Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Stealing - Something Different

So, I'd a whole 'nother post planned today ...
but I found this week's questions too intriguing to pass by.
­čśĆThanks, Bev!

Something Different

What is a normal thing that took you an embarrassingly long time to learn?
The subtle art of applying cosmetics ... so as not to resemble a 'working girl.'

In what ways are you old-fashioned?
Bradley Walker says it best ...

What is the best sandwich you've ever eaten?  Where did you get it?  What made it so delicious?
I can't think of anything that beats a Fuddruckers burger.

What are you currently not bragging about that you should totally brag about?
In spite of some rocky times in his youth, my son's determination, and work ethic resulted in their buying Lois' dream home a couple years ago (on the occasion of their 23rd anniversary!).  Although he didn't take a day off in nearly 6 years while building his business, nowdays Troy's stepped back.  He cherishes his family, his faith and his country.  He's my hero!

What food have you never tasted and are most interested in trying?
Jack mentioned it just the other day!  Turnips.

What history facts were you surprised to learn because it was never covered in school.
My son (a history buff), recently shared something that floored me:

"The Federal government demand that (Robert E.) Lee himself pay his taxes in person.  He sent his wife, but the money was not accepted from a woman.  When he could not pay the taxes, the government began burying dead Union soldiers on his land.

The government is still burying people there today.
It is now called Arlington National Cemetery." 

What is something that you waited entirely too long to start or stop doing?  What made you say, "Why did I wait so long?
I quit my 40+ years smoking habit after DH was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013.   Sorry I can't answer the second part because I still miss it.

What socially expected thing do you hate doing the most? 
Asking my boss, "How was your weekend?"
Not once in 15 years (next month) has she ever asked about mine.
What thing about polite society really grinds your gears?
Political correctness (yuk!)

What is something about your city that I should know if I'm going to visit?  
Given the desert's low humidity, visitors are fooled into thinking Phoenix isn't that hot ..... and are likely to become dehydrated before they know it.
Correct me if I'm wrong, Betty, but I think we had several 115-degree days in a row with only 3% humidity.

What is the hidden 'must see' that you always tell friends and visitors to not miss?


What do you miss most about childhood?
Living in Los Alamos (NM)

What 'fact' did you learn in school that is not true or no longer true?
The Russians  (Khrushchev) were to be feared at all costs.
Call me naïve, but someday I hope to see an alliance of the two most powerful nations in the world.

What's your favorite piece of useless trivia?
It may take 100 years before a saguaro cactus can grow its first arm.

What's your best go-to homemade 'lazy' meal?
I never get tired of throwing together an omelet with whatever's available.

What's the title of this current chapter in your life?

What is a habit or practice that you learned form your childhood that you didn't realize was 'weird' until you were an adult?
Dad wasn't a big bread eater ..... but it was present at every meal because he needed a 'pusher.'   If there are random peas or corn kernels on my place I still help myself to a 'pusher.'

Have a wonderful new week, m'friends!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Letters

Dear United States Postal Service

Are you trying to gaslight me?
Sure, I felt like a fool when I spotted the wrong address on my mail-order confirmation. 
(Daddy was right: Haste makes waste.)

When I called to request an intercept, you pleasantly provided a confirmation number.   Whew!

Except.  When 2 -- then 3 days passed with no delivery, I asked DH to intercede.   Unfortunately, you told DH you'd no knowledge of my confirmation number.  Instead, you gave him a claim # and promised a call back that morning.  By 2PM, he called you - only to be informed no-one there remembered having had any such conversation!
Oh, and by the way, my package was "most likely returned to sender."  

Dear 1-800-Contacts

Thank you for restoring my faith in what customer service is all about!

At my wits end ... beating myself up for possibly forfeiting hundreds of dollars in product, I reached out to see if you had my package.

"Why, yes!  If you'll give us another address, I'm happy to express it to you this afternoon."

Admitting the error was totally mine, I offered you a credit card to cover shipping.

"That won't be necessary.  In fact, I'll put 'signature required' on the package to ensure you get it."

Wow.  You guys have my business for life!

Dear Goodyear Police Officer

I seriously appreciate all you and your fellow officers do everyday on our behalf.
However, I'm sometimes at a loss to understand why you do the things you do.

We're certainly not wealthy, but neither do we live in a sketchy part of town,.  Nevertheless, there's been a disturbing increase in porch pirates and feral teens breaking into homeowners' automobiles.

One such fellow was apprehended, but the homeowner feared retaliation and refused to press charges.  
When another neighbor warned the teen to stay away "or else" ... you told him to knock it off or you'd arrest him for "threatening a minor."

Good grief!!!

Dear Mel (No Dog About It)

God bless you for what you shared about runaway dogs!
I remember thinking the "Stop Drop and Lie Down" was pretty interesting ... but that sort of thing would never happen to me.
(Helicopter doggie parent, party of one!)

Unfortunately a few weeks ago, DH hadn't such a tight grip on the girls' leashes when he opened the truck door at the vet's.   Unfamiliar with the new scene, Macie bolted, then Grace.

Not 50 feet from a busy boulevard, my heart stopped.  I don't remember screaming "Drop!" but that's where I found myself sprawled in the parking lot ... much to the alarm of several bystanders who thought I was in distress. 
Thankfully, both dogs' curiosity saved their own skin -- but it was a wake-up call for sure.

 Dear Blog Family

As ever, thanks so much for visiting!  Have a super day!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Saturday, August 12, 2017

On a lighter note .... it's Saturday 9!

Good morning!
I ask, what's not to love about a meme that says, "We don't have any rules ... we hate rules."!   Let's hear it for Saturday 9's Crazy Sam Winters and the Rolling Stones!

Unfamiliar with "Start Me Up"?  Hear it here!

* * *

That's a goat wearing a high heel.  What's on your feet as you answer these questions?

Oh, poor thing!  Me, I'm all about bare feet.

More fashion:  In the video for this song, Mick is wearing white pants with an elastic waistband.  Are you wearing a belt as you answer these questions?

No. Why?

In this song, Mick pleads, "Don't make a grown man cry."  When is the last time you shed a tear?

I don't often weep over major heartbreak  ... almost like my grief's too deep for tears.   
On the other hand, I easily lose it over a random contestant's story of overcoming, or a soldier's homecoming.  Don't even get me started on big screen finales!    

Keith Richards (swoon!) has said this is a song he could play "forever and ever."  What in your life doesn't get old, no matter how often you do it?

Almost every weekday for the last 5-6 years I enjoy a lunch of 'loose meat' (80/20 ground chuck).   Lately, I've even been  late-night snitching spoons-full cold, right from the fridge.

While the Rolling Stones enjoy performing songs like this one, from Tattoo You, Mick Jagger has dismissed the songs from their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request as 'rubbish.'  Do you have a favorite Rolling Stones song?

It's a toss-up between "Paint It Black" and "Satisfaction."  
(Personal aside) -- A while back I grew SO annoyed when a Voice contestant sang "Satisfaction" more like one would a ballad.  Aargh!  "Where's the frustration!... the angst!"  
DH always gets amused at my upset if someone takes a Big Song and puts his/her own spin on it.  (I know.  I need to get a life.)

This recording of "Start Me Up" features a cowbell.  Do you remember which Saturday Night Live host made "More cowbell!" a catch phrase?

No.  I don't recall ever having watched SNL.  'Not particularly fond of their sort of humor.

Bassist Bill Wyman once said he thought he should have been an archivist because he loved to make lists.  Do you have a to-do list?

I'm a chronic list-maker!   In fact, Paula has piqued my interest in something called a Bullet Journal.  Are any of you doing Bullet Journals?

Mick finds it hard to stand still when he sings, not only on stage but also in the studio.  The engineer for this song reports that Mick would have to run across the room to get back to the microphone for his vocal.  Are you more fidgety, or still?

More like sedentary! :)

Random question:  Do you believe men are inherently more sensible than women?

No.  But I understand where society once shaped those expectations, those presumptions.

* * *

Have a grand Saturday, friends!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Friday, August 4, 2017

Foto Friday #90

Congratulations to Debbie on Week #90!

Good grief,  I'm in Zillow overload.  Again.
I know.  Random strangers' d├ęcor has nothing to do with a home's 'bones' ... but I can't help myself!

'Doesn't seem that long ago, I used to pore over the Sears catalog, imagining my 'someday' fantasy home.
Early American was the big attraction.  Maple everything ... remember?

These days, I'm more about comfort than style.
Stainless steel appliances and above-counter wash basins may be all the rage ..... but it 'taint me, babe.

In all honesty, I'd love to be able to replicate my DIL's gift for (unintentional) decorating. 
To twist a lyric, she was shabby when shabby wasn't cool.

That iron dog was a bookend belonging to Troy's great- grandmother!

Power room accessories

This former hospital supply cart sits in a guest room.  Just outside the bath, soap and white (cringe!) washcloths wait at the ready.

Son's not crazy about some of discards treasures his wife rescues and restores.  Nevertheless, he's smart enough to keep his mouth shut ... lol!

I only included this to show a sampling of her affinity for olden suitcases.  (... but now I'm getting hungry for chili and eggs!)

Magazine holder

My personal favorite is this old image Lois discovered at Goodwill.

'Think I could find its twin anywhere on-line?  Noooo!  Nevertheless, it 'speaks' to me.

Have you a favorite piece or a signature style?
I'd enjoy hearing!

Thanks for visiting, and
hugs from (steamy) Phoenix,

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Home improvement ... and the sounds of music

Sometimes I have to sit back and laugh at my own ignorance.

Realizing how much we've let slide around the house ... and what little time remains before the new year, I recently sat down and drafted a 'job jar' for DH. :)

Step #1. I  discovered a smoking deal on ceramic tile for the master bath.  However, before I could heave-ho the first box into the cart, Tom came around the corner: "What do you think you're doing?"
I never stopped to consider its weight ... plus, what x9 would do to the poor shopping cart.

Thankfully, he hijacked a flat-bed.  Then, out of no-where, a young couple approached and basically asked us to step out of the way while they loaded our carrier.   After ascertaining Lowe's would load the tile into Tom's truck, they disappeared into thin air.  Angels among us! 

Step #2, grout.  Because I've little patience for choosing "just the right" color, I jabbed my index finger at a sample and went off in search of the grout.
... Where Tom found me a little bit later:  a blank look on my face in front of an array of caulking.
No-one ever told me, grout comes in bags, not tubes. 
How was I supposed to know it's just a fancy name for colored sand?!

... and who knew medicine cabinets were so expensive?

I've lived with the unsightly glass  silvering(?) a while now, but figure that would be a big 'no-no' for potential home buyers.

In all seriousness, are medicine cabinets even something people expect anymore in their bathrooms?

*sigh*  I suspect the next few months are going to be crazy ... not counting the repository for Tom's RC aircraft!

(Click to enlarge)

* * *

In other news ...
It may not be a big deal to most folks ... but I'm so excited to have finally discovered how to download free custom ring tones for my cell phone.

I don't get many calls, but largely dislike most that came with our Samsung 8's.   So!  My default is the "Feather" theme from Forrest Gump.  (Not so sure why I chose that, since my eyes always well up at the first few notes.)

When I hear Harlem Nocturne, I know it's Tom ... the theme from Golden Girls, my BF ... The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is my boss calling ... and of course, Lynyrd Skynyrd, my loves in Alabama.

Have you a favorite ring tone?

* * *

Finally .....  those of you on Facebook have seen this already, but I can't resist
a shameless plug for g'daughter #1 who graduated Troy University day before yesterday. 
Seems like yesterday she was calling me, sobbing her heart out because the freshman dorm and other co-eds were so different than what she knew.
You've come a long way, baby!

 Daddy's girl!

As ever, thanks for visiting ... have yourselves a beautiful new week!

Hugs from (damp) Phoenix,

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Stealing

Good morning!  It's a gloomy (weather) day here in the desert ... all the better to partake in a little levity with Bev and her friends! 

Here we they steal all types of questions -- from every corner of the blogosphere.  Todays' Q 'n A originates from 'Around the House.'  It asks us to look around and answer a few questions.  Easy peasy!

Bedroom:  What's your sleep schedule?
Early to bed (9:00), early to rise (4:00).   That's been ingrained for so long, I can't remember what it feels like to 'sleep late.'  Besides, our dogs wouldn't let me get away with it for more than a few minutes.

Kitchen:  Favorite comfort food?
A generous scoop of (near frozen) JIF Extra-Crunchy Peanut Butter - on a big old soup spoon.   For some reason, I don't care for it spread on or dipped in other food.

Washroom:  Showers or baths?  Bubbles?  Bath bombs?
Steamy, stingy showers!

Closet:  Sum up your style in a few words.
Classic ...  as best I can afford (consignment rocks!) in blacks and browns.  I'm not all that 'into' a big, busy wardrobe anymore. 

Parlor:  Favorite party or board game?
I don't recall having played anything since the summer of '64 when I became hooked on Canasta.

Living Room:  What do you like to do with your family?
No-one's agenda-driven.  We most enjoy casual conversation, watching TV and eating too much! :)

Dining Room:  Special occasion food?
What can beat a juicy rib-eye steak?  Pink center and charred outside, please.

Garden:  Favorite tree?  Flower?
What garden?  Arizona's all about xeriscape.  Nevertheless, I adore aspen forests in and around my hometown.   
I'll always have a soft spot for carnations.  Cheap, perhaps, but they seem to linger longer than their prima donna counterparts.

Attic:  What's one thing you have a sentimental attachment to and you will never throw away?

You could say I'm a little bit crazy
You could call me insane
Walkin' 'round with all these whispers
Runnin' 'round here in my brain
I just can't help but hear 'em
Man, I can't avoid it.

                                                      -- Chris Young

There's a red cocktail dress hanging in the far recesses of my closet always evokes so much emotion.  The summer of '83 was arguably the happiest time of my life.  There's little likelihood I'll ever wear it again, but I've been thinking of using it as part of a memory quilt.  (Any consignment quilters out there?)

Library:  Favorite book genre?
Well-crafted mysteries/thrillers

Office:  If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
I'd give anything to be part of (one of) Shonda Rhimes' script-writing teams.

Guest room:  Have you been to a sleep-over?   If so, when was your first?  Do you like them?
Of course, in Brownies/Girl Scout!s and later, summer camp.  Once I was even short-sheeted!

Foyer:  Do you prefer small gatherings, large parties or one-on-one meetings?
One-on-one, definitely.   Because I suck at witty, insignificant small talk, I'll go to any lengths avoid large gatherings.

Pantry:  Favorite meal to make?
Cheesy meat-loaf.  Scarce on the tomato sauce, heavy on the cheddar.

Laundry:  Favorite and least-favorite chores?
I enjoy cleaning bathrooms!  On the other hand, I'll do almost anything to avoid vacuuming and mopping floors.

Garage:  Favorite mode of transportation?  Favorite car?
I'm passionate about all sorts of sea-going vessels! 
At this stage of my life, I'm perfectly content to drive my sturdy, albeit frumpy Camry.

Panic room:  What was the most nerve-wracking experience you've had?
Driving south on I-75 north of Sarasota, I started to pass another car, not realizing I was in her blind spot.  She started left and when we connected my car swerved, spun and flew right in front of an 18-wheeler.   Miraculously, no-one was hurt but that poor truck driver said I nearly gave him a heart attack.

Powder room:  Do you wear make-up?  If so, what one item can't you live without?
Because I don't enjoy scaring little children and animals... why yes, I do!  Since I've no eyebrows of my own, that would be my brow pencil.

Tha-that's it!
Thanks for visiting!  You know, I've love to hear your answers, as well!
Have yourselves a wonderful new week!

Hugs from Phoenix,


Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Foto Friends: Teambuilding

A spectator no longer ... I'm tickled to take a page from Terri and link up with Friday Foto Friends!

'Pretty sure there were no International Olympic games taking place the Summer of 2006. 

Nevertheless, I remember championing the concept to my boss: 
An exercise in team-building ... and (hopefully) a better appreciation for one another's skill sets.

... and so it became

Before having to participate in seminars on multi-generational compliance ... well, dang it.  Those were the good times.  We didn't need no stinkin' seminars.  LOL!

Staging area for our Parade of Nations (er, departments):
  My boss (struggling with her flag) and me (in red) took our places behind the torch bearer and began the processional, accompanied by that iconic, always stirring Olympic theme.

Steve's was an actual Olympic torch ... one used at the Atlanta Games two years earlier. 

My favorite departmental flag :)

I can't recall what all 'games' each team had to participate in.   Hands down, the funniest was watching our NON-housekeeping associates trying to make a guest's bed using only flat sheets ... in the fastest time ... according to standards.

Landscaping's golf team ...
being 'shot' by my boss' Super-Soaker water gun!

Awards ceremonies

Loved how (most) everyone removed their hats and stood for the National Anthem.
Poor quality :(

Today only a few of us remain.  One friend was sure saddened when I showed these to him yesterday. 
Me too, John.  But like a favorite song goes, "It's the laughter we will remember, when we remember the way we were."

Come to think of it, that's not a bad mantra to hang our mental health caps on each eve.....  

Have a great weekend, everyone ... chat soon!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Hunger (pains) and Hacks

I wish I didn't so closely resemble my dog.

Before you get to thinking I've grown whiskers and taken to chasing my tail ... it's an appetite thing.  
If I'm not standing in the kitchen each morning between say 4:50 and 5:05, Macie and Grace will come get me, then go sit at attention in front of the pantry door waiting for their Greenies.   

Petite and polite, Grace invariably takes her time, carefully relishing every morsel.   

Macie, on the other hand, hardly bothers to chew hers; and, if we're not careful, will try to steal her sister's treat. 

... Not unlike someone who, not long ago, finished her hot buttered popcorn; whose hand happened to find its way into hubby's bag ..... before the film had even begun.

Telling you, it's a sickness.   Why else would I have caught myself last month filching not one - but nine - Hershey's miniatures.  I'm not even particularly fond of chocolate!  Sigh.

Ever have a 'light bulb' moment, when you realize there's gotta come a change?    Stunned, when I overheard an near-anorexic  blond on the evening news share that an average glass of wine contains the caloric equivalent of a donut.   (Say it ain't so!)

Seriously, I'm in awe of folks who carefully consume their wee containers of carrots or cukes - then sigh 'how full' they feel.  Let's chat about 'full' after I've finished my 16 oz. porterhouse, shall we?

It's high time I apologized to the late, great Dr. Atkins.  While there's little likelihood I'll shrink back into a size 6 (without taking up smoking again) ...

2002 on a stopover in Abilene - with Caraleigh and gal pal PJ.

... I'm discovering new and unusual no-carb combinations, and still lost 6 lbs. the last two weeks.

Because this contains ZERO carbs, this has become my new go-to when I feel a need to crunch.

I discovered Havarti infused with dill and spread it on leftover roast slices the other night. 
Carnivore's nachos!  My taste buds literally did a jig.

Does anyone else struggle to peel an eggs quickly and cleanly?
This hack has been popularized on Facebook (forgive me if you've seen it already) ... but I've become a believer!

... that is, until my 'shake-shake-shake .. shake your bootie' resulted in this
Must contain my enthusiasm!

Another 'must have' gadget finally made it's way to my desk from China -- nearly 30 days in transit.  

I'm sort of disappointed in its size and flimsy design, but will take it for a test-run tonight.  Hey, if I wind up not slicing the tip of my index finger, that's a win!

Finally, I'd be seriously remiss if I didn't apologize to anyone who's ever worked in or near commercial kitchens.

Because our workplace sometimes grills complimentary dogs and burgers for associates and guests alike, it was suggested we all go online and get our food handler's cards.

Walk in the park, right?


More than 2 hours spent watching the on-line tutorial and test, I discovered just how ignorant I am about cooking/holding temps, food prep and storage.  'Was seriously nervous about passing but made it with 39 out of 40 correct.
Hats off to all the burger-flippers and sous chefs!

Meanwhile, all this talk about food is making me hungry.  I'd better visit the kitchen before heading to the supermarket!

Chat soon! .....
Hugs from Phoenix!




Monday, July 3, 2017

House Hunters (Chapter 2)

G'morning friends!  

Day 3-of-4 (off work), I may be setting a new record for getting nothing accomplished!   That's besides consuming ridiculous amounts of smoked brisket, pork ribs and jalapeno sausage (yum!) ... taking decadent naps and catching up on my Kellerman novel.

House Hunters?
It seem there's a Plan!  I love Plans.

Rather than trying to sell this place -- then heading east looking for a short-term, pet-friendly rental -- I wheedled Tom into agreeing to buy something in Alabama first.  (I don't know much about these sorts of things, but suspect the pre-approval letter he's secured was based in part on my current salary.)

We accidentally happened on the greatest agent!
Unlike the fellow who brokered son's place ("Have your mom contact me when they're in decision-making mode.") ...

... Belyn has been really friendly and forthcoming about the area in general, what areas to avoid ("I won't sell a place where I wouldn't live myself") and, best of all, doesn't look down her nose at our budget.

Helping filter our wish-list, we've received 'poop sheets' of 25 listings, asking us to identify our Top 3 and Bottom 3.  (Goodness, I don't remember the Sears catalogue being this much fun!) 
Right away, I eliminated new brick-and-mortar, HOA places reminiscent of "Another Pleasant Valley Sunday."  (Those who've no idea what I'm talking about are probably too young to be reading this! *smile*)    

This morning's e-mail offered something older, in the historic district lots more to my liking!  
Granted, Tom's suspicious of what 'surprises' may lay in wait in the way of wiring, etc. ... but (Jack), isn't that what home inspections are meant to uncover?

Sigh ... it's going to be really hard waiting until November to go looking in person.   And ya, it's not escaped me, the best-laid plans are apt to 'gang aft agley.'  

* * *

'Feeling mighty blessed that not only is my 'sun' rash fading, but the absurd itch that made me want to peel the skin off my neck has just about disappeared.
Because I only own two (work-suitable) blouses with high necks, I went ahead and ordered that solar-resistant scarf.  Love! 
'Was concerned it might feel too warm, but that's not the case at all.   Because DIL's favorite pastime is tending to her yard and gardens -- I'll probably order some for she and my grand-girls at Christmas.

When I walked into work like this last week, our night auditor asked me if I was planning on robbing a train ... LOL!

The dermatologist also recommended I buy a tub of this -

and keep it refrigerated.  All I've got to say is, "Wow!"  Talk about refreshing!

* * *

Drat.  There was something I wanted to close with; and was so sure I didn't need to jot it down.  Does anyone else do that?
Must not have been that important ...

Instead, what's Really Important ...

Stay safe!  Be kind!
Hugs from Phoenix,