Thursday, April 28, 2022

Monthly Musings

Today I am linking up with  Holly and Patty for Monthly Musings. This month, the topic is vacations and, as someone who is in desperate need of one; I feel uniquely qualified to answer the questions.

Like, seriously, people; I need a vacay. 

What Trips/Vacations Do You Have Planned For the Year?

I have a quick trip to Texas planned for next month. I am going to fly to Dallas to meet up with my daughter and we are going to drive to San Antonio for several days of shopping, sunning, site seeing, and sloth, which, are the 4 essential S's of any decent Mother/Daughter trip.

Other than that, I don't have anything planned. I'm sure we will take the odd weekend trip here and there, and, I am hopeful that my college roomies and I will get away for our annual Girls Weekend at some point, but, otherwise, we won't be getting any stamps in our passports or anything.

Best Packing Tips

I am a terrible packer (no doubt my husband just read this and nodded in agreement). Every trip I have ever taken, I have seriously overpacked while somehow managing to forget at least one essential item. Taking tips from me on this topic would be a very bad idea. 

Packing Cubes, Yes or No?

Well, I own packing cubes, so, yes. Now, do I remember to use the damn things, thus reducing the potential of overpacking while still forgetting an essential item? Ha! Go back and read the answer to the last question.

Favorite Travel Outfit

The answer to this depends on the mode of transportation, but, I have found that leggings and a light tunic paired with a cardigan and comfortable walking shoes are usually a pretty safe bet for most travel. When flying, I do recommend a maxi dress and cardigan with shoes that are easy to take off and put on, however.

Favorite Vacation Destination

I can't say that I have one favorite destination; I like to see new places and make new memories. That being said, our vacations at Lake Powell when the kids were growing up were some of my favorite trips.

I also loved Paris, but mostly due to the company (my Mom and sisters).

Hawaii was our most recent vacation, and it didn't suck.

If I had to pick a place to return to right this minute, however, it would be Barbados. Hands down. 

Have You Flown Since 2020?

We have, several times. Most recently, we flew to Oahu for my son's college graduation. Hugh flies quite often on business, so we had enough mileage to upgrade to First Class which, is definitely something that I would do again.

Beach or Mountain Vacation

The beach edges out the mountains, but, only because we reside in some of the most beautiful mountainous country in the US, so, a trip to them is literally just a few minutes away for us, whereas the beach is more elusive, and thus seems like more of a luxury.

Do You Prefer To Sightsee or Relax on Vacation?

I like to do both. If I am in a new place, I think it's imperative that I take in as much culture as possible while still leaving time for relaxation. If I am in a place that I am more familiar with, relaxing is higher on the priority list.

Hotel, Camping, or Airbnb?

There is a lot to be said for each of these. When I go to Texas next month, we are staying in the swankiest hotel that I could afford because I want to spoil my daughter. In the summertime, camping is the easiest way for us to get some fun in on the weekends (see above question: we live in the mountains). Our last two trips to Hawaii (Oahu and Maui), we rented through VRBO, and, that was the perfect fit for us because we were traveling with numerous family members.

Overpacker? Underpacker?

Please refer to Question #2. I am both, simultaneously. I'm not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

What's Up Wednesday, April 2022 edition


Another month gone by! Apparently, staying busy makes the days go by faster; who knew?! Anyhoodle, today I am linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for What's Up Wednesday, the blink-and-you'll-miss-it-April edition. 

What I'm Eating 

I've had a few memorable meals this month, including an awesome Caprese salad and margherita pizza from the restaurant that Shanti works at. Shanti is currently the salad maker, but is training on the pizza oven. She's a natural and the restaurant is lucky to have her.

In less healthy news, I have also eaten 3/4 of a box of Crumbl Cookies. In my defense, I was taste-testing them for Not So New Job, since we gave away gift cards to the new store as prizes at our recent Child Abuse Prevention Month event.

Staying with the less-than-healthy theme; I ate an amazing bacon and blue cheese burger at a new restaurant in Mayberry when I took Mom home this past weekend. I'm hopeful that the restaurant will be a success; Mayberry can use the economic boost.

What I'm Reminiscing About

As I've been collecting seeds for my new garden, I've been reminiscing about the amazing flowerbeds that my Grandma Molly used to have. When I was in Mayberry, Mom and I were going through old pictures and I found a small album that Grandma must have put together in the 80's. I wish the pictures did the flowerbeds justice, but, alas, they do not. Luckily, I have my childhood memories to fill in the blanks. Also, I will never have a green thumb like my Grandma Molly had, no matter how hard I try, however; I am not above throwing beaucoup dollars at heirloom seed companies in an effort to recreate those amazing flowerbeds.

What I'm Loving

I bought Boomer Dog a backpack the other day. It was a complete impulse purchase, so I should regret it. Do I? No, no I do not.

Speaking of impulse purchases; Hugh has been working diligently on my new raised garden beds and I have been resisting the urge to run out and buy bedding plants. The logical side of my brain knows that it is too early, but the less logical side of my brain is like, aw! Come on, man!

Now, just because it's too early to plant, doesn't mean that I can't windowshop, which, I have done with great abandon. I'm loving the flowers currently on display in the garden center.

What I've Been Up To

Work! I've said that April would be the month that either kills me or makes me stronger and, I wasn't wrong. April is both Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness month; since my job addresses both topics, I have attended and/or hosted a number of awareness events throughout the month. At the child abuse event, I got to show my talent at balloon arch making. It's the little things that thrill me.


What I'm Working On

Still working on achieving that elusive work/life balance. Not So New Job continues to challenge and frustrate me, while, at times, being rewarding if not invigorating. My physical health has been impacted by the stress and it is imperative that I find a way to leave work at the office (despite still being on call 24/7) and wring as much enjoyment as possible out of my evenings and weekends (although, can one day off be considered a weekend? Asking for a friend who spends her Sundays doing the books for a family business). It's definitely a work in progress.

What I'm Dreading

Currently, I am dreading the very real possibility that I will not meet my sponsorship goal for the golf tournament that I am working on for Not So New Job. I set a record last year, and it will be really hard to beat.

What I'm Excited About

I'm going to Texas in May! I will fly into Dallas, then Queen B and I are going to drive to San Antonio for a couple of days. We are going to stay in a swanky hotel right on the River Walk and are planning to make good use of the water taxi system. I'm hopeful that we will have time to do everything on my wish list, including the Alamo, the Grotto, the farmer's market, and taking a river cruise, in addition to eating great food, shopping, laying out by the pool at the hotel, and generally just spending time with my daughter, obviously; the last thing being the most important.

What I'm Watching

I just started re-watching Smallville on Hulu. I figure it will take a hot minute to finish all ten seasons, so I won't have to go looking for something else for quite a while. Plus, the series reminds me of simpler times, and...Tom Welling was hot. 

Still is, actually.

What I'm Reading

The burst of energy that I had available for reading last month has been MIA this month. That's ok; I haven't had time for reading, anyway. Maybe next month.

What I'm Listening To

Technically, this is what I'm listening on, rather than to. I recently enlisted Hugh in my exhaustive search to find headphone/earbugs that meet my stringent requirements (must fit comfortably in my freakishly tiny ear canals/must hold a battery charge for a ridiculously long time), and, he introduced me to these headphones. They took a little getting used to, because they don't actually go in the ear, but, sit on the bone just above the ear, which is where sound vibrations are absorbed (hopefully that makes sense). This enables me to not only listen to my music, but to still hear what is going on around me, but at a level that is not at all distracting from the music. These will be my go-to earphones for the warmer months, while the headband earphones that I got a while back will continue to be my go-to for cold weather and for the rare occasion that I want to listen to my music in bed. 

What I'm Wearing

Nothing fun to report on this front. Fashionista, I am not.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

I am attending the last awareness event of the month (can I get a Hallelujah!), which is a 5k. To be clear; I am in no way, shape, or form running a 5k. Boomer dog and I shall be walking at a leisurely pace. Once my duty is done, I plan to return home for a marathon of house-cleaning, Easter de-cluttering, and reorganization so that the house is in order before the end of the month (nothing like cutting it close!). I want to have indoor chores out of the way so that I can concentrate on our outdoor spaces come May. 

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

Well, there is that trip to Texas! And, I will be planting my vegetable garden in the raised beds that Hugh recently built for me. And, if the weather cooperates, I will open the porch for the first Porch Night of the season (fingers crossed, because I want to have a variety of charcuterie boards out, thus earning the right to invite my friends to a Board Meeting on the Porch).

Favorite Amazon Find This Month

I ordered this dress for my trip to Texas; I think it has a boho/Texan vibe. Please don't ask me what a boho/Texan vibe is; I'm making this shit up as I go along.

What Else Is New

I've recently developed a ganglion cyst on my wrist. According to Dr. Google, it is harmless and should present no problem save for giving me anxiety every time I look at it. Good to know.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Vine Oh!

Saturday morning, I made a mad dash to Mayberry to return Mom to her natural habitat following a full week of getting to enjoy her company. I haven't been to Mayberry since Christmas and would have loved to spend more than one night there, but duty called and I had to return on Sunday.

When I got home, I unboxed my Vine Oh! subscription box, which cheered me up, immensely. 

The wine selection for this quarter featured a California Riesling and a California red blend. I can't wait to try them.

The "fun" portion of the box included a number of cool items, including... 

Three microfiber makeup cloths. They are super soft as well as cute. I don't always use a washcloth because I am hopelessly loyal to my ancient Clarisonic, but, on the days that I don't want to hassle with the Clarisonic; these will come in handy.

This cute pair of earrings will be fun to wear. They're really light, so they shouldn't tug on my earlobe, which is something that has started bothering me with many of my heavier earrings, recently.

One of my favorite items in the box is this set of glass markers. They clip onto the side of your glass, making it easy to identify your drink. This will be handy on Porch Nights.

I'm not a big fan of hemp-based products, but this lotion smells really, really nice. I'll probably put it in the guest bathroom next to the soap dispenser.

I'm also not a huge fan of plant-based food if it is masquerading as real food. These brownie bites don't count because I've used vegetables in sweet baked goods before, so it's not a stretch for me. I hope they taste good. Stay tuned.

This quarter's wine glass is super cute! I am very impressed with the Vine Oh! packaging; the glass this tumbler is made out of is quite thin and it made it in one piece. That's amazing in this day and age.

So, that's the haul. I have to say; Vine Oh! is two-for two in impressing me with it's offerings. Considering the hit-or-miss quality of my FabFitFun boxes, I had been hesitant to subscribe to another box, but; so far I have zero regrets about Vine Oh!

Friday, April 22, 2022

Friday Favorites: The One With All the Asides

If I said I was happy to see Friday, I would be vastly understating my joy. This week has been an ass-kicker. In happier news, I got my hairs did! As an aside, I cannot, for the life of me, remember where I first heard that phrase, but it clearly stuck with me. As another aside, I am actively debating the pros and cons of letting my hair go gray. Obviously, this week, the cons won out. I shall revisit the topic in exactly four weeks. I am sure you'll be on the edge of your seat in anticipation of my decision.

Anyhoodle, on to the things that are tickling my fancy this week! Let's start with the gorgeous tulips that are blooming outside Not So New Job (as yet another aside, do you think it's time to change Not So New Job's name simply to Day Job? Starting the pros and cons list, now...).

One could also debate the pros and cons of consuming the cookies from the new Crumbl Cookies shop that is opening in Hooterville next month (I got a sneak preview because I am cool like that). One the one hand, delicious! I mean, obviously. On the other hand, 350 calories per cookie at a minimum (depends on the flavor). That's...a lot of calorie per bite of deliciousness.

Has that stopped me from eating three quarters of the box? No. No, it has not.

Pro: Life is short. Eat dessert, first!

Con: In the first picture of the Crumbl Cookies box, the trash bag in my car resembles the large glob of the fat that I envision coating my thighs, butt, and waist now that I have consumed three quarters of the box of cookies.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

April Hasn't Killed Me, Yet

We are a little over halfway through the month and I'm still standing! I have participated in one Child Abuse Prevention Month event and hosted another, in addition to attending a number of work-related seminars, meetings, etc. Last night, I had a Board meeting followed by a social hour, today, I am meeting with an architect to start the process of expanding our building, and, later this week, I will attend the second-to-last event scheduled for the month. Oh, and I'm also planning a golf tournament.

I've been busy, is what I'm saying.

In between the work-related stuff, I have made reservations for my trip to Texas next month, hosted Easter dinner, and spent some quality time with Mom, who is in town for the week. And, as a total aside; my local grocery store must have gotten the memo that I was going to have company, because they marked down this amazing rose bouquet just for the occasion (that's my story and I'm sticking to it! Also, $9.99, people! $9.99!)

Flowers aren't the only way to celebrate an event; balloons are always a hit! And, for the Awareness event that we hosted this weekend, I made good use of my balloon tying/arch making skills, which, I believe we all recall; were finely honed while my children were in High School.

A skill I haven't so finely honed is painting, but, that didn't stop me from joining in on the fun at the Sip and Paint that we hosted for our partners in law enforcement, child welfare, the DA's office, etc. We painted pictures of pinwheels, which is the symbol for Child Abuse prevention, and, I did an ok job, if I do say so, myself. Plus, it was fun.

And, while I didn't actively participate in the BINGO portion of the program, I did supervise. Throughout the day, we entertained roughly 200 people, mostly families who came to play games at our event after finishing the local Easter egg hunts.

It was a great event, and, while we were a bit rusty (first event of this kind in two years, thankyouverymuch, pandemic); we pulled it off with grace. 

Next week, I am looking forward to things slowing down just a titch. If I can catch my breath, there is a good chance that I will, indeed, survive the month.

Fingers crossed!