Monday, September 30, 2019

Weekend Rewind

What a great weekend I had! There was time spent with family and friends, a bit of culture, some opportunity for fresh air, and a lot of time spent on the porch, with spiders and witches and bats, oh, my!

I'll start with Friday, when I took the day away from Day Job (I've reached the point wherein I can no longer accumulate PTO and must use some time that I already have banked, so, it looks like Fridays off for a while!). Mom had arrived from Mayberry earlier in the week, and we were looking forward to a day of shopping with Queen B, who also had the day off. To say the shopping excursion was a success would be a vast understatement, if the contents of my Tahoe are to be believed.

We also had a rather disappointing lunch at a place that we usually are very happy with, so, that was a bummer, but, a bad lunch with my daughter and mother beats a great lunch without them, any day.

Later that evening, Mom and I attended the local community theater's production of Mama Mia, and, it was awesome!

I recently purchased season tickets, which is something that I had not done for the past few years; I'm really looking forward to getting back in the habit of attending.

Saturday morning, I slept in a bit before joining Mom for coffee. Fortified with caffeine, I hit the ground running, managing to fully decorate both the house and the porch for Halloween (this year's yard decor will have to wait until Hugh is available to help with the heavy lifting).

We took a short break in order to run to the local produce stand, where I found the prettiest pumpkin; I may have to go back again for several more, but, I'm trying to convince myself that it isn't necessary (I'm losing that battle, in case you are wondering how that will turn out).

Sunday morning, I followed Mom halfway home, parting in a neighboring town, where I met up with Phoebe and two of her kiddos. Our mission for the day was a successful Senior photo session for her eldest, and, I'm happy to say that we nailed it.

Once we parted ways, I headed back to Petticoat Junction, where I knocked off my chores at the hardware store before spending the remainder of the day helping Hugh trim down the rose bushes in the backyard (full disclosure: he did all the work while I supervised) and storing my summer porch decor and dismantling my fairy garden. We are relatively ready for autumn to take the harsh turn to winter, which, according to the Farmer's Almanac, should happen in about ten minutes.

I hate winter. Just sayin'.

Anyhoodle, the remainder of the day was spent cooking fajitas, relaxing on the couch, and mentally preparing myself for another long and arduous week.

As an aside, is Monday too early to be ready for the weekend?

Asking for a friend.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

What's Up Wednesday, September 2019 Edition

September is one of my favorite months, mainly because it is the gateway to fall, but also because I have great memories of events that have taken place in September, including giving birth to my son  and getting married; in my opinion, September is the ideal month for a wedding, hands down. Plus, it is perfectly acceptable to start decorating for Halloween in September, and, we all know how I feel about Halloween. Anyhoodle, I am linking up with Sheaffer and Shay to show September the love, so, let's get started.

What We're Eating

I have eaten some really amazing things this month, starting with the artichoke dip and pasta dish that I had at a little Italian place in Pixler. I enjoyed them with a blue cheese salad and a glass of Merlot and told myself that the calories were justified because it was Hugh and my 26th anniversary.

Unfortunately, I have no justification for the calories I consumed in the dishes that I ate while in Baltimore on business a bit later in the month, including roasted pepper bruschetta, a fabulous cheese board, and a chicken Marsala that was to die for. 

I’m trying to reign myself back in so as not to further expand my ass, but, whether or not I am successful remains to be seen.

What I'm Reminiscing About

The Man-Cub turned 21 on Monday, and I have been doing a lot of reminiscing about when he and his sister were younger. September was always a favorite month for me back then; when back-to school shopping and homecoming planning were high on my list of priorities. Those were good times.

What I'm Loving

I'm loving the slightly cooler weather that we have been having recently. It's made spending time outdoors more pleasant, and, I didn't sweat my ass off while I was decorating the porch for fall.

What I've Been Up To

One of Queen B’s college friends got married this past weekend and Hugh and I were invited to attend. Queen B was in the wedding party, but she did double-duty as the “Day-of” coordinator when things got chaotic, including at the reception, where her superior dress bustling skills were called into action.

The wedding was in the bride’s hometown, which is located about two hours over the mountain from us. Hugh and I took advantage of the drive to admire the fall leaves as well as to stop at a historical attraction that has intrigued us for years, but, that we’d never had a chance to stop at. 

These are old coal coke ovens, where coal from the mines located in the mountains surrounding the town was processed. The ovens haven’t been in use for years, but, are being preserved as a historical site.

In other news, I finally pulled the trigger on the yard sale that I had been threatening for the better part of the last decade, and, it was a tremendous pain in the ass, as expected. It was also surprisingly lucrative and I now have a plethora of unused storage space in my closets, attics, and drawers.

I also got to fly to Baltimore for work, which was a nice break in my normal business routine.

While I was there, a coworker and I hopped the train into DC, where we spent an afternoon exploring the Holocaust Memorial. It was quite sobering and something that I think everyone should experience once.

What I'm Dreading

I’m slightly dreading the advent of October, mainly because I have residual PTSD from last year, when things went pear-shaped for my kids and the world looked somewhat bleak. Obviously, things are much improved this year, but, the human psyche is a strange and vulnerable thing.

What I'm Working On

I’ve been working on booking sessions for senior pictures, including one I just did with the daughter of a woman I work with at Day Job.

What I'm Excited About

It's finally pomegranate season! Now, I just have to wait until they don't cost approximately one beeeeelion dollars, apiece.

What I'm Watching

I’ve been watching a few shows on Netflix, including Unbelievable, which, in my line of work, was less unbelievable and more, uh, yeah, “That level of incompetence actually happens more often than you’d care to think",  and,  Surviving R Kelly, which just makes me really happy to have never been a fan of the man or his music.

I've also been watching this season of Big Brother and am trying to hang in until the bitter end, but, man, do I hate Michie; if he wins, it will be a sad, sad day.

What I'm Reading

So. Many. Books! I had a lot of time to read while on my flights to and from Baltimore, as well as some downtime in the evenings and between workshops, and, I took full advantage of that. My list this month includes:

I enjoyed them all, but my favorite was The Tattooist of Auschwitz; it was incredibly powerful considering that I also visited DC while I was in Baltimore, and, the only museum I wanted to see was The Holocaust Memorial Museum. The memorial made the book come alive in ways that it may not have had I not had the artifacts and pictures to reference.

Currently, I am reading-and enjoying-this:

What I'm Listening To

At the moment, I am listening to Boomer Dog chewing on a rubber ball. I don't know what it is about boys and their balls. Oh, my, that sounded kind of dirty. I apologize.

What I'm Wearing

Nothing too interesting. I have broken out the lightweight jackets and cardigans, and, I'm thisclose to whipping out a sweater or two, but, I'm containing the urge. For now.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

Mom is coming to spend the weekend with us. We have tickets to the local community theater’s production of Mama Mia on Friday and will be decorating the house for Halloween on Saturday. On Sunday, I am meeting Phoebe and her son for a senior photo session (as an aside, I can’t believe he is a senior! ), which will be a nice chance to catch up a bit.

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

Next month, I’m looking forward to Halloween and to all of the fun things that go along with it. I may not have small kids at home anymore, but I have more than enough small neighbors to entertain with my yard decorations and porch shenanigans.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Is It Too Late To Talk About the Weekend?

Sooo, Tuesday, huh. Where the hell did Monday go? Oh, that's right; I worked through it, funny how this adulting thing works and all.

Anyhoodle, this past weekend also went by in a blur. Hugh and I traveled over the mountain to watch one of Queen B's college friends get married. The ceremony took place in an absolutely gorgeous venue, just outside of the bride's hometown, and, on the way back on Sunday, we stopped off at an historical site to check out the old coal coke ovens, which are in the process of being preserved, along with a memorial to all of the miners who lost their lives in the mines located throughout the area.

The drive was beautiful the wedding was lovely, and, we got to spend some time with Queen B, which is always a pleasure. I can think of far worse ways to spend a weekend.

Monday, September 23, 2019


Today is the Man-Cub's 21st birthday.


How in the hell has this happened? How has my squishy baby boy gone from diapers to shot glasses this quickly? Time, man, it's a bitch.

But, enough complaining; it's time to celebrate! And, friends, there is so much to celebrate about this young man! He's smart, he's funny, he's kind and caring and joyful and sensitive and, sometimes-quite grumpy and easily irritated. He's complex, is what I'm saying.

He's also genuine, loyal, adventurous (oh, Lord! the adventures he posts on Snapchat are enough to turn this mama's hair gray...), and willing to try anything (again, oh, Lord!).

He's going to be a great adult; I have no doubt. He'll join his sister and the rest of his generation in changing the world; hopefully for the better, and, when the time is right, he'll make an absolutely amazing husband and father. But, for today, he will celebrate in style, no doubt.

Happy birthday, Cub! We love you and could not be more proud of you!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Friday Favorites

I wouldn't ordinarily mention The Purge in a Friday Favorites post, but, I did experience one truly happy moment while digging through some crap that Oscar and Emily contributed to the sale, and I think it deserves a mention. See, I have been on the hunt for a particular item for years, now. The item was a vintage thermos; one of the plaid ones with the cap that doubles as a cup. One in decent shape (not too dented, rusted, missing the cup, etc.) in antique stores cost around $30, and, I never could quite bring myself to spend that much money on something that I wanted primarily for decorative purposes. So, when Hugh pulled this little number out of Oscar and Emily's stuff...

...I squealed like a schoolgirl. A really, really loud schoolgirl. Although I had never seen one in the wild, I knew immediately what it was and I grabbed that bad boy out of Hugh's hands and made a mad dash for the house, where I secreted it away before he could put a sale sticker on it. The fact that the set is complete and in pristine shape is akin to a miracle and I could not be more happy.

I'll use the set for holiday decor as well as in fall photo sessions; I'm thinking they will get a lot of use.

Speaking of decor, I got a few new fall pieces for display in my dining room and on my fireplace mantle, and, I'm really loving the neutral color palette. I'll pull out the traditional autumn colors when I decorate for Thanksgiving, but, for the transitional time between summer and Halloween, these colors can't be beat.

And, speaking of transitioning to autumn colors; I got a pedicure today, using this awesome red shade from OPI

It takes the place of the coral shade that was previously on my toes. Which, funny story, when I had my toes done last month, the nail tech didn't give me back my polish (I always take my own bottle; one, because I have spent a small fortune on OPI and I need to get my money's worth out of it, and, two, because I have a suspicion that nail salons thin out their polishes to make them last longer, which, makes for pedicures that chip more quickly. Am I right? Don't know. But I do know that when I take my own polish, my pedicures last for ages. Anyhoodle...). I got all the way home before it occurred to me that I hadn't gotten the bottle back, and, frankly, I was bummed. Oh, not bummed enough to drive all the way back into town to reclaim it, but, bummed enough to remember it today when I went back to the salon, where, miraculously, I found the bottle mixed in among their inventory. So, I took it back. Having it again is a favorite.

And, one last thing for today: my roses are in their fall bloom and they are gorgeous.

Happy Friday!