Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Whats Up Wednesday, July 2019 Edition

Can you believe that it's the end of July, already? This summer is whipping by with the speed of a freight train and I don't like it. I do like fun writing prompts, however, and, since it is the end of the month, it's also time for another fun link-up with Sheaffer and Shay

What We're Eating

The Hello Fresh experiment continued through the early part of the month, and, while we ultimately decided to pull the plug, rather than pay full price once my discount ran out, it was still a fun experience.

Now, we are back to grilling as often as possible, including our favorite grilled pizzas, which I have been pairing with a new Pinot Grigio for a delicious combination.

And, while on my Girls Weekend, I had a chance to eat one of my favorite meals at one of my favorite restaurants from my college days; chicken taco salad and margaritas never go out of style.

What I'm Reminiscing About

I went home for Stampede this past weekend, and, it's always hard not to reminisce about years past, when Dad was still with us and the kids were smaller; I still love Stampede, but, man, those were the days.

 They were so little!

What I'm Loving

My Stargazer Oriental lilies are blooming like crazy and they smell ah-mayyyy-zing. I planted them a couple of years before Dad passed away and they always remind me of him when they bloom; Dad had a thing for lilies. Go figure.

I'm also loving these playing cards that I ordered on Shutterfly...

...the Man-Cub is one of Darren's groomsmen and, as a group, they decided to host a card game a few nights before the wedding, rather than a more traditional bachelor party; the cards are a gift for Darren and I am really pleased with the way they turned out. The picture is of Darren and the Cub when they were about three or four and it is one of my favorite photos of their shared childhood.

One last thing; these turquoise pieces that I purchased from a vendor at the rodeo in Mayberry. They are all handmade and the quality is unbelievable. The earrings are almost too heavy, but I love them enough to overlook sore earlobes.

What We've Been Up To

As I said, I went back home for the long Stampede weekend. Queen B and a friend of hers joined me and we got to spend a lot of time with Mom, my sister Barbie, my nephew, one of my Aunts, her husband, my cousin and his wife and little boy, and a whole host of family friends. It's always a good time and this year was certainly no exception.

I also got to spend a nice long weekend with The Girls this month! We boated, we drank, we laughed our fool heads off, and, we may have cried, you know, a little. Time with friends is the best.

What I'm Dreading

I'm not exactly dreading it, but, the Man-Cub goes back to school next month and I'll miss him. He's worked his tiny hiney off this summer, spending a good part of it in Arizona and Utah, where he worked on new drilling sites for the company that employs him, so; we haven't seen him nearly as much as I would have liked.

One thing I most definitely am dreading is the routine procedure that I am scheduled for on Friday. I won't go into details here (ok, I probably will, but, not today), but it involves a camera shoved into an orifice that most people don't discuss in polite company. I'll leave it to you to figure out which one.

What I'm Working On

While we were in Mayberry for Stampede, I had the pleasure of photographing the Rodeo Princess with her husband and in-laws. I enjoy shooting families, but I especially enjoy shooting families I love, and, there is nothing about these people that I don't love; they have embraced my niece with open arms and could not be more supportive of her. I'm still in the editing process, but, so far, I'm loving what I am seeing.

What I'm Excited About

I can't think of anything that I am terribly excited about at the present.

What I'm Watching

The Man-Cub and I binge-watched Stranger Things 3 the Saturday after the 4th of July and it did not disappoint! The cultural references to the 80's continue to be on point, the story is engaging, and the acting is superb. I can't wait for season 4!

I'm also sticking it out on season 21 of Big Brother, and, while I don't have a current favorite, I am enjoying several of the house guests.

In a shocking turn of events, I have also somehow convinced Hugh to watch Love Island with me. We find the premise of the show quite absurd, but, the narrator is hilarious, and, we have been surprisingly sucked in by the show. I'm blaming it on heatstroke from the suddenly summer-like temperatures that we have been experiencing lately.

I am also really enjoying Jennifer Garner's Pretend Cooking Show. I catch it on YouTube or Instagram as often as I can, and it's a pleasure every time. I'm sure women around the world say this, but; I really think Jennifer and I could be friends. I'm sure she would fit right in with The Girls, you know, given enough wine.

What I'm Reading

Work has been crazy busy this month, so, I haven't had  head space to fill with reading. I did finish Elin Hildebrand's new book, however, and I loved it.

What I'm Listening To

I'm not listening to it on the regular, but, on our trip to Mayberry, Queen B played a variety of country rap songs for me. She also played some highly inappropriate rap that was in no way, shape, or form country. I'm fairly certain she was trying to get a reaction out of me, and; if the reaction she was going for was me turning up the music so the bass would thump through every bone in your body, then I guess she got what she was hoping for. Also? My Lola has a mean stereo system. Just sayin'.

What I'm Wearing

I've recently broken out of my comfort zone by wearing current, more trendy fashions. I make sure to text Queen B before I leave the house, just in case I look like a tool. So, far, she's given me the thumbs up on everything, including:

Rompers, which, totally take me back to the summer that I was twelve, but, that have come a long way since then...

...and wide legged pantsuits, which, are also a blast from the past, although updated for the modern age. This one has pockets, which I love, and, it's hella comfortable, which I did not expect.

I've also worn this long floral kimono several times and, while it wasn't a trend I thought I would like, I have been pleasantly surprised. It is also Queen B approved.

What We're Doing This Weekend

I don't have big plans for the weekend; the Cub will be back from Arizona and I am hoping to see him for at least a hot minute before he heads for Mayberry, himself (Mom has a Honey-Do list for him a mile long). I also need to pull tablecloths and chair covers out of storage for Darren's wedding, and, the house could use a good cleaning (livin' large!).

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month

Did I mention Darren and His Intended are getting married?! The Man-Cub is in the wedding party, I am photographing it, and, Queen B is acting as the Day Of Coordinator. It should be a great time!

What Else Is New

Much to Hugh's dismay, I recently purchased a Litter Genie. It's like a Diaper Genie, but for cat litter. I am thisclose to becoming the neighborhood cat lady; the only thing standing in my way is the actual neighborhood cat lady, who, also to Hugh's dismay, caters to the feral cat population by providing food and a safe place to sleep. On the roof of her garage. For all the world to see.

Well, she can't live forever, right?

Ok, that was mean.

My bad.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

But Where Have All the Hummers Gone?

This year's unusually wet winter and spring have been both a blessing and a curse here in Colorado; a blessing because we have had a fire-free summer, rivers and streams running nonstop, lakes and reservoirs filled to capacity, and an explosion of fruits, vegetables, and wildflowers. The curse has come with flooding, mudslides, rock slides, accidental drownings, and, well, those darn wildflowers.

See, with so many flowers blooming, the hummingbirds have had less interest in my feeders, so, while I am usually just about bankrupted by my sugar purchases, this year I have sweetener to spare.

This makes me sort of sad. I miss my fine feathered friends, and, were it not for this one little guy, I would be completely bereft.

He's been hanging around my feeders since late May. At least, I'm pretty sure it's the same one, I mean, they do all look pretty similar, but, this little guy seems, I don't know, familiar, somehow?

Oh God, I really have become a crazy Bird Lady.

Forget we had this little talk.

Monday, July 29, 2019

It May Have Been Love at First Sight

Yesterday, while I was busy photographing the Rodeo Princess and her in-laws, my "assistant" was busy falling in love.

She gets a pass; her taste in males has improved, dramatically.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Stampede 2019, in 1,000 Words or Less (and, Eight MILLION Pictures)

Queen B and I left Petticoat Junction for Mayberry at a little after 1:00 on Thursday; we were joined by a friend of Queen B's, who was interested in finding out what this whole "Stampede thing" was all about. By the end of the weekend, he would not only have a pretty damn good idea about that, but, would become an honorary Stampede aficionado, complete with mandatory hangover, a case of mild dehydration, sore feet and dirty cowboy boots. Needless to say; he's welcome back anytime.

Thursday evening, Queen B and her friend attended the Walker Hayes/Randy Houser concert while I visited with Mom and my sister Barbie and her son, who were down from Denver for the weekend. We had no desire to go to the concert or the dance that followed, but instead, decided to watch the first of what would become an embarrassingly high number of Hallmark Christmas movies (Christmas in July Marathon, y'all!).

Friday morning, we were up early for the parade, as well as to visit with my Aunt and Uncle, who were also down from the Denver area, along with my cousin, his wife, and their son. I don't get a lot of chances to visit with them all, so it was great catching up with them. After the parade, we all walked downtown to the farmer's market, where Mom and my Aunt purchased dried red and green chili powder from a chili grower and Barbie and Queen B scored some cute jewelry from a local artist. I scored some good photos of the people I love, so I was happy.

Later that afternoon, we attended the slack events at the fairgrounds, where my niece and her husband competed for-and qualified-in the team roping event. The Rodeo Princess also competed in the barrel races, but, unfortunately, her time wasn't fast enough to qualify. We still love her.

Saturday morning we watched the second parade of the weekend, where Queen B's near pathological fear of clowns was triggered, when one approached her with a little gift...

...she was unimpressed.

The rest of the day was spent visiting, reminiscing, and enjoying time together, as well as hitting the Sonic drive-thru for half price happy hour drinks.

We finished out the day with a the rodeo; the 7:00 start time was a change from years past, when the rodeo was held mid-afternoon. I'm not convinced that the change was necessary or will ultimately improve the attendance rates, but, I'm not in charge, so...yeah.

Today, we met my Aunt, Uncle, and cousin for breakfast before saying our goodbyes. Queen B and I then went to the Rodeo Princess's house, where I did a photo shoot for her in-laws before gathering our stuff up at Mom's and hitting the road back to Petticoat Junction.

It was a quick trip, as always, but, a fun one. And, while we missed the people who could not be with us, it was really nice to spend time with people we love. And, we converted Queen B's friend. All in all, that's a weekend well-spent.