naw, not really.

Oh well.

Can we sleep out here tonight?

You can do what you want!

My wheels turn, I begin processing and planning what to stock in the RV. I begin planning when and where we will go first. I easily decide where it will be. I look at my new puppy and she kisses me on the face. I give her a big hug and take her outside for business. I look forward to the days ahead prepping, planning, and blogging about my upcoming experiences.

But first, we have huge mound of laundry to do and have to feed this new little beast that has entered our house!

So if I were to have a little slice of heaven at Christmas time. I suppose it would look something like that! 😉 It’s so fun to have to a dream come true in your head. Naw, we won’t have a beach Christmas this year, there will not be an RV, and there will not be a new puppy. But there will be family, food, fun, a few gifts, a few laughs, and a few ongoing dreams.