Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Twenty Christmases

I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I was standing in the kitchen of my aunt's house. It was Christmas day. Twenty Christmases ago. It would be the last Christmas I would spend with my grandmother. The last time that I said, "I love you" to her.

My grandmother had a zest for life. She had an unconditional love for her family. She had an unwavering faith in God. She was the glue that kept my family together.

There are times in my life when I miss her like crazy. I remember how she sounded when she would answer the phone(Uh. Yes?). Oh, how I loved the banana nut bread she would make and simple gifts that she gave me (can of black olives with money taped to it). I loved her.


Time doesn't heal all wounds. Time just takes the sting out of those wounds.

Christmas is here once again and my special memory with her comes to mind. Tears of sadness because I wish she was here. Tears of joy of the thought of that one last time together.

 I will see her again. One day.

Merry Christmas, Mammaw. You are celebrating with the angels. 

Mammaw P and I. And one of my really bad choices in hairstyles. 



Mammaw S, Great-Grandmother Gann, me, Mammaw P.



Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cheap & Easy

No, silly. I'm not describing me. Not in the least. Just ask Hubby! 

This school year I've recently gone back to work full-time. I've forgotten how much time I had on my hands since going back to work. Time is fleeting. But for Thanksgiving we actually got an entire week off. I am thankful. Grateful. And blessed. 

There was one project I knew I had to get done before the week was over. This had been on my list since last Christmas and the Advent season. I was tired of my scrawny candles in their crappy holders. See what I mean:

I couldn't stand to use these for one more year. Let me also get off my chest that I am a Pinterest fanatic! I found some great ideas for advent candles. This one had to be my favorite. So during the week I ventured off to a local craft store. I was kid free and I had my list in hand. Finding the terra cotta pots was a little difficult. And I'm not one to venture to six different stores to get exactly what I need. Substitutes are our friends! 

This is what I came up with instead:


Chalk is one of the latest trends going right now. Why not? I got my project (including candles) done for under $15. 

Is this post earth shattering? Nope. But it's a small thing to get my house and the people in my house (that I love dearly) in the season of anticipation of the coming birth of our Lord & Savior. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Break-Day Five

When Vegas seems to be a town where everything is open 24/7, don't bet on it. We got up early to catch a 9:30 flight and return our rental car. Our only option at the hotel for breakfast was room service. None of the restaurants would open until after we had to leave. Bummer. Hungry is putting it mildly.

The car rental place is in a different locale than the airport. So we returned the car and took the shuttle to the airport. I think airport employees may be the reason why we might make the decision to drive to every destination for the rest of our lives.

Even though I live in Texas, I don't have what's known as Big Texas Hair. It was odd how the TSA agent had to pat down my hair and my wrists*.  Hubby hasn't had any coffee at this point. I haven't had any sort of caffeine. We are just ripe for something.

 Well, our hunger hadn't gone away by this point. It's only gotten worse. So we set out to find some semblance of a breakfast. Burger King it is**!

Finally. They're calling for passengers to board for our flight. Hubby's on a must-ride ticket since it was business***. We sat by each other from Vegas to Oklahoma City. From OKC the flight was full. Hubby was pulled off since the flight was full, even though he had explained to them he was on a must-ride since part of the trip was business. He got back on the flight but rode jump seat. And boy did he get an earful from certain members of the flight crew. Some were touting the way other airlines did their business. And she thought our airline should follow suit****. I'm sorry. If you want to tout the way other airlines do their business, please by all means, go work for them. There is probably some rhyme or reason why our airline does it the way they do and it seems profitable when other airlines don't. So remember that the next time the company makes a profit sharing deposit to your 401k.

Our plane finally touches Dallas ground. It's good to be home. I'm just missing my kids and my dog. So off we go to Ft. Worth to get the rest of our family*****.

Once we got home on Friday evening we didn't leave the house all day on Saturday. Home sweet home. Just the four of us.

*What on God's green earth could I possibly hide in my fine, flat hair? I think she did it just to mess my hair up and fill it with static. I was wearing a short sleeve shirt. It's not like I was wearing sleeves that had crap stuffed in them. Bizarre.
**Good gosh. I think at any Burger King outside the airport my family of four could have eaten for what Hubby and I had to pay for breakfast at the airport.
***And remember? I purchased my ticket. I'm not risking getting kicked off any flights because of full flights during one of the busiest times of the year. 
****I'm sorry, ma'am. You mistakenly read the sign on my husband's forehead to say that he gives a d*mn. He is in no position to do anything about your complaints. You have treated him like crap on this flight and he has witnessed you treating customers like crap. You actually contributed to Hubby feeling embarrassed to call you a fellow employee. You may want to consider your delivery and how you speak to people.
*****And we're approaching rush hour. Joy.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Break-Day Four

I think by day four, we were ready to get to a different locale. I had had enough of the relaxation thing, and Hubby was just done with Palm Springs. We had breakfast at a local breakfast chain. When paying for the check the lady asked me if I had an AARP card. I kid you not. I had just had my roots done. There is nothing about me that screams AARP. She tried to say that she thought I was with a senior citizen. Have you seen my husband? Um. Hello?! He doesn't even look 35 years old, let alone his actual age. Good gosh. It's time to get the h*ll out of dodge.

So we set out for our drive to Vegas to spend some time there before we headed home.

If any car rental agent tells you she has a shortcut to Vegas, don't believe her. Take the way that has more lanes and civilization. We took the road more traveled and we're thankful for it.

We finally made it to Vegas. This was my first time there. Even in the daylight, it's overwhelming. I had requested a room with a view of the strip and we got a room with a view of the airport. I wouldn't recommend this hotel to anyone. We justified it as if we weren't going to be spending a lot of time in the room anyway. And if we were we'd be asleep.

 The Cirque show that was at our hotel was closed for the day we were there. So we ventured on our walk to see the sights. Through the eyes of a Vegas Virgin, it was an assault on the eyes. The beauty of some of the sights was sort of diminished by the people who were handing out cards to solicit the services of females. If I was holding Hubby's hand they'd still try and give him a card. Then one tried to give me one.

Hubby and I wanted to walk through a majority of the hotels on the strip. And then we came across this and had to stay awhile.
video 



We found the Mirage and went to see if we could still get tickets to the Cirque show The Beatles Love. Whenever the concierge gives you a ticket price, just tell your companion you don't want to pay that (within ear shot of the concierge) and the concierge will automatically knock off about $35 per ticket. There wasn't a bad seat in this theater. This was the first Cirque show for both of us and we were not disappointed. If you ever have a chance to see one of their shows I would highly recommend it. This show enlightened Hubby to The Beatles music. Some good. Some not so good. Some great! Great enough to download some after we got home.

Once the show was over, we headed back to the hotel. At night, the strip is even more overwhelming. But this helps.
video

I know that Vegas is known as "Sin City". But listen up people, eventually you might come to regret the way you were acting that night. At least I pray that you do.

The night came to an end with us back at our hotel, exhausted. Listening to the screams of the people on the roller coaster right outside our hotel room.

*The room didn't even have a coffee maker. I think I was more upset about that than the coffee drinker in my marriage. When I called to inquire about where the coffee maker was, she suggested room service. I don't want room service. I just want a coffee maker in my room, so I can make coffee for my husband.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Break 2014-Day Three

Day three was going to be a breeze. I had one thing to check off my list while Hubby spent a half day at the conference.

I was going to visit Sunnylands  while Hubby "worked". Well, I made the much anticipated drive out there. Only to find out it was open Thursday through Sunday. I was there on Wednesday. I was disappointed, but what could I do? Oh well.

When Hubby was done for the day we looked forward to massages in the hotel spa. All I can say was, it was odd. Hubby and I did a couples massage. The spa had given Hubby the female masseuse and I had a male masseuse. I was ok with Hubby having a female. I wasn't quite comfortable with having a male. He was rough. I felt a little on edge the entire time with another man touching me. Plus, he used a little too much force. I thought I was giving off enough symbols to let him know that was too hard, but I guess not.

After leaving the spa and going back to our rooms, we passed by a couple that was fairly good looking. They knew it. But they also seemed to ooze porn. They gave off a sleazy vibe*.

Hubby has some silly goal to visit every Apple store in every town that we visit. So back to El Paseo we go. That led to dinner at a seafood restaurant called Pacifica. We ate on the rooftop patio overlooking the shops of El Paseo and the mountains. The food was fabulous! It was just a very neat experience!

Daylight was fading and it was time to get back to the hotel to pack up for the drive to Vegas, baby.



*Plus, it didn't help that she was getting him off right there at the pool.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring Break 2014-Day Two

After a night of recouping some rest and gaining a fresh perspective, we were waking up at Central Time, but that was ok. The weather was grand! We heard birds chirping in a not so distant tree*. Breakfast was our name. While Hubby went for a run, I started getting ready for the day.

We were able to enjoy breakfast together, then Hubby was off doing his work stuff. I went back to our room to kill a little bit of time before the shops opened. I wanted to head down to the downtown area of Palm Springs and hit some sights.

I was able to find the Palm Springs Museum of Art and saw some interesting things.


Seriously? This is what I paid $10 to see? I know art museums are sort of "iffy" when it comes to what is considered art these days, but this is just stupid. In another section there were canvases painted in solid colors. The only redeeming piece was this.

Oh well. Now on to downtown Palm Springs. There is retail therapy to be had! On my way I encounter this.
She's 26ft tall. Done by Johnson & Johnson heir Seward Johnson. Inspired by the famous photo from the movie The Seven Year Itch. It's sort of fitting since Palm Springs is where Norma Jean Baker was "discovered" and spent time there with former husband Joe DiMaggio.

There were a few souvenir shops sprinkled in between art galleries and other retail**. There was one store that had a tag line that said, "the cure for the humorless". Well, when I tried to take a picture of an item because I knew I would never remember to tell some friends about it, the sales guy tells me not to take any pictures. Talk about not having any sense of humor. I put my items for purchase down and walked out. Eh.

After lunch and the speech that Hubby and his team member were giving, the team member wanted to go down to El Paseo for more retail therapy***.  It was visually pleasing. I've never seen so many luxury cars. And when I say luxury, I mean LUXURY cars****.

After a while, there's only so much to see, when everything costs an arm and a leg. It's time to start thinking about heading back to the hotel and dinner. Hubby and I went to a hamburger joint back in downtown Palm Springs. It was called Hamburger Mary's. It was awesome! We were able to sit on the patio and enjoy eating dinner in perfect weather. 

Another day in the bag!


*We have been dying for the birds to come back this Spring.
**With as many art galleries that I saw, these people must change their art like they change their underwear.
***El Paseo is known as the "Rodeo Drive" of Palm Springs.
****A Lexus might have been considered as lowly as a Ford in this part of town.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring Break 2014-Day One

It's been a while, hasn't it? But here goes some posts about how our Spring Break 2014 went.

Growing up I never went on a Spring Break vacation. It just wasn't something we did. My first Spring Break vacation wasn't until after I married my husband and we went on a road trip to Tennessee to see a friend*.

So now it's our second Spring Break vacation. Well, partial vacation/partial work conference for Hubby. Somebody had invited him to speak at a conference on communications and, hello, it was in Palm Springs! Sign me up!

We had arranged for the kiddos to go to Hubby's parents for the week. I was looking forward to getting away. Next time, I would love to take the kids with us. If there is a next time.

After getting up at the crack of dawn to catch an early flight, we were greeted by one of the most unfriendliest fellow airline employees, who apparently couldn't be bothered***. Flight delayed. Shocker. Our plan was to get to Palm Springs by way of Vegas.

We were able to get on a later flight and made it to Wichita, KS****. Woohoo! It didn't take long at all to get that plane turned around and off to Vegas.

We had some pretty awesome views of this great country we live in on the way. I'm not a window seat kind of person, but the person sitting in the window seat took some pics for me.


I've traveled to a few places. But there's still a large portion of this country I haven't seen. And it simply amazes me how God has shaped this world. His hands work wonders. And it's for our pleasure.

Once we finally touched down in Vegas we thought we'd have a rental car waiting for us. When we got to the lengthy line to wait for our turn, it was obvious that we would be waiting for a REALLY long time. So, I did what any good consumer would do. I went to another rental car counter to see what I could get. After I was informed I could get the same deal somewhere else without the wait, I called the other car rental agency that we had a car through to make sure we wouldn't be charged anything. Well. They had gone ahead and cancelled our rental because we hadn't picked it up by a certain time. Talk about livid! If we had waited any longer in that line just to find out our reservation was cancelled, I would have feared for the life behind that counter. Either one of us might have gone ballistic. We have learned we will never use that agency again.

When we signed all of the paperwork for our rental car, the lady gave us a map to Palm Springs. She said, "This will knock an hour off of your drive". Um. No. It added about an hour and a half, on top of the normal 4 hour drive. The route she showed us (and we took) was nothing but two lane roads, and trucks we couldn't pass*****. It was nothing but desert and ugly. We kept trying to think of it as an adventure. But it got hard to do that after a while. It was exhausting.

There was a member of Hubby's team also going on this trip. She flew in to Burbank and drove the rest of the way. She left a couple of hours after us, but got there before we did. We spent roughly thirteen hours traveling.

It could have turned into a day where we were wondering why we were doing this. But then we finally arrived at the hotel. What a great place!



Palm Springs has a great atmosphere. The hotel feels like a bygone era. There's very much a Rat Pack feel to it without feeling outdated. Our room was sweet! I mean a suite. Hubby got an upgrade since he was speaking at this conference. But our view was nothing special. The view was of the roof of the building next to us. Eh. This is a pic of a room just like ours. Except we had no view.There was also a living room.
We had arrived so late that we had missed the dinner to welcome all of the attendees of the conference. We went to the bar to see what we could scrounge up. What we ordered turned out to be a little less than satisfying. Chalk it up to being a little froo froo.

It was good to finally arrive at our destination. But it was time to collapse. Tomorrow will be a better day.


*We ended up coming home early, because our hosts couldn't stop fighting. Not fun.
**Well, after buying me a ticket that is.
***Do these people not remember they work in the service industry? I realize there are some doozy of some customers out there, but you can get back to your conversation with the other employee after I get my bags checked. And it got even worse on the trip home.
****Wright amendment, you will not be gone soon enough!
*****Either because the car couldn't get up enough RPMs or there were curves in the road and we couldn't see around them.