Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The start of a new adventure

So I’ve been pretty quiet on the blogging front these days. Some because I don’t think about it. Some because I’m a little embarrassed about not sticking to the Daniel Plan. Some because I don’t have much to write about. However, yesterday I embarked (that’s a serious word, “embarked.” Makes you know something major is about to be announced.) on a new adventure. I’m calling it “the great smoothie experiment.” As of right now, not sure how long this experiment will last.

Background: Meg’s been having aches and pains now for, well, it seems like forever. We’ve moved up the chain of command, medically-speaking, but can’t get her seen by a pediatric rheumatologist until March. So until then, we are trying some home remedies. Her drum major coach thought getting more greens in her diet wouldn’t hurt so we are trying some green smoothies. We decided to try this adventure together since I need to get back to eating better and since I get up before her, I said I’d be in charge of being Smoothie Maker. She looked up some different recipes and we decided on one that we thought might not taste too disgusting bad. We went to the store and picked up our supplies.

Monday: Monday’s green smoothie was made from 1 frozen banana, 5 frozen strawberries, 1/3 honeycrisp apple, 2 handfuls of baby kale/baby spinach combo, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 cup of coconut wate and ½ of a lime wedge. It blended up into a delicate green color. It tasted…okay. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever tasted but I’m certainly not gonna jump out of bed and bounce into the kitchen because I can’t WAIT to drink this smoothie! There was a bit of a bitter taste that I figure came from the lime rind. Apparently I was supposed to peel the lime, but that bit of info didn’t get communicated to me. One problem we ran into was that Meg looked up the recipe but didn’t forward the link to me, so I kinda put it together based on our conversation. Got a laugh out of Meg when we figured out what happened. However, it did keep me pretty full. I had a handful of almonds mid-morning, but that was more because I had the munchies and was trying to keep myself away from the chocolate jar.

Tuesday: Found out that Meg isn’t a big fan of the banana. Who knew?! So this morning I attempted a non-banana smoothie. Today’s not-so-green smoothie was made up of 2 handfuls of baby kale/baby spinach, 5 frozen strawberries, about a ½ cup of frozen blueberries, 1 scoop of protein powder and 1 cup of coconut water. It blended into a pretty purple color. It was, well, tart. I think I needed some apple or something in there to help it out. Again, not the worst thing in the world, but I won’t make it again, especially since I was hungry by 8:30. L

I’ve been looking up smoothie recipes and think I’ll add chia seed or flax to tomorrow’s smoothie to see if I can get to lunch without being hungry.

Monday, October 13, 2014


How did this happen again?! Well, I know how this happened again, I didn’t double-check that the bottom part was screwed onto the blender tightly. Of course, I wasn’t the one who took the blender out of the dishwasher, assembled it incorrectly and put it in the stand so that it looked like it was ready to use, so…

So! I was late to work because it takes a bit of time to clean up 12 oz of spilled almond milk.

Oh, Monday, is this really how we want to start this week off?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Competition Day!

Today was the first marching band competition of the season. Last night we thought it might be Meagan's "nemesis triangle" (Power Ranger speak). We've been seeing a chiropractor for her IT band Syndrome issue for a while now. Lately he's been working more on her shoulder than her leg. It seems that the short repetitive motions during the fast parts of the set cause issues. The muscles bunch up and cause a lot of pain. When I got to the practice field last night, Meg was sitting out in tears. I didn't know what to do except to try to call her down so that she could possibly be less tense (which I thought COULDN'T be good for her shoulder). I hated not being able to make things right and I hated knowing that SHE knows that she may lose her drum major position because her injuries hurt the band. I didn't know what I would be walking into when I got to the competition today.

The band left Conyers after practice and eating lunch at the high school. I had to get some things done at the house and at church to get ready for worship tomorrow, so I left at 2. (I wanted to get going at 1:30 but time management is really not my thing.) When I got to the competition, the band was at the warmup field which just happened to be right by the place I parked...which is a good thing since I'm pretty much directionally challenged as well. I had visions of wandering around the campus never finding the band until AFTER they performed! Meg had her arm in a sling and seemed to be in a fairly good mood. Apparently they reconfigured some things so that Meg being one arm down wouldn't throw them off too much.

Jo is dead-center in photo with Meg in her sling on the podium.
My actual favorite part is the Field Crew member who is supporting
the podium but looks like he's peeking at the duet!!
I found the rest of the field crew and shortly afterward found myself watching the band perform while I kept my eye both on Meg and on Jo while reminding myself to breath. I don't know how the drum majors did at being a team, but Meg looked really confident. I know she was hurting but I couldn't tell from her face...although she did rub her opposite shoulder after they got done. Hope she hasn't hurt that one now!

The awards will be in about an hour. I really hope they did well, both as a band and as drum majors.

On another band note, Jo did really well with her duet. She was so worried that she could mess it up.

I'm so very proud of my kids.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

That's right! I did it!

This morning I was making my morning smoothie and decided enough was enough! I had HAD it! I had finished a jar of the natural peanut butter we'd been using and so opened a new one. Problem: this was the kind where the oil had separated and I had no idea what I was doing. I figured I needed to stir it, right? No problem. Wrong! Big problem! I got that oil all over the jar, all over my hands, and all over my counter. I didn't get the peanut butter and oil integrated into each other. So I gave up. I pushed the spoon all the way to the bottom and got a spoonful to put in my smoothie and then I capped that jar up and threw it away! Yep! I did! I'm such a rebel.

Okay, so that may not be a big deal to YOU, but it was to me. I hate throwing useful things away. Normally, that jar would stay in my pantry until a) I found someone to give it to, b) it rotted or got broken, or c) I Googled what to do with the peanut butter/oil issue and fixed it. Confession: after I typed out c) I totally thought that I ought to do that and then go home this afternoon and fish the jar out of the trash and fix it! Oh. My. Word!

I think there's a screw loose somewhere!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I’ve been pretty quiet on the Daniel Plan front, haven’t I? I’ve kind of been quiet on all fronts. I
"If you can't say something nice, don't say nuthin' at all!"

learned from Thumper that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. And frankly, I haven’t had a lot to say nice. Well, that’s a lie. I can always find something nice to say…although I don’t always say it. It’s just that there has been so much that it’s been shadowing everything. But I’m determined to not let it anymore. I've said more before but I'm not going to here. I'm walking the Thumper Road and since I can't say something nice, I'm not saying nuthin' at all!

Anyhow, back to the Daniel Plan. Tonight is the last meeting. Yep, we made it through the entire study. Kenny’s lost almost 20 lbs (stinker) and I’ve lost anywhere from 5-10 lbs…depends on if the scale decides to like me that day. I am very proud of myself for getting through the entire six week study. Kenny’s and my 40 days of eating the Daniel Plan way ends next Friday since we got such a late start due to not beginning until after we took Lorie back to school. Kenny is so happy with his weight loss and with how he feels that we’ll pretty much stick to the Daniel Plan way of eating as a normal way of life (at least that’s the plan. It was the plan when I did it back in January but the nasty foods crept right back in).

Meg in uniform

We are firmly into marching band season. We have a little more than 2 weeks until our first
competition. It’s very exciting. We haven’t used the props yet, but hope to get them on the field at the next game which is the week after next.

I’m still trying to work out what my job is and what it isn’t. It’s kind of frustrating sometimes but I do really like the people I work with and am happy that I can dress up and not find myself crawling around on a teacher’s floor trying to re-hook some piece of electronics that someone unplugged.
Pretty boring stuff, to be honest.

I will take some time to hype an audiobook I just listened to, “Unglued” by Lysa Terkeurst was really well done. I could totally relate to this woman and if she lived anywhere near me, I would want to be her best friend because she totally gets me! I laughed, I cried (a little), I was struck speechless a LOT. I think I’m going to purchase the paper book of hers so I can highlight and write some notes. I’m also going to look her up and get another one or more of her books. She’s part of the proverbs31 woman website, so I’m going to have to give that another whirl. I’d stumbled across the website a couple years ago. I don’t remember why I haven’t been more engaged with it.

And last, but certainly not least, Jo has her driver's permit. She conned me into letting her drive home from Walmart the other day. My fingers have finally unclenched themselves from the claw form they were in, but there are permanent fingernail grooves in the handle of my car. Poor thing.

She's actually not a bad driver for an absolute beginner. But there's just something about being in a car with your 15-year old at the wheel and your heart being in your throat that makes you want to go berzerko!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My sweet Meagan

Had this email conversation between Meggie and me last Friday in anticipation of her first game in drum major uniform.

Me: Do you have your gloves for tonight? I have your “stars” in my jewelry box at home. Do you need them?

Meagan: Yes... I thought I had lost them!!!!! Oh my goodness thank God!
Me: You ding-a-ling! We decided I’d keep them so you WOULDN’T lose them! J I just gotta remember to get them!

Meagan: Oh... I don't remember that. Ok cool.

Me: Will you be home before the game? It’s in one of the little drawers…think it’s the second one.

Meagan: I got them. I left my wallet at the house so just got home and on my back
Me: Child, please!! You may need to go to college in Georgia just so we can rescue you from yourself!

Meagan: Lol... Well I had totally forgotten, well I mean I still don't remember doing that, but yeah. I was planning on going to the army surplus store to get new ones or borrow lories old ones.

And funnier still, when I got to the school to volunteer with the band, I found out that her boyfriend (sweetheart that he is) had driven to the army surplus store for her and purchased new leaves (got that wrong by calling them stars...oops!) for her.

I can't be too irritated with her because the apple don't fall far from the tree! :)


Friday, August 22, 2014

Daniel Plan, part deux-days 8-12

Yowzers! How did all this time go by without me checking in? Today was my easy week, too! I have no excuse! Anyhow I’m still sitting at 181.2 so that’s disappointing…

Anyhow, I’m tired still. I tried walking a mile last night and taking a bath with lavender scented Epsom salts…but still woke up at 3am and tossed and turned the rest of the night.

Foodwise, we did really good. The 10-day detox was done yesterday. We enjoyed spaghetti for dinner. I think we’ll still be watching how much dairy and gluten we put in our bodies to help keep us on track.

I don’t remember what exactly I had for breakfast (smoothies every day) or lunch (usually leftovers) but I did manage to write down what dinner was each night:

Monday: turkey burgers, broccoli/cauliflower mix

Tuesday: Baked chicken with either green beans (Kenny) or brown rice with broccoli/carrots

Wednesday: veggie stew

Thursday: Whole-wheat spaghetti with sauce made from tomato paste, olive oil, garlic and spices, 5-grain rolls, corn and (for me) broccoli slaw with vinaigrette dressing

Tonight the big football game between county rivals (one school I work for and the other school my kids attend). I have about 30 minutes after I get home to walk the dogs, change, throw down some food and then get back in the car to head to the kids’ school to help load equipment before buses leave. I’ll get a lot of exercise from loading and unloading instruments so I’m not going to do any formal exercises.

This week, the Daniel Plan Essential we are focusing on in: Fitness. So we’ve studied: Faith, Food, and now, Fitness. This is one this that tends to mess me up. I can handle the food pretty well. The fitness part gets me every time. I did come home from the study and after the sunset (it’s 95 and MUGGY here in Georgia right now) Meg and I walked to the front of the subdivision, which is one mile. I’ve tried to either stand at my desk or walk around more during the day, since I’m so sedentary at work.

I’m actually trying to set up a time for me and two friends to meet at the gym and work out tomorrow and maybe in the future. And I’ve made plans to do Zumba on Tuesday with friends (at a gym) and Thursday with DVDs after the Bible study.

Go me! (Especially if I go through with it!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My silent rebellion

This year I took a new position within the school system. I’m now the secretary for the principal at the rival school of the school my kids’ attend. And, woo-wee, there’s some serious school pride going on over here. Not so much with the kids, mind you, but with the staff and the parents. I have been asked several times why I didn’t bring my kids with me…and by people who know that one of the girls is not only a senior, but one of the drum majors! Yeah, sure, I'm gonna make her miss out on all that!! Don’t get me wrong, this is a perfectly nice school. I’m proud to work here. I love the staff. But just like any high school, it’s not perfect. My kids know their school. When Jo graduates, we’ll have had a Stokes child enrolled for a solid decade. That’s a lot of history right there.

Anyhow, the first football game of the season is this Friday and everyone here is on super Patriot Pride alert. I mean, it didn’t take me long to know how they felt about my kids’ school. But this week? Wowsers! It’s almost to the level of “methinks they doth protest too much.” Maybe that has to do with the fact that Rockdale beat Heritage at last year’s football game? <giggle>  But, my goodness, really? It’s a football game.

Yes, yes, I know, I live in the South where Football is King. But, still, seriously, folks!! Get it together. It’s kind of sad that they have to have 20+ police on site…because of the alumni, parents, and adult fans!! Really? REALLY???  <sigh>

Anyhow, as things heighten to a fever pitch around here, I’ve decided to do the only thing I can do…wear Rockdale colors all week. I even have a Bulldog necklace to wear, thanks to Meg’s boyfriend’s mother!  I meant to take a picture every day and post it…but it was ridiculously muggy yesterday afternoon after work and after going to the Park to hang out with my bestie, Kim, and my sweet girl, Gloria, and then pumping gas…I was a slimy, sweaty mess and all I wanted to do was to get out of that dress (well, really, the Spanx, girl’s gotta be honest, here).

I will be so glad when this week is over, though. Of course, basketball season is right around the corner and I hear the Rockdale/Heritage basketball game is something to behold as well.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Daniel Plan, part deux-days 6 & 7

These weekends are gonna kill me. I don’t know why it’s harder to stay on track at home than it is when I’m at work. I have a refrigerator full of good things to eat…but I didn’t feel like dealing with it. Maybe that’s it. On work days I make a smoothie and take it with me to drink on the ride. I also make lunch and that’s my only choice. At home I have all sorts of options but in order to eat them, I have to do something. Guess that makes me a lazy thingamajig.

Saturday I dropped to 181.8, which meant 3 lbs gone, so that started my day off well. I had so much to do to get ready for this weekend. I had the VBS follow-up movie and the Band Potluck on Saturday afternoon and evening and SKC/nursery meeting on Sunday to prep for. And what did I do Saturday morning? I lolled around in bed! Which made the rest of the weekend go pretty irritatingly. Nothing fell apart because previous planning held, which meant that I didn’t look all whackado. But still. It annoys me that I didn’t work on the things that I’d planned to work on.

The VBS follow-up movie was disappointing. Only three kids showed up and since we watched it in the fellowship hall, since I thought there would be more participating, the movie was too dark for that big room and the sound quality was really yucky. But I appreciated the parents of the kids that showed up for taking time on their Saturday to bring their kids and I had a couple volunteers who showed up and that meant a lot to me.

The Band Potluck was pretty good, I guess. I volunteered to help with the merchandise and ended up not eating…but that’s okay. I’m not sure what I could have ate. My favorite part of the night is when the kids take the field. This year they did something different. They encouraged the parents to come down to the field and take their kids’ places. We learned the responses to some of the different commands. Kenny took Jo’s place and she showed him how to stand and do flute stuff. I stood with Meg by her podium and learned a couple directing motions. (Wow! That is HARD!!!) The guard parents were my favorite because they some of them had to contort their bodies in to ways I don’t think they’d planned to EVER get into! But I think it gave the parents a new appreciation of a little of what their kids go through AND it gave a lot of amusement to the kids, the instructors and to the parents who didn’t choose participate.

Sunday I got to be in a Sunday school class. My soul is so happy. Jo joined me. We are doing Beth Moore’s study on 1 & 2 Thessalonians. SKC was pretty fun. 9 kids came. We looked into the battle of Jericho and what lessons we could learn from it. The nursery meeting was a bit of a bust because Brad had to skip in order to look in on his parents and Joyce had plans to eat out for lunch. Since we were just going to go over a sample nursery handbook and talk about changes and additions for our church, I just gave Joyce a copy and Kim a copy to give to Brad and we’ll chat about it some other time.

We went out to eat but it was a buffet, which when I’m eating regularly I don’t eat enough to make it worthwhile, but on the Daniel Plan was kind of silly. We paid $11 for me to have some salad, a hard-boiled egg, and apple and baked chicken.  

I don’t think I ate dinner Sunday night. I took a Sunday nap and just couldn’t get it together!

I’m still really, really tired. I’m just not getting sound sleep. I guess I need to work on scrubbing my bathtub so I can take a soak at the end of the day and see if that helps.


Saturday: peanut butter/banana smoothie, raw cashews and apple for lunch, no dinner

Sunday: no breakfast, baked chicken, apple, salad, hard-boiled egg for lunch, leftover walnut/basil pesto chicken and green beans.


Starting weight: 184.8

Day 2 weight: 184.4

Day 3 weight: 184.2

Day 4 weight: 184.0

Day 5 weight: 183.8

Day 6 weight: 181.8

Day 7 weight: 181.2

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Daniel Plan, part deux-day 3

Headaches abound! I feel like I am one big headache and stuffy headed person. I’m taking my Zyrtec and nosespray as usual so I’m assuming that this is either the toxins coming out or that I’ve caught a cold. Kenny feels crummy, too, which also could just be the toxins or that we’ve caught the same cold since we spent all weekend together in the car. I’m still a day behind on blogging so this is about yesterday/day 3. Maybe I’ll catch up at some point and blog at night about my day…and maybe I won’t. Depends on how saucy I get to feeling.

The Daniel Plan group is great. Emails flying and encouragement coming left, right, and center. Awesome, awesome, awesome!

Yesterday was one of those Cinderella days for me. I was feeling low because I’m still not an integral part of the team at work and although I have a nice little office with my name over the door, I still feel like I’m unnecessary. Since the girls had band practice until 6, I had to deal with the dogs. I felt mega-guilty about leaving them in the pen while I swept and mopped because they’d been crated up all day with no human companionship (coming off of a whole 3 months with someone there almost all day/every day). But the floors needed some attention and I HAVE to get this house on a routine…for my own sanity. I did my & Kenny’s laundry and changed my sheets on Monday (and some dish towels), Jo’s laundry on Tuesday, and yesterday finished up the delicates while I swept and mopped the family room, kitchen/dining/entry way, and my bedroom. I need to scrub down my bathroom today (yuck). Besides just needing to do it for sanitary reasons, I want to start taking Epsom salt baths at night to calm and draw out more toxins. Plus I’m having a hard time getting my quiet time in. I’m the children’s leader, leading a Bible study and a mom…I gotta have my Bible time!!!

Last night I also went by Kroger’s because everyone at Daniel Plan raved about their organic/gluten-free section. I was actually a bit confused. I do appreciate that they have everything grouped together but I still could not find cheap tahini!! I broke down and bought some though. I’m such a schmuck. J

After I got the house stuff done that I needed to get done, I realized that I didn’t have time to work on Sandra’s flyer anymore. Luckily she won’t need it until next Tuesday. I needed to get dinner ready. One of my favorite recipes from the Daniel Plan book is Dr. Hymans Walnut/BasilPesto Chicken. Unfortunately, I got popped by some grapeseed oil and burnt the snot out of two of my toes and in between them. Hurt like anything! Dingaling didn’t think about the fact that I had aloe with lidocaine in my cabinet. I just put cold water on it and griped about it until I got home and Kenny was saying I needed to put something on it.

Today’s meals: banana/peanut butter smoothie with protein scoop for breakfast, lunch-hummus/carrots and an apple, snack: raw cashews, dinner: walnut/basil pesto chicken with broccoli/cauliflower. Water: 114 oz

Exercise: none. My toes hurt too badly to stuff into tennis shoes. But I figured since I'd sweated up a storm with the sweeping/mopping, I hadn't been totally sedentary!!

Starting weight: 184.8

Day 2 weight: 184.4

Day 3 weight: 184.2

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Daniel Plan, part deux-Day 2

Day 2 was hard, I’m not gonna lie. I woke up with a headache and not feeling like I slept enough. But I had a plan for the day: Work, dishes/laundry, salsa chicken, work on Sandra’s flyer and print out Band minutes, band meeting, home.

So the day pretty much went like that except I didn’t feel like unloading the dishes, so that didn’t get done. And the printer decided it was going to be offline no matter what I did, so I had to leave earlier than I’d planned to go by the church to print out the Band minutes, which meant I had to finish Sandra’s flyer later. I also didn’t get to eat dinner since I ran out of time. The Band meeting was kind of irritating because all the stuff we went over, I’d already heard in the planning meeting and the budget meeting. So when we started over for the people who didn’t realize that the meeting started at 6:30 instead of 7, well, I was on edge.

I got home and took the dogs on a walk out to the front of the subdivision (1 mile…go me), I really need to remember to put their harnesses on since they have no idea how to walk well on a leash and I don’t have the time to teach them.

I did sit down and finish Sandra’s flyer and looked over my lesson for tonight before I went to sleep.

I didn’t eat dinner because by the time I got settled after the meeting, it was almost 9. I wasn’t hungry and I didn’t want to eat that late…so I didn’t.

Oh, and I looked it up and Ezekial bread does have wheat and gluten, now it’s organic gluten and sprouted wheat so if you’re gonna screw up with your gluten, that’s the way to go. But I still beat myself up a little for not eating right the VERY FIRST DAY!!! And the second time I did this!!! Ack!

Today’s meals: Strawberry/banana smoothie with almond milk and chia seeds for breakfast, organic raw cashews and spinach/kale chips (checked…gluten free) for snack at work, quinoa salad for lunch, hummus and carrots for snack at home, and 96 oz of water. I made “Salsa chicken” (chicken breasts baked with homemade taco season and salsa) for dinner but didn’t eat it.

Starting weight: 184.8

Day 2 weight: 184.4


Disappointing, but with the thyroid issue and just having ate right and walked one mile for one day, guess I might be expecting too much? I have to say that emails to my hubby, friends and Daniel Plan peeps have turned my frown upside down!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Here we go again!

Daniel Plan, part deux!

Yep, I'm a glutton for punishment. Today is day 1 of the plan for me and Kenny. The first Bible study session was last Thursday. However, since we left Friday after work to make the drive to D.C. we figured the better choice would be to start today (Monday). I took the day off so it wasn't too horrible. Tomorrow I'll have to deal with work, too. Ugh. I think I may have boo-booed, though, because I didn't even think about it and had some Ezekial bread. I think it's okay on the 30 days but not the 10 day detox. I'll have to check that out. :(

Days 1-10 are the detox: no dairy, no gluten, no sugar, no processed foods, no caffeine

How I ate:
Breakfast: Smoothie made with banana, blueberries, almond milk, protein powder, and chia seed.
Mid-morning snack: Hummus with carrots
Lunch: Turkey sandwich, Dijon mustard
Dinner: Baked chicken breast, brown Jasmine rice, green beans
Water: 80 oz.

Exercise: I shopped and did a lot of laundry and housework (I even weeded a bit!!) during the day. Jo and I took the dogs on a 1-mile walk!!

Gonna do a banana & strawberry smoothie tomorrow, a quinoa salad for lunch, probably some more hummus and carrots for a snack. Dinner....if I get up in time, I think I'll put some beef stew in the crockpot. I have a band booster meeting tomorrow night so I gotta do something easy or fast.

Day 1 down, 39 to go!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Last days of summer...

Okay, so I know how ridiculous that reads seeing that it's only July 12th. But tomorrow is the last day of MY summer. I start work on Monday at my new position with the school system! I'm super excited...and super scared. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do exactly in my new position. My title is Principal's Secretary (so fancy-schmancy!) and I'll also be helping with the athletic director, but what my actual day-to-day responsibilities will look like are up in the air.


Sorry, had to do that. I'm all goose-pimply and giddy as I type this out!

It's been a pretty nifty 6 weeks since my last day of work as an INTEL last school year. I've really enjoyed having my Kenny-bear and Lorie-lou home. We had a fantabulous time at our family Beach Week and VBS turned out pretty ding-dang-dong nice. (All that hand-wringing was pretty worthless...wish I'd get that through my head.)

Now I've got to get myself together for the school year. New job and new responsibility with the kids' marching band (I usually just chaperone...this year I'm the Band Booster Secretary) will add some stress until I get into a new routine but I'm ready to get going. 

I'm going to attempt the Daniel Plan again in August. About 9 people from the church are going to join me on the journey this time. We've chosen a time that can't get messed with because it's just before the church's Prayer Time and it's before fall ball starts. I'm hoping between that and my Planet Fitness membership, that I get a good jumpstart on my health.

I also figured out that if I continue the course with my school work and include summer courses next summer, that I will graduate with my B.A. in Religion/Biblical Counseling in May 2016!

But for now...I just have to get through tonight and tomorrow. I've attempted the Pinterest Listerine foot soak with Listerine/Vinegar and water. It does NOT make your nasty calluses sloughed off but it did make using the pumice stone on those areas a bit more effective. I'm about to go soak in the tub  before making a date with Mr. Nyquil. I've gotten a bit of a cough/cold from Kenny and am pretty sick of it. So soak (to help me unwind), Mr. Nyquil within and Mr. Vicks Rub without and nighty-night time it is!

Hoping I can be a little more disciplined on the blog. I did pretty well there for awhile. But not so much lately. Sure is fun to go back and read some of the things I thought worth posting over the years! Well, fun for ME. Probably pretty boring for anyone else.

Monday, June 16, 2014

What a day! What a night!

So today was errand day. It's been a long time since I ran errands with a baby, but I figured that since Gloria is a very mild-mannered and good-natured child, and since I was bringing Jo along for the ride, it would all work out well.

We went first to RCPS's Information Technology offices to turn in my work kit. She flirted and batted her eyes and generally made herself  Miss Cutesy-pie. Next we went to the Warehouse to check out the desks they had in stock for my new office. (Oh, didn't you know? I'm not returning to the INTEL position. This girl is going to be the principal's secretary for Heritage High School next year! Yeppers!) She immediately went in to Miss Precious Mode and had the Maintenance secretary wrapped around her finger and then went on to be cute for the Purchasing secretary. (Found a desk, by the way.) Back in the car seat and off we drive to Heritage to check with the bookkeeper and let her know we'd found a desk and to measure my window for curtains. While we were talking at Heritage, Little Bit jabbered and cooed and generally made a sweetie of herself. Seriously...totally amazed at how good-natured she was! Anyhow, back in the car again and a trip to Lifeway, Staples, Schoolbox, and Pier One Imports. Then we decided we were famished so off to Zaxby's we go. That's where the poo hit the fan. She was hungry, too. Jo had to get into her bag and put together a bottle. She finished it off on the way home from Zaxby's.

So imagine it, Jo and I are sitting on the bed with our Zaxby's. We've got Gloria propped up between us with a cookie. We are all eating. We are all happy with the world. Then Gloria gets too much cookie in her throat and starts gagging and choking. I'm using my Zaxby's fry salted finger to try to sweep out her mouth, she's gagging but also smacking at the salt. Finally it comes up (along with some of her bottle) and I'm hold a bib full of tossed up cookie and formula asking Jo for help.

The excitement of it all...but at least the sheets got changed!

Anyhow, fast forward to early evening. Kim's come by for Gloria and plans for me for get the cake and decorations for Brad and Barbie's surprise 50th party are set. I've told everyone that I need to leave at 5:15 and need help since I have to get a cake from Walmart and balloons from Party City and it's 97 degrees outside. Kenny3 hasn't taken a shower yet and Lorie had worked from 10-4 and wanted to take another one. That left Jo to be my grunt. So off we go at 5:18 and then Kenny drives up. A quick reconnoiter (did I spell that right? Did I USE that right?!) and he's up to date on plans and off we go, later than I'd planned and praying fiercely because, well, it's me and things don't usually work out the way I plan. We go to Party City first and get the balloons purchased and stand in line to get them blown up. Jo agrees to stay at Party City while I run to Walmart.  I get the first parking space in the row by the door! Unfortunately, inside Walmart, however, there's no one in the bakery. No worries, well, lots of worries, but I'm going to try not to worry. I go to the card section and am slightly nauseated over the stupid cards but then fall into two I can get behind. Next...gift card section. IHOP, it is. Then I run into a Walmart associate who find the bakery person who gets me the cake and we are golden! Lines next...no freakin' way! I am behind someone in the 20 items or less line who actually has less than 20 items! I'm walking out the door in no time. At the car I can hear my phone ringing but as I'm juggling a cake and the package with the card, my keys and my wallet, I choose to get the cake in the car safely. Unfortunately, as I'm juggling, I drop my wallet and stuff falls everywhere. I hurriedly pick it up, throw it in the foot well (is that what it's called?) and jump in the driver's seat as my phone rings again. It's Jo. She's done at Party City. I drive over and get her and we are at Golden Corral before the 6:30 deadline!

So we are at Golden Corral and I dig out the cards and then go to my wallet for the gift cards. No gift cards. Crap! I probably dropped them in the Walmart parking lot and they are now in my car. Kenny3 and Lorie are sent out to find them. I finish putting out the cake and stuff and then go out to the parking lot to see that, darn it all, the gift cards aren't there. Lorie and I jump in the card and drive back to Walmart. As I'm getting closer to where I'd parked my car the first time, I can see the gift cards on the ground. I'm freaking out inside my car, which in turn, freaks out the father who has just gotten his toddler daughter out of the car that my car is now heading towards. I roll down the window and start babbling about what was happening as Lorie gets out of the car and picks up not only the two gift cards, but the Band Value card and...oh my word...my debit card!!!!

And we made it back to Golden Corral by 6:45.

Does that deserve a "What a day! What a night!" or what?!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Spotsylvania Adventure...the final days

Sunday came after a long night of listening to Lorie make noise, grind her teeth and take up most of the bed (sorry, babe, but I gotta report it like it happened). I got up a little earlier than I’d planned because it seemed a little stupid to stay in bed trying to hang on to what little “property” I had instead of getting ready and spreading out on the couch.

Once Lorie and I were ready we realized that we were a bit too matchy-matchy. I had on a black with white polka-dot dress and a red cardigan and she had on a black with white dots dress and a yellow cardigan. Neither of us had an alternate outfit so off we went. I don’t think anyone else noticed. Wish we’d taken a picture of it though.

Lorie attends Capital Life Church in Arlington. Super-duper friendly, fabulous worship, easy to feel “at home” are the take aways for me. They had a guest speaker (Dave Buehlring) whose sermon was right on target. Lorie navigated us from the church to Chipotle’s and I followed the directions without maiming any walker, bikers or banging into cars that were parked (PARKED) in the middle of the lane.

I’d never had Chipotle’s before but yummo! Lorie and I had a lovely mommy-daughter heart-to-heart and then it was time to get on the road since Annie and I were driving to Charlotte. Lorie got us to American University (again, no pedestrians, bikers or cars were harmed) and I had to say goodbye.

That was hard. I knew I was going to see her again in just a couple days but if living teaches you anything, it’s to not take people (especially people you love) for granted. We aren’t promised tomorrow.

I got back to the Haneys’ with just one small blip in following OnStar’s directions (which turned out to actually be a better route), changed out of my church clothes, got our stuff packed and hugs all the way around for the Haneys and then Annie and I were off.

We managed to get back to Charlotte with no tickets, although we both probably never want to hear the words, “What’s the speed limit around here” again. We stopped by KFC and got dinner before pulling into the driveway. The fur-babies (and Greg) were glad to see Annie. We sat and enjoyed dinner and some TV before heading to bed.

Monday, I got on the road around 8:45 and drove. I had the radio on full blast because it was just too dang quiet and lonely in my car. I wish I lived closer to my sisters. We’d probably kill each other if we did, old habit die hard, but still. No one knows you the way your siblings do. They were your first friends and your first enemies. They taught you how to love someone fiercely that also drives you insane. I’m so proud of my sisters. I think they are both funny, fascinating, amazing women. I am truly blessed to be able to call them my sisters.

The Spotsylvania Adventure...Day Three

Yesterday we’d gotten to Spotsylvania, spent time with cousin John W and his wife Patty and met up with Lori/Lorie. After we got to the hotel (and need to take a commercial break here, if you are ever in the Spotsylvania/Fredricksburg area, I recommend the Hampton Inn and Suites on Hospitality Drive in Fredricksburg. Super friendly at the desk, decent price, clean (CLEAN…they even had a post-it on the beds telling us about their clean sheets and bedding!), lots of towels in room and a fabulous breakfast buffet in the morning), we jammied up and got into bed. (Disclaimer: I got nothing from Hampton Inn and Suites or their owners for this blurb.) Lorie showed me a new app called 2048 which then garnered my attention for too long. Seriously, if you don’t know about 2048, don’t check it out! It’s a trap!

Before Lori got back from John W and Patty’s (remember, she stayed back when we left so she could spend a little more time with them), the rest of the Haneys got to the hotel. Unfortunately I was in a 2048 zone and rudely kept playing. Although I did take a break to bounce up and down on the bed to show off the weird sounds the bed made. Don’t ask.

We made plans to meet the next morning to drive to the high school to meet up with Daddy and Susan.

Wow…it really was an incredible breakfast buffet. Nice job, Hampton Inn. We got on the road vaguely on time and got to the high school with no issues. Daddy was already there talking to the schoolbus drivers who would serve, with their schoolbuses, as shuttles for the day. We parked, jumped on a bus and made our way to the Opening Ceremonies at the Bloody Angle.

It was a beautiful day, although the sun kept popping out which made it a wee bit hot at times. The park area is absolutely gorgeous. I wish we’d been able to take one of the walking tours. There were little monuments dotting the park commemorating different regiments and situations during the battle.

The opening ceremonies were very touching. They did a great job with that. They had readings taken from newspapers, diaries, and letters from that time. It really added the personal part back into the history. They also had Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. give the main speech. My word, I think I had some good history teachers over the years, but Dr. Robertson took the cake! If you ever have a chance to go to a lecture by him, jump on it. You will never look at history the same way again! I did, though, feel a bit sorry for the Union soldier reenactors. They marched up on the other side of the Confederate hill thingys (gotta remember what those are called…especially since I almost sat on one before finding out that they are a “really big deal” by a Park Ranger) and then stood there for the 15 minutes before the ceremonies began and then the entire hour+ of the ceremonies. I was twitchy sitting down. I can’t imagine being in a wool uniform and standing. Oh, and I forgot about the bagpipes. I don’t know if they picked a solo bagpiper (bagpipist?) because the bagpipe gives such a mournful, thoughtful sound or if there was something particularly important about the Scots and the battle. Anyhow the bagpipes started and ended the ceremonies.

It’s really hard to explain how I felt sitting there. I, of course, was distracted by the sun coming and going behind the clouds and by an inchworm that crawled around on the shoulders of a lady in front of me (yes, I gasped a little when it was trying to wiggle into her hair…shudder), but even for someone as distractible as I am, the green fields spreading out all around us, the trees, the breeze, oh, it was so beautiful. But then the words from the Park Rangers and Dr. Robinson painted such a vivid picture. It was…heartrending.

Anyhow, after the ceremonies we went back to the shuttle pickup point and moved to where the vendors and the battle reenactment were setup. I’m blanking on what they called it…Merchants Square? Anyhow, it wasn’t part of the National Park Service’s events.

So I got my beloved t-shirt and we wandered around the vendors area…there are a LOT of vendors for reenactor clothing and paraphernalia. I was amazed. Daddy signed us up as Descendants of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Courthouse Battles. We got a ribbon to wear. Pretty cool. I tried to take a picture of my ribbon, but it was a bit too boobalicious to post.

We all made our way at different times to where the battle would take place and managed to meet up even with all the people that were there. My goodness, the amount of people that were standing around as spectators was mindboggling but the amount of reenactors on the field? Astonishing! Unfortunately, where we were standing meant we didn’t hear much of what they would announce over the loudspeakers so we pretty much had no idea what was going on. I mean, we knew that they were shooting and cannoning and whatnot and we’d see someone go down and get “hurt” or get “dead.” There were advances and retreats but, we also saw a whole bunch of standing around, so it was a bit hard to figure out what was going on. Then, after about an hour, there was a bugle call and that’s when the loudspeaker came through loud and clear announcing that the sound we just heard was the ceasefire.

The “people interesting” thing I found was that the spectators that were reenactors tended to believe that they had more right to a good view of the reenactment than the people who had bought tickets to be there. (Of course, maybe the reenactors had to buy tickets, too, I have no idea). We “set up shop” in an area that gave us a pretty good view and the next thing you know a couple ladies with their big ole skirts and big ole bonnets walked right in front of us and blocked our views! One of them actually gave snotty looks to someone who tried to get around her to be able to take a photo. The cutest moment was a family of reenactors that stood to the right and front of us. They had two small toddler/preschool-age children. The little girl was beyond hot on her bonnet and long-sleeved dress. She was drinking water from a water bottle and having a good ole time. Her older brother got a bit whiney towards the end and as he was escorted back to their tent (I’m guessing), he announced that, “gunfire makes me FIRSTY!!!” I totally understand.

Following the reenactment we realized that the shuttles were going to stop running soon and that there were a whole bunch of people that were going to try to get on them, so we hightailed it to the shuttle stop and waited (and waited, and waited) for the shuttle. We all managed to get on the same shuttle and got back to the high school. The Haneys had one car at the high school and one car still back at the hotel. Since the Haneys and I were headed to American University to gather Lorie’s stuff, we decided that Lorie and I would go straight to AU and start packing up my car. The Haneys would take Annie and go back to the hotel to get the other car. One Haney car would come to the university to get the stuff we were dumping on them to store over the summer and one Haney car would go home and get some dinner rustled up. So hugs all around as Daddy and Susan headed back to John W and Patty’s and the rest of us split into our assigned seating.

I still don’t know how we managed to get all Lorie’s stuff in those cars. Space management is best left up to Kenny. But we did. I am pretty proud of myself. We got back to the Haneys, unloaded the Haney car and then plopped! Pizza, Top Chef (or was it Chopped?), and 2048…then bed.

Tomorrow…twinning it at church

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Spotsylvania Adventure...day 2

So yesterday’s blog got me to Charlotte and my sister, Anne’s, home on Thursday night. She has two of the sweetest boxers you’ll ever meet. They “helped” me up the stairs and then pouted because Annie put a baby gate up to block them from my room. Apparently, I would have had a boxer sleepover if she hadn’t. She told me Friday morning over breakfast that Nova had taken up patrol at the baby gate and probably would have stayed there all night if Annie hadn’t had her come to bed. As it was, she positioned her body on Anne and Greg’s bed so she could stare down the hallway at my room. When Anne woke me up, there were two forlorn, but oh-so-sweet, boxer faces staring at me across a baby gate. They also “helped” me back down the stairs when I came down for breakfast.

Anyhow, Anne and I were going to do this next portion of the ride together, which I truly appreciated. The Hair Nation, 80’s on 8, 70’s on 7 stations on my XM radio got me from Atlanta to Charlotte, but I didn’t want to see if their music selections could hold up all the way to Virginia. We decided that the smartest thing would be for Annie to take the first leg of the trip since she knows her way around Charlotte (natch!) and then I could drive us into Virginia. Things are going well, Annie drives a lot of rental cars in her business travels so the Equinox’s blind spots were no match for her. However, a work zone was. About an hour or so outside of Charlotte, Annie is passing a car and in the grassy median she sees a policeman and mentions it. We both look at the speedometer and Anne says, “No worries, I’m going about 80.” Then as she’s checking her mirrors (as good drivers do), she says, “The policeman just pulled out.” And then, “Uh-oh, he’s got his lights on.” Me, being the amazing deductive reasoned that I am said, “Is he pulling you over?”  To which Anne replies, “Yep” as she’s slowing down and pulling over. Okay, so I have this bad habit of getting the giggles at really bad times. And, yes, this was a really bad time to get the giggles. Luckily, Annie is a lot more mature than I am because if this had happened back in the day, she’d’ve probably gotten really upset with me. So I’m trying to get my giggles under control and have pulled them back into just a dopey looking grin on my face when the police officer’s face pops into my window. And then, I turn moronic for a moment as I can’t figure out how to roll the window down…IN MY OWN CAR!!!

Officer: “Ma’am, do you know why I’ve pulled you over?”  Anne: “No, sir, I don’t.”

Officer: “You were traveling 77 mph in a 55 mph work zone.” Anne and I look at each other incredulously because neither of us had any idea we were in a work zone.  Anyhow, long story kinda shorter: we had totally missed the signs saying that it was a work zone although we had noticed the barrels. But since there were no workers ANYWHERE, no machinery ANYWHERE and nothing torn up ANYWHERE, we obviously didn’t process the barrels. They are pretty much all over the place on the highway. Annie is now required (REQUIRED) by North Carolina law to show up at court because she was going 15+ miles over the speed limit in a 55 mph or higher zone. She’s looking at a 30 day suspension of license, 4 pts, and, well, toot, I can’t remember the other part. I checked NC statues and it also looks like she’ll be charged with a Class 2 Misdemeanor and have at least a $250 fine (because it’s a work zone). She can get a lawyer to appear for her in court (which is nice since the date they set is during our family vacation) but in doing a little googling on the situation, it looks like North Carolina is notorious for setting up fake work zones like these and trying to rack up on out of town drivers. Yes, we should have been paying attention to the signs. However, a trap is a trap is a trap…and I feel this was a trap.

So guess what occupied our attention for the rest of the trip? Yep, talking about what happened, texting her husband Greg as he researched what was in store (the person in the passenger seat did the texting. No texting and driving, thank you very much), and keeping an eye on the speed limit and cops.

“What’s the speed limit here?” was heard probably a hundred times during the rest of the trip…it was funny, but not.

So, we make it to the hotel in Fredricksburg (town next to Spotsylvania), check in and do the potty thing, check on Lori/Lorie and find out that they AREN’T  going to check in in the next hour because they haven’t even left yet.  We are meeting a cousin that my dad found while digging around for information about Horatio. His great-grandpa and Horatio were brothers, is how we are related. His name is John, as well, so we called him either “cousin John” or JW. We drove out to his home in Spotsylvania for dinner.(Oh…my…word…”gorgeous” doesn’t even cover it!) We got to unwind with beautiful view of the lake, watch as his wife fed the swan in the lake (a SWAN!!),  enjoyed grilled burgers and then got to see some of the cool stuff that was handed down through John W’s family which really made what the soldiers in the Civil War had to go through come more alive. Lori and Lorie drove up in the middle of this and we got to give out hugs and squeezes. It was so nice to have my sisters and one of my girls where I could lock eyes and giggle or make a comment in their ear. <le sigh>

I started noticing that dusk was upon us and as I knew how tired I was, how disoriented I get when I’m in a new place and how not-so-good I drive in the dark, I had to say my goodbyes and thank yous to John W and his wife, Patty, and get going. None too soon, either, as it was quite dark by the time we got into Fredricksburg and my eyes were so tired, I couldn’t read the street signs. Between OnStar and Lorie, we made it back to the hotel and sleepy time.

Tomorrow: “gunfire makes me firsty!”

On an unrelated note: good heavens! They have the air cranked UP in here and I took home my heavy sweater last week. I’m going to be frozen solid by lunch!!