Wednesday, July 28, 2021

What's Up Wednesday, July 2021 Edition


Linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for another scintillating edition of What's Up Wednesday because it would be a shame to break the streak.

What We're Eating

We are continuing with the HelloFresh project, which means that Hugh does the majority of the cooking during the week. On the weekends, we kind of fend for ourselves or eat out. A few weeks ago, we grilled pizzas and peaches on the grill, which, is kind of a summer tradition for us.

What I'm Reminiscing About

This past weekend, Hugh and I went to Mayberry for the annual Stampede. Although the event was disappointing on many levels (too many changes), we did enjoy spending time with my aunts and uncles who were visiting. We spent a lot of time talking about their childhoods, and, going through an old trunk that my grandmother left behind. The trunk contained letters from my late uncle, written during his tour of duty in Vietnam; that really got the aunts to reminiscing. 

What I'm Loving 

...the hummingbirds that have been swarming my feeders, lately...

...and this citronella candle that I found at Marshalls. It's right at home on my porch.

What We've Been Up To

Hugh, The Newlyweds, and I spent the 4th of July four wheeling in the mountains above Petticoat Junction. We had a great time and, despite being really rusty at driving a four wheeler, I managed to stay mostly uninjured (with the exception of a wicked bruise to my left boob, where I accidentally drove the handlebar into my chest when failing to properly navigate a sharp curve in the trail. And, by wicked, I mean that, until just a few days ago; my boob looked like Rocky Balboa used it as a speed bag in his boxing gym while training for his title fight with Apollo Creed).

Speaking of injuries, I also managed to slice my hand up while cleaning the kitchen counter underneath my microwave. The injury required four stitches, which, Hugh was responsible for removing after five days. He did a great job.

What I'm Working On

One word: Fundraisers. Last month I organized a golf tournament that netted close to $25,000 for Not So New Job. This month, I am working on finding sponsors for the Virtual 5k that we will be having in August and on selling tickets for the Barn Dance that we will have in September. I am very tired of fundraising, y'all.

What I'm Dreading

Two words: Those Fundraisers. 'Nuff said.

What I'm Excited About

We finally booked our flights for our trip to Hawaii in December. Hugh and I will be flying first class, which is a first for me. It's kind of ridiculous how exciting I find the thought.

What I'm Watching

I am almost ashamed to admit it, but I binge watched Sex Life on Netflix in two days. It. Is. Dirty. The main character is frustratingly stupid. The love triangle premise is tired and worn. And the supporting male lead is HUNG (I said it was dirty).

I am also watching Love Island, which I find minimally less embarrassing to admit. I have coerced Hugh into watching it with me (and he will go to his cold, dark grave before admitting it).

What I'm Reading

I just started The Handmaid's Tale. It;s taking me a while to get into it, but I blame that more on my current workload and less on the story, itself.

I finished The Family Next Door and found it to be quite good.

What I'm Listening To

At this moment, I am listening to Finnigan purring over my shoulder. If he wasn't such an asshole, I would find it endearing. As it is, I'm sure he's attempting to lull me into a false sense of security before raking his claws across the back of my head. Sharing a couch with him is fraught with tension, y'all.

What I'm Wearing

Despite the Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot trying to kill me; I have been wearing as many of my cute sandals as I can. I figure summer is already halfway over, so I'll push through the pain in the name of fashion.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

We are going camping! It will be the first time we've been in several years, so, I'm anticipating equal parts awesome and awful. Stay tuned!

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

Hugh and I are going to Las Vegas with several of his wrestling officiating buddies and their wives. I haven't been to Vegas since we were there for a wedding about five years ago, so it should be a good time.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

When Is a Stampede Not a Stampede

I made the drive to Mayberry last Thursday evening after work. Although I had planned the trip for a while (Stampede weekend is always the same weekend in July), I was even more anxious to go since Mom had a medical procedure done on Wednesday.

She handled the procedure well and was already on the mend before I got there, but that did nothing to alleviate my concern.

The trip itself took slightly longer than usual, thanks to some road construction that is being done in one of the canyons separating Mayberry from Petticoat Junction. Knowing that there would be a lengthy wait in a long line of cars, I packed snacks and drinks, downloaded a podcast, and made myself comfortable.

Waiting in line...

As the long line of cars finally started to move, the skies opened up and I enjoyed the rest of the drive in a downpour that signaled the beginning of the seasonal monsoons. It was relaxing and refreshing at the same time, which, were feelings that I expected to need as I entered the chaos that is Mayberry on Stampede weekend.

In a normal year, I would have been right about that. This year? Not so much. I don't know if the changes that were made to the event this year are a hold-over from the pandemic or simply the direction that the new committee members are going in, but; it sucked.

In a normal year (any of the past 99 to be exact), the weekend would kick off with a parade Thursday morning, followed by the Rotary Club Chuck-Wagon dinner in the late afternoon. The night would be capped off with a concert followed by a dance. 

This  year, there was no parade, in fact, the Friday parade was also cancelled, leaving just one parade on Saturday (boo, hiss). The traditional Chuck-Wagon dinner menu included either pulled or sliced beef on a bun with BBQ sauce, coleslaw or baked beans, and a cup of ice cream (the ones served with a flat paddle spoon). This year's menu, which I did not personally sample since I arrived in Mayberry too late for the dinner, was a baked potato with green chili, a pickle, and a cookie. All seven of my aunts and uncles who attended the dinner were less than impressed.

The concert was Scotty McCreery, which I have to assume was a success, but I was uninterested in attending and chose to visit with Mom and my aunts and uncles.

Friday morning, since there was no parade, I slept in and then enjoyed coffee and chatting with the family. Hugh made a last-minute decision to drive up (he was supposed to open the hardware store on Saturday, but got one of our employees to do it, freeing him up). Once he arrived, he became the de-facto grill master, responsible for grilling fresh Olathe Sweet Corn and brats. We had no desire to attend the dance, so that was the extent of our activity for the day.

On Saturday, we did watch the parade, which, is the only Stampede activity that we engaged in. Mom had purchased box seats for the rodeo before learning that the traditional daytime rodeo had been moved to a nighttime performance, which we all knew would be rained out (the box seats are uncovered and we had no desire to sit in the rain in the dark). She returned the tickets and scolded the committee for failing to communicate the change. 

Sunday, Hugh and I said our goodbyes and made the drive back home. I don't regret going to Mayberry, and, I'm certain to go again next year, when Stampede rolls around again, but; I hope the negative feedback that the community expressed regarding the changes to the event will prompt the committee to return to tradition. Fingers crossed. 

Anyhoodle, I'll end this post with a photo dump of the weekend.

Dinner on the patio with the famdamily

The Aunts, going through the last unopened trunk of Grandma's belongings

Some things NEVER change: Smokin' Charlie, scaring the crap out of kids since the sixties

Mom, still looking good, even when she's not feeling great

Monday, July 19, 2021

Just Another Weekend Wrap-up

It seems like the only posts I write here anymore are recaps of our weekends, and, those only happen on weekends during which we actually do something. I swore I would never become one of those bloggers, yet, here I am.

In my defense, I am old and not a lot of exciting things happen in my life. Granted, not a lot of exciting things happened in my life back when I was young, but, that is neither here nor there.

Anyhoodle, our weekend, while not terribly exciting, was fun, nonetheless. The Man-Cub arrived home from Neighboring City on Friday night and informed us that he was playing in a softball tournament on Saturday. We haven't watched him play ball since the summer before last, so we were keen to attend.

Guess what happens when a mom gets out of practice in attending ball games? She neglects to pack her car with stadium seats, cool drinks, snacks, her camera, and every other thing that might make watching numerous ball games in 90+ degree heat slightly more comfortable and enjoyable. 

I was incredibly disappointed in myself. We still had a good time, though! Watching the Cub and Mikey play ball was like Old Times; I even got to catch up with Mikey's mom, Miss Shelley, whom I haven't seen in ages. And, you know, it is actually possible to purchase cool drinks and snacks at the concession stand. Who knew?

The boys' won three games and lost two. I got sunburned on my shoulders. My back is still killing me from sitting on hard bleachers for hours. But, it was a fun day, and I made up for my lack of preparedness later in the evening by preparing a grilled pizza dinner that checked all the boxes, thus salvaging my Mom reputation.

Pepperoni, Margherita, and Hawaiian pizzas, grilled peaches, fresh Caprese salad, and garlic bread with ghost pepper marinara dipping sauce, eaten on the porch with Hugh, the Cub, and the Cub's girlfriend (who has been his girlfriend officially for over a year, so, probably needs a name on this here blog).

I can think of worse ways to spend a weekend.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Friday Favorites That I Actually Forgot to Post on Friday

I had the best of intentions! I had the post ready to go; it was well-thought out and interesting (to me. And, maybe my Mom), what could possibly go wrong?

If you answered "A dumb ass could neglect to press the publish button", you would be correct.

Even I am amazed by my incompetence. Anyhoodle, here is my Friday Favorites, written on Thursday, published on Sunday.

It's been a loooong week at Not So New Job and I am ready for the weekend! I am looking forward to getting some quality relaxation on the porch, which, has become my sanctuary, as it does each and every summer.

When I don't have my feet up with a good book in hand (I'm reading again! That's a favorite!), I will probably have to do a bit of housecleaning. It won't take much, since I did a deep cleaning last weekend, despite my injury (more on that in a sec).

De-cat-hairing the furniture (new word! Alert the folks at Webster's!) will take a lot less time and effort than it has in the past, thanks to this new gizmo that I snagged on Amazon. It pulls more hair with less effort on my part than any other tool I have ever tried. And, with two cats in the house; that's a God send.

Now, about my recent housekeeping injury; to bring you up to speed, I cut my hand on a wayward shard of broken glass while attempting to clean and disinfect underneath the microwave. A trip to urgent care and four stitches later, I was right as rain. 

Flash forward five days, to Thursday night, when Hugh broke out his paramedic supplies and went about the process of removing the stitches. I thought he was being a tad bit dramatic when he busted out the Jameson's but, turns out it wasn't actually for me, so, my bad.

Anyhoodle, I am once again stitch-free and Hugh can mark stitch removal off his list of medical accomplishments. Hopefully, next time I am injured on the job, he will be home to save us a $60 copay by administering the stitches himself.

Or, I could simply be more careful. Yes, let's go with that choice.

And, that about wraps up today's post. See you all on the other side of the weekend!