Sunday, December 10, 2017

We said 'Yes'!




Are there any other fans of ABC's The Bachelor out there?

For a while, that was 'appointment television' at our house.  Even Tom watched ... if only to poke fun of the host.


I'd grow so cross!  Seemingly, at each season finale the heroine chose (in my opinion) the wrong guy:  a silver-tongued charmer ... a soulful artiste' ... a Johnny Depp look-alike.  You get the idea.

Meanwhile, our pleasant-but-ordinary runner up is kicked to the back of the limo.  Never mind, his was a blue-chip pedigree.

In retrospect, I can't help but compare our recent house hunters episodes to The Bachelor. 

Had I listened to my head (v. my heart), I'd have saved us both a lot of grief.  After all, this was DH's favorite all along.
Pleasant-but-ordinary.


No, I don't love it ... but you may remember where infatuation got me.  And I don't get to tell people we live in Eclectic.  (I love that name!)
... But I like it a lot, and I can't discount the nearly-new HVAC system. There's lots to be said for peace of mind.

We'd some reservations about a large tree situated too near the sun room.  Can you spot it there, behind the cafĂ© table?  Happily, our instincts proved correct (thank you, Jack!) and it's been taken down.  

Rueful chuckle.
Had we acted earlier, the paint schemes we found so attractive would have remained.  Even the wallpaper border - so reminiscent of Tuscany - was recently taken down, probably in an effort to appeal to the masses.


Oh my!  Can you imagine how the seller would feel if he finds out we want to replicate the original colors?  There's little likelihood I can find the same border, but I'm sure going to try!

So.  God willing and the creek don't rise, we hope to close on the house in Coosada next month. 
The only project left (here) is new carpeting, but that must wait until January. 
I'd hoped to list this place right after the 1st, but Life's just happening too fast.  Heck, I'm even (almost) overwhelmed about next Saturday's garage sale.  LOL!



What the heck.  Color me singing .... 
You can't always get what you want ... but if you try sometime you find
you get what you need.


Have yourselves a super week!
Hugs from Phoenix,
Myra 



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Water Cooler Wednesday, Episode 6




'Tis the season ... yay!
This month's posers are taken from a favorite little book of questions, specific to the most wonderful time of the year.  I hope you'll play along!





No other time of year affords such a great opportunity to enjoy good food and drink.  In your opinion, what is the best taste the Christmas season has to offer?


.....and a two-fer (because I can)!  *smile*


What is your favorite Christmas decoration in your home?  (No, the tree doesn't count!)




Hugs from Phoenix,
Myra


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday Stealing ... a Book Meme





Good morning friends!

After the whupping my team took at yesterday's SEC Championship game, I'm in the mood for a little light-hearted fun. 
Wanna take a break from decorating and play along?  Jus' click HERE.  


Bev asks ...

Do you prefer hardcover, paperback or Kindle?  Why?

The weight and the smell of a hardcover is enormously comforting -- but I can't discount the ease and portability of my e-reader. Because my eyesight's rapidly going south, I love being able to adjust the size of the print.




If you were to own a book shop, what you call it?

I would LOVE to own such a shop ... but never thought about naming it.
What about "The Nest"?  or, "A Nesting Place"?





Your favorite quote from a book is ...

"But those memories, the things we hold most dear, they never fade.  They're bright red.  Not necessarily because they deserve to be red, but because that's how we choose to remember them."

-- Susan Flett Swiderski's Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade






The author (alive or dead) that you would love to have lunch with is ...

Jeffrey Deaver
A few years ago I was fortunate to hear him speak at a local book store.  Given his subject matter, I was pleasantly surprised by his sense of humor.




If you were going to a deserted island and could only bring one book (except for the SAS Survival Guide) it would be ...

(Huh?  Going to a deserted island on purpose?!?!?)
No question, The Holy Bible.





What bookish gadget would you love someone to invent?

How about 'scratch-n-sniff' pods strategically placed throughout? 
I dunno:  The aroma of a savory roast accompanying a holiday dinner scene? ... Cotton candy at a rural carnival? ... even  the peculiar aroma of rainy pavement. 





The smell of an old book reminds you of ...

The second floor bedroom at my Grandmother's farmhouse.





If you could be the lead character in a book (title) it would be ...

Kinsey Millhone in Sue Grafton's 'alphabet' series.  Sure, I'd have to step up my moxie, but let's go with A is for Alibi.
.  



The most over-rated book of all time is ...

It may be unfair to point fingers at something I've not read ... but I'm going with, 50 Shades of Grey.




Finish this sentence:  I hate it when a book ...

... becomes a movie.
Oftentimes its soul is sucked right off of the pages. 







Hugs from Phoenix!

Myra




Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday Foto Friends



Oh, what fun it is to ride 
join in the fun at Debbie's place!



Because Big Corporation is keen on sustainability, our "Green Team" challenged each department to fashion its own "recycled" Christmas Wreath.
(You can click the images to enlarge)
The directive:
"Each department is to use only items found in their department to create a holiday wreath.  You may barter or trade with other department but there is to be no purchased items."


Accounting

Fitness & Activities

Guest Services

Housekeeping A
(Isn't the lamp shade a great idea?)


Housekeeping B

Maintenance & Landscaping
(I'm not sure if you can tell, this is fashioned from PVC pipe and electrical wire!)

Security
(The 'tree' and 'presents' were all painted key cards.  I adore the Crime Scene tape bows!)


Oh ya.  Then there's Administration.
Our GM had a death in her family and the AGM was on vacation.  Me?   Now you can see why my 5th grade art teacher (charitably) gave me a 'D' for effort.

 I was too embarrassed to hang it in the lobby for guests' judging, so here it sits in my cubicle.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas y'all!


Hugs from Phoenix,
Myra





Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Water Cooler Wednesday, Episode 5




Good morning friends!
This morning I'm humming, "Brown paper packages, tied up with strings ...."

 * * *

It's been a very long time, but I still recall the excitement I felt each holiday season when Daddy came home bearing a brown paper package tied up with string.  Addressed to "Miss Myra" in my uncle's spidery handwriting, I knew it's '4th-class' content was a book I'd cherish.

So, this Wednesday's poser --

If you had to give the same book to every man, woman and child adolescent on your Christmas list, what would that be?  Why?

* * *

You didn't ask (LOL), but here are my top candidates:

From Goodreads:  "Deeply moving, and interwoven with hope and joy, Emory’s Gift is not only heartwarming and charming coming of age story, but also a page-turning insightful look at how faith, trust, and unconditional love can heal a broken family and bridge the gaps that divide us."    You can read my earlier review here.



Is anyone else soooo done with evening newscasts and pious talking heads telling us what to think?

I recently finished this collection of good-news short stories and gave it 5 stars.  Thanks, Sean for the chuckles ... even the tears.  Mostly, thanks for restoring my faith in the goodness of humankind! 



 .....Which me reminds me of something our flight attendant shared right after her safety address:

"...and remember, kindness is free."




Hugs from Phoenix,
Myra





Saturday, November 18, 2017

House Hunters - Chapter 3 (sigh ...)


G'afternoon friends!
It feels nice to be back ... I've missed you!

Cut to the chase, you say?   OK. 
We're not double-mortgagees.  Yet. 
I'd love to keep this short and sweet ... but there's soooo much I want to tell you!

* * *

 Saturday-before-last went (suspiciously) according to plan. 
Tom's hip and his walk have been increasingly wonky, but I was still surprised when he agreed to a wheelchair at the airport.  

(Don't tell him I shared this picture, OK?)


Aside from the fellow in the seat next to me who screamed he was going to "Beat the s*** out of!" someone for accidentally jostling him in the aisle ... our flights were wonderfully smooth.   Even our suitcases were the first out of the chute.  That's never happened!

Since both Tom's and my night vision has super declined, we elected to stay the night at Birmingham airport's Ramada Inn.

Oh.My.Goodness, y'all!
I appreciated the employee discount, but I'm thoroughly embarrassed that Big Corporation owns this property.

Yes, someone stole the smoke detector ... There appeared to be mold in the bathroom ... Even the bottom sheet was put on inside out!

My boss says the hotel group isn't held to the same standards as we are, but it was still disgusting.  (Yes, I checked for bed-bugs.  LOL!)  


Poor Tom was so looking forward to having a nice, sit-down evening meal, and I'm sure Birmingham must have some normal family restaurants.  Except, aside from a Hardee's there was nothing to be found in the vicinity.  The further Tom drove through the unsavory neighborhood, the more alarmed (and cranky) I became.   
After our 4th pass by Hardees, he finally pulled in.

Jasmine-at-the-counter was so cute!
She was probably doing a mental eye-roll when we kept asking her to repeat herself  .....we couldn't understand her accent!  Nevertheless, her recommendations were yummy.  We were the only ones in the restaurant, so she came out and visited with us and wanted to make sure my 'buffalo' wing sauce wasn't too hot.

Up n at'em the next morning, I was glad Tom offered to drive.  (I was the one who chose to rent a popular SUV, but wound up being intimidated by its bulk.)

We stopped at Cracker Barrel where I happily abandoned all concerns about carbs.   Tom was astonished when I ordered catfish (my first!) and cleaned my plate.  I was a little disappointed that it didn't have much flavor, tho.  Are you a fan?

On to meet our realtor, Belyn.  Man, I love it when strangers greet you with a hug!

And so it began! 
I'd pre-selected 8 homes, but can't begin to describe how disappointed I felt at the first few.  I totally take back what I thought about Tom (being) "unimaginative" when he wouldn't get all ga-ga over homes on Zillow.

Sure, there was a crazy feeling of Deja'vu when I stood in the living room of a home I'd lusted over for months.  At the same time, I wanted to weep at the reality.  High-def photography can sure fool!

There were a couple winners, and I thank God that my DIL took time Tuesday afternoon to revisit the finalists.   Lois' keen eyes and realistic insights were invaluable.  I loved what she said about 'older' homes being a lot like older people:  We may have scars and bruises, but they're/we're still sound.

There was nothing not to love about the tidy home out on Tallassee Highway:

(Click to enlarge)

 I didn't even mind that it only had ONE (blue) bathroom and stainless steel appliances.  Ha!

Then, a God moment:
As we sat in B's office signing papers, her broker happened in.   She introduced us - and, as an afterthought, asked:  "Chad, what would you think if you saw K**** H*****'s business card out there?"

"Well, I'd think that he wanted to buy it  -- to go with the parcel I sold him last year."

Stunned silence.

We learned that Mr. H has a reputation for being a mover/shaker in Wetumpka, his fingers in lots of pies. Immediately I regretted saying I didn't think a survey was necessary.

At B's suggestion, Tom and I took a lunch break while she made some phone calls.
When we returned she was near tears.  "I can't in good conscience write this contract for you."

Seems Mr. H is even challenging a property line and has plans to put up a parcel of self-storage units.   "I'm afraid your secluded little porch wouldn't be so secluded." 

Heartsick.  I made a few unflattering remarks about Mr. H ... but a few hours later I thanked God for the happenstance encounter with B's broker.  Can you imagine if we'd gone ahead?!   Ours would have been a real David v. Goliath scenario.

Friday my son was off work and  agreed to accompany us and  share his thoughts about a 1920 charmer in Wetumpka's historical district.   (Goodness, I love that little town!)


Tho' Tom and I'd butted heads about this home earlier in the week, he put aside his reservations and talked about putting a deck out back.
That night we brokered a deal, and boarded the plane Sunday morning with smiles on our faces.

Until Tuesday night when the inspector's report arrived.  26 pages.  Tom wasn't half-way through reading it to me, when I held up my hand and said, "Stop!"   It read like a bad Stephen King novel.

The seller countered, to no avail.
Last night they dropped the price almost $20k and offered to hold the paper while we contracted the repairs ... but frankly, that place scares me.

Kenny Rogers' song comes to mind:  "You gotta know when to hold, when to fold ... know when to walk away, know when to run ..."

* * *

Bless Tom's heart.  All this week I've been unusually pooped tired.  Even my eye sockets hurt.   
"I just can't zig and zag like I used to."

His response cracked me up:
"Honey, you never could.  If you can't plan every detail 3 weeks in advance, you're not comfortable."
(LOL. He's not far wrong!)

* * *

The week was far from being wasted. 
I learned what communities I don't want to live in ... consumed half my body weight in fried onion rings and BBQ pork ...  did some serious front-porch sitting ... and got to spend precious hours with those I love.



 Meanwhile?  B continues to send me listings she feels are a good fit.I just got off the phone with Troy and Lois, who've agreed to go check out those we feel strongly about.   (I just can't justify the last-minute airfare ... and the place is going to be theirs someday, anyway.)



Thanks so very much for listening so long!
(I probably wouldn't know "Brevity" if it snuck up and bit me.)




Color me humming "Let It Be" and sending hugs ....
Myra


















Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Water Cooler Wednesday: From Both Sides Now





I don't think a week goes by that I don't have to coordinate with Security and Housekeeping to locate, package and return guests' personal effects.   Often, it's cell phone chargers left behind.  But I'll never forget 4 place settings of stoneware ... or a World Series Championship ring.
  
Once I suggested -- but my GM ixnayed  -- our agents asking guests at check-out, "Have you checked under your bed? ... in your safe? ... behind the bathroom door?"

Just when I start to get cranky, I have to remind myself of my beloved Tweety-Bird pillow left behind in a nameless west Texas motel room .... 
or, the pile Christmas presents I left under the tree on our way to Florida.  (Nearly to Fort Worth, yes. We turned around.)


While travelling, have you ever left any of your personal effects behind?

Did you get them back?





Hugs from Phoenix,
Myra





Sunday, October 29, 2017

This n' That



G'afternoon, friends ... how are you?

Oh my gosh, where to start?   Like a giant hand's turned the dial to fast-forward, so go the days of my life.  Nevertheless, here's a bit of this and some of that.

* * *



Big Corporation's expectation is (that) every associate volunteer a certain amount of hours each year ... so when someone said State Fair, I jumped.    The last State Fair I remember attending (Albuquerque), I was just a kid in love.  In love with the idea of meeting Roy Rogers and Trigger, that is.    

Compared to deep-cleaning industrial kitchens, collecting canned goods on behalf of St. Mary's Food Bank sounded like a stroll in the park. 

Because our designated parking lot was almost a half-mile away - and the Fairgrounds is situated in a sketchy part of the city - I opted to carry my aging 'police lady' purse.   See, back when I'd a yen for adventure, I enrolled in Tampa PDs' concealed weapons program -- and wound up purchasing a cute handgun and a leather bag.   In addition to steel wire inside the shoulder strap (preventing a snatcher from cutting it), the sweet feature of this purse is a concealed interior compartment only accessible through the side.  




Thrusting my credit cards inside that cache, I ignored the mercury and set off with a spring in my step.  LOL.


Just a guess, but my appearing a wee bit older than my coworkers, the coordinator dubbed me, 'Ticket Champion.'  In other words, for every 5 cans of food donated, the presenter would get a ticket for free admission to the fair.   

Stuff that truck!

My runners!
Just a sampling ...


Seriously, I was stunned by the turn-out.   Later it was said over 34,000 lbs. of food were collected!   The best part?  The olden folks and preschoolers.  Addressing the youngest child in a group, I'd ask oh-so-seriously, "Do you want to be Ticket Champion?"  

All the same, I don't think I'll be invited back.    I had to be reminded time and again, to untie the bags to make sure they contained 5 cans.  "Don't worry, I'm not the TSA" garnered me dirty looks from the coordinator.   Rules are rules, sure.  But I'm not about to deny an 10 year-old a ticket because her bag only contains 4 cans.

They said at the end of our shift we were free to roam about the Fair.  Unfortunately, I was so tired of standing in the 97-degree afternoon, all I wanted was a cold shower!   


* * *

So we met our (local) realtor Friday night, and were pleasantly surprised by what he had to say.   No pressure to list and no trying to pull the wool over our eyes.  I pray our realtor-lady in Alabama is as nice!

Our next-door neighbor who has a painting business on the side, is repainting the inside of our house while we're gone.   I initially balked at the price, but taking all the pictures and 'stuff' off the walls this morning, I was dismayed how badly it needs redone.   

Nervous?  Goodness, yes!  Only a week remains, and I'm not so sure this  old heart of mine can stand the roller-coaster.   When an e-mail began, "I regret to inform you ...." saying my Very.Favorite home went 'contingent' a couple of weeks ago,  I was heartbroken.  Then, another finalist went pending.  But just this morning... just when I was learning to love another, it reappeared as active.

I forget what my realtor in Tarpon Springs called it, way back in '95 when I was house-hunting.  Chemistry?  Psychology? 
After what seemed an eternity of searching -- when I'd taken only a few steps inside what eventually became my town home -- I turned and said, "This is it."   I'd not even seen the bedrooms or baths, but I felt it.  Suppose lightening can strike twice?

Cracks me up, but Tom's only concern seems to be space for a two-door refrigerator and a dedicated room for his keyboards and horns.  Yep, I'm darned fortunate!

It goes without saying -- you know how I feel about air travel -- so I certainly appreciate your thoughts and prayers while we're away!

Meanwhile!  Tom has a pot of Conecuh sausage and greens in the slow cooker needing tasted -- and I'd better get ready making nut bread to bring to my boy!




Happy Halloween from Phoenix!
Myra









  









    

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Water Cooler Wednesday: Episode #3






Today's question comes from something I spotted on Facebook ...


What's a popular word or phrase that 
you find particularly annoying?


For instance?
I hate when customer service reps, food servers, etc. say "no problem" when I say, "thank you" .....
Whatever happened to, "You're welcome"?






Feeling old in Phoenix :)
Myra






Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Stealing: The Crushing Questions





G'morning friends! 



... and thanks to Bev, for these thought-provoking "Questions To Ask Your Crush."   
Cute, weren't they?


What do you find hilarious, but most people don't find funny?

Ugh.  I'd have found this easier to answer, were it posed the other way around.  I appreciate humor as much as the next person, but I don't 'get' much of what passes as comedic these days ...  satiric; oftentimes at the expense of others.


What was the best year of your life so far?

Hands-down, 1983  

.....found me feeling well and fiscally comfortable. There was "no song unsung, no wine untasted."


What's your favorite thing to do on the Internet?

Blogging.  Although I don't post each day, I love keeping abreast of your goings-on!


What fad have you held onto even though it isn't popular any more?

 I can't recall ever being a 'fad' follower.  Nevertheless, I've no intentions of trading in my oversize ("Jackie O") sunglasses.


What do you spend most of your time doing?

My job aside, I'd say commuting to and from the office.  I'm not sure if Phoenix traffic is getting worse, or if I need a remedial course in patience!


What do you spend way too much money on?

Groceries. DH and I take an enormous amount of pleasure in good food and beverages.


What event, large or small, has changed the course of your life most?

My father's sudden death in '81.  Subtly perhaps, but I became a far different person.


What do you have a hard time taking seriously?

The media.


What do you judge people for most often?

I try very hard not to judge .... but it's annoying as heck to hear someone 'going off', making presumptions when he/she is unfamiliar with the facts.


What was the most beautiful view you have ever experienced?

I'm remembering a sweet evening wandering the streets of San Gimignano, Italy.


What is something you read or heard that has stuck with you for a long time?

"Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; we will grieve not rather, find strength in what remains."
- William Wordsworth -



What's your favorite thing to shop for.  Why?

Groceries. Why?  A-N-T-I-C-I-P-A-T-I-O-N!


What's the best compliment someone can receive?

Someone once told me, "I enjoy spending time with you."  When applicable, I try and pay that sentiment forward.


What's something people go on and on about and you can't stand sitting through?

Major league baseball.


What's something you can do that most people can't?

I'm pretty unspectacular ... let's move on.


When was the last time you tried to look cool and ended in embarrassment?

I think it was '99.  My first fare driving a limo ... shuffling convention-goers from Tampa's convention center to their hotels, airport, etc.   Headed to TIA, my solitary fare mentioned looking forward to getting back home to his partner.  I'm like, "Oh!, so you're an attorney, then?" 


What is the most ridiculous rule you have to follow?

I've mentioned before -- I was given a verbal warning (my first ever!) for taking three 29-minute lunch breaks in a single pay period ..... vs. 30-minute periods mandated by Federal law.


What country do you not know the location of, even though you should?

Off the top of my head?  I'd be hard-pressed to identify Norway on an atlas - my mother's lineage.


What do you have a hard time with, but most people find quite easy?

I hate trying to text!


What's the most impressive skill you have?

I don't consider it 'impressive' ..... but all things considered, I'm pretty resilient and, at the end of the day, optimistic.




* * * 

Whew, what a lot of questions!
Thanks for stopping by ... and have yourselves a wonderful new week!

Hugs from Phoenix,
Myra