This is what I did in 2011 ……..


This will be the final post from 27 & Counting …. due to circumstances beyond my comprehension with WordPress.com, I have to move to a new location. Please ~ pretty please! ~ subscribe to Three-31. I look forward to sharing more stories from our simple life in the country.

I made a Bucket List at the beginning of 2011 with goals and resolutions, things I’d like to do, things I’d like to own, etc. Here’s a recap of everything I did (and didn’t do) in 2011:

Things accomplished

  • Husband bought me a DSLR camera (Nikon D5000) with two lenses. I went to a photography class and also a Photoshop tutorial session.
  • I learned to use chopsticks ….without the “cheaters”
  • I met a Jan, a blogger and my friend, from The Diamond E, in person (at the Photoshop session!!!)
  • I passed the PPR exam and earned my Texas Educator’s Certificate
  • I went to Port-au-Prince, Haiti for my first international mission trip
  • With the help of a great contractor team, our master bath was completely remodeled
  • We hosted several dinner parties with friends and family
  • I won a giveaway (Babycakes Cupcake Maker) from Love From The Oven
  • I created a book club and we’re still meeting the first Saturday of the month
  • I traveled to Kentucky FOUR times
  • I mailed 65 Christmas cards

 

Things not accomplished

  • I did not make sushi at home
  • I did not open a Roth IRA
  • We did not replace the carpet in the bedrooms or install new kitchen countertops …….. or purchase a new couch

 

What are your goals for 2012?

 

Please visit my new blog, Three 31, to read my bucket list of resolutions for 2012. It will be posted soon.

 

Packed & Ready……NOT!


Approximately 50 hours from now, I’ll be checking-in at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport for a 7:30 am flight with a final destination to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

This Wednesday marks the beginning of my first international mission trip.

Haiti Mission Team blog, click HERE

For eight days, I will live, work, play, and fellowship alongside the Haitian people as we repair a damaged school. The mission team and I are expecting to clear debris, construct new classroom walls, and install a playground. On the project site, there is no water, electricity, or air-conditioning.

At the guest house where we’ll be staying and eating two meals a day, there will be no air-conditioning, no running water, and limited electricity. Team members and I will be drinking only bottled water. We will, however, have Internet access.

There’s a silver lining in all things. (be sure to follow our team blog!)

Let’s discuss for a quick minute the current weather conditions in Texas. 

Hot. Dry. Windy.

I describe it as living in a hair dryer turned on HIGH speed.

It’s miserable.

The thermometer and meteorologists at WFAA Channel 8 in Dallas agree with me.

Unfortunately, the humidity level in Haiti is going to be worse and heat indices (that’s plural for index, if you were wondering) are expected to be in excess of 110-degree each day.

There’s an old saying that women in the South don’t sweat, we glow. Well, dawlins’, I’m sorry to ruin my precious reputation, but I guarantee I’ll be past the glowing stage and fully past the sweaty stage too. I’ll be gross. Deal with it.

No matter the heat, no matter the temperature, and no matter how much sweat is pouring out of my pores, I will be Polly Freakin’ Anna and have a smile on my face and say, “hi y’all” to anybody I meet while visiting Port-au-Prince. That’s how I roll.

Am I packed and ready to go?

Of course not.

Toodles and Happy Monday, Y’all!!!!

 

Just a little thingamabobber for you to think about……..I’m approaching a BIG blogging milestone and I’ve got a BIG giveaway annoucement to make as soon as I return from Haiti. Please encourage your spouse, mother, Cousin Eddie, and the neighbors to read and subscribe to my blog. You do NOT want to miss this, it’s going to be fun!

Cousins are the BEST


I’ve had a fine day. Really fine.

I left Louisville at the butt-crack-of-dawn early because my Mother said I had to come home and help in the sweet corn patch. No big deal, except I drove at excessive speeds to span the 150-miles under two hours only to get here as the pickers were done picking, the last ears of corn were boiling, and the cutting-off had begun. I did assist in the silking process though, so it wasn’t a total wasted effort on my awesome driving abilities.

If you don’t have a clue about what I just said, just nod your head and smile.

Bless your heart.

Anyway, by early-afternoon I called my cousins in the big city towndot-on-the-map of Onton, located outside of Sebree.

Earlier this week, I promised Lindsey that I would prepare a meal for her birthday if Miss Jill would allow me the pleasure of getting to use her fancy-schmancy kitchen appliances.

Imagine for a moment the commercial with Kelly Ripa and the Electrolux appliances. You know that stove that supposedly boils water in 90 seconds or less. Well, the less part is true. That stove is AHHHHHHH-MAZING. I want one. Problem is, I have a drop-in glass stove top and separate double ovens. I don’t know if those models are available. And, heck, even if they were, I’d have to sell kidney or my ovaries to afford them.

I digress.

Lindsey and I are second cousins. Her mom is Jill, or Miss Jill as I always called her when she drove a school bus. Lindsey’s father, Jim, and my father are first cousins. They all live in Onton and have a fabulous backyard complete with a HUGE swimming pool and gorgeous landscaping.

Lindsey’s engaged to Josh. He’s super-tall and a cutie-patootie who FINALLY proposed a while back…..their wedding is September 24. I’m planning to attend the wedding – plus, it’s another reason to come to Kentucky.

*Photo courtesy of Rachel Mathew Photography*

After swimming, Super-Tall-Josh and I began dinner. He grilled the pork tenderloin while I tended to the fresh green beans, homestyle mashed potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, and bread. Josh and I made a great team! Supper was dee-lish.

I couldn’t eat the dessert options, but I know they had to be tasty and Lord knows there were enough candles on that darn thing. Geesh, Lindz, you’re old! Actually, Jill put about 8 packages of candles on the cake, I guess she was going for ambiance in the dining room.

Yes, there’s a chunk of dessert missing. Obviously, somebody did NOT wait for the candle-lighting ceremony.

Want more proof we’re a crazy bunch?

Who has a swim party, birthday dinner, AND spa session?!?!

WE DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is Jill’s mom, Granny Jane, getting beauty-fied. All of the girls got pampered tortured with a brow wax before the festivities concluded for the evening.

If I go missing or am unresponsive for an excessive period, check the whereabouts of this crew because I know they’re going to whip me for putting this picture on my blog ~ but I don’t care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Simply put, this afternoon was splendid. We swam, we ate, and we laughed out loud.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, some photos I took of the gorgeous flowers around their pool and deck. Jim is a part-time beekeeper as well, but several hives have been swarming lately and I didn’t want to take any chances getting stung – so I stayed clear of the bee area.

Hummingbirds were all over the place……until I got my camera ready.

This cardinal bird stayed perfectly still while I took his picture.

tehehe

I have a thing for dragonflies now.

delicate pink flower

I love this picture. You can see the tiny little fibers, or hairs, on the leaves and petals.

Kentucky has seen plenty of rain this year, which means the grass is green and lush. But growing along the perimeter of the deck and pool areas are these striped grasses. I think they look really cool. It’s as if somebody took a brush and painted white spots on the grass!

working on my camera’s “aperture” settings here – notice one petal is in focus while the other is not…….I’m trying my best to figure out this camera!

definitely have the subject in focus and the background blurred here….pretty nice shot

butterfly in the grass ~ told you the grass was really green here!

Sunday Celebrations


Mom and I went to church yesterday morning at Webb Memorial UMC in Clay, Kentucky ~ the church where I spent the majority of my teens and young adult life, as well as the spot where I married Husband. I always love going back to Clay and seeing the people who mean so much. Going back, though, makes me miss home even more AND it reminds me just how old and grown up I’m supposed to be. Bummer!

Hailey, Hunter (with his eyes closed!), "MaCo" and Hilary

Hilary, Hailey, and Hunter were three-years-old when I started babysitting them. At the time, they were the only set of triplets in Clay ~ there are now two sets and I kept both of them! In a couple of weeks, the Fords will be SENIORS in high school. Oh my, “MaCo” is getting old. (*my babies are all grown up*) (*tear down cheek*)

This is how we spend a Sunday afternoon at home on the countryside……

BAHAHAHAHA – as I was taking photos of Mom and Dad and their gardens, I couldn’t help but think of the photo with the Farmer and His Wife. Well, I found it and just had to have some fun. Before I leave, I’m going to recreate the scene but until then…..I love you Mom and Dad!

Mom and Dad

Dad says this is some of the best looking – and tallest! – corn he’s ever had in the garden….I’m sure it’ll taste awesome too!

Dragonflies are becoming a new interest of mine when I’m taking pictures. They fly all around but if they land and stay still for a second, you can capture a great shot.

Here’s a sneak peek at the sweet corn. It’s not ready, but it will be in another week or two. After I took this picture, I ate the evidence. It’s good, but it’ll be better later.

For the longest time, Benjamin thought his name was Been Ben because Dad would always ask, “Where have you been, Ben?!” Benjamin loves to get eye-level to everybody, even if that means jumping on the hood or roof of a vehicle. I love this dog. He was saved from the pound and he is so grateful to be alive. When he runs, his ears flop and he has a grin on his furry face.

Ben also enjoys riding on The Mule….and he’ll stick his tongue out at you if you try to take his picture.

Across the road from Mom and Dad is Kaleb, Heather, and Adalee. They’re on vacation this week, so Mom and Dad have the “task” of feeding the fish in the lake. Another neighbor, Lil’ Miss Emma, likes to supervise and make sure the fish are fed correctly. There’s an art to fish-feeding, didn’t you know?!

It’s all in the wrist action, as Emma demonstrates!

These are some seriously BIG catfish.

Here’s the lake house, complete with a fully stocked beverage center.

Supporting “International Harvester” of course. Go Big Red!

After Emma fed the fish, she drove herself home….she also introduced me to the Sutton Bloodhounds.

I don’t know who’s who, but the crew includes Scooby, J.R., Daisy, and Ella-Mae. Of course, one of the four decided they didn’t want their picture taken. I don’t know why not….with a face like that, I’d be showing it off!

That’s about the cutest darn thing I’ve ever seen…..kissin’ hounds.

I made the mistake of challenging Dad to another round at the Shootin’ Shed. He accepted.

And gladly beat me with an awesome four-shot round.

I did better……

but I can’t beat Ol’ Dad with at the target range. My four-shot round turned into six. I kept getting closer and FINALLY on the sixth shot I hit the bulls-eye. Finally!!!!

 

Just another day in paradise.

If you’re worried about Husband home alone in Texas, I talked to him yesterday and he’s just fine. He’s got plenty of food left and lots of clean clothes too. He’ll survive….and I’ll keep checking on him!

the importance of self-exams


I’m going out of my comfort zone today to bring you some information that I think is pertinent, relevant and potentially life-saving. As bad as I hate to admit this, it’s the truth and the purpose for this post:

I did not wear sunscreen when I was younger.

Summer is right around the corner and I doubt there’s anybody more excited than me to see this school year conclude…it’s been one helluva ride! Nonetheless, summertime usually involves reading a book on the porch, mowing the yard, watching the Husband team rope, trips to the pool or river, and hours picking corn and other produce from my parent’s garden in Kentucky. That’s a lot of time outdoors.

I played competitive junior golf for 12 years, including junior high and high school in Kentucky and collegiate golf in Texas. I spent countless hours on the golf course year-round. During the summer, I’d be on the course from dusk to dark. Before I was old enough to drive a car, Mom would drop me off at the country club on her way to work and she or Dad (or I’d bum a ride with somebody else) would pick me up after dark. During the competitive season, I’d stay on the driving range and practice green during the cool morning hours and then walk (yeah, the kind of golf that requires you to walk and carry your clubs) 36+ holes during the hottest part of the day. Stupid? Yes. Strange? Of course. Beneficial? You betcha.

Photo: The Journal Enterprise

If you saw my skin tone now, you’d think I was lying about my past. I’m fair-skinned and I’m perfectly satisfied with this. Being tanned is NOT a priority anymore. Honestly, the moment the dermatologist said she was “concerned” about a couple of places on my face, arm, and leg I immediately had this wave of regret rush over me. I used to have this great tan (the infamous “golfer’s tan” with the bright white feet) but the price I had to pay later was high. Before my 25th birthday, I had a skin cancer scare.

At 24, I had a mole removed from my back. This was eye-opening for me because my back did not get tanned, it rarely got exposed to the sun. Fortunately, the spot was lab-tested and the results were negative for melanoma.

Thank you, Lord.

However, my parents have had their own scares in recent years and two of my Dad’s tested positive. Luckily, they were removed and he had successful treatment procedures.

Thank you, Lord.

The days of being happy-go-lucky and going outside without ample amounts of sunscreen are over. DONE. I don’t play nearly as much golf as I used to and that has definitely influenced my lighter skin tone and skin-care regimen. I apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 daily under my makeup, my powder foundation includes SPF 15, I constantly apply SPF 30 lip balm, and my sunglasses are always with me and they have UVB protection as well.

The invention of spray sunscreen is wonderful. I especially love Neutrogena’s Ultimate Sport with Helioplex. The SPF is really high and it definitely provides coverage. I first used this sunscreen when I went to Mexico two years ago. I was very satisfied. I’m terrible about reapplying sunscreen, but the spray can is very convenient and useful. Plus, your hands stay clean and dry. This has proven useful when I’m outside with Kevin and he’s got me working in all kinds of dirty conditions (i.e. building/welding a fence, mowing, etc).

I’m definitely not a doctor, but I’m familiar with the ABC’s of skin-care self-exams. You should familiarize yourself with them too:

  • Is it asymmetrical?

  • Is the border irregular?

  • Is there any color variation?

  • Is it larger than 6 millimeters in diameter?

  • Is it evolving?

If you’re curious or suspicious about a blemish, mole, bump, or other skin spot, don’t hesitate to be overly cautious or concerned. Get it checked out by a doctor. I’m sure you’ve heard before, “better safe than sorry.”

For more information, check out these articles recently published on MSN.com. They have additional tips and resources for skin self-checks and dermatology.

Scan Your Skin

Will I Look Like a Monster?

Birthday Party ~ Rapture-Style!!!!


I’m still here. All of my friends and family are here too. The horses were in the pasture when I got home this afternoon and Husband was snoozing (and snoring) when I walked in the house. Obviously, the idiots (c’mon, they are) that tried to persuade everybody that the world would end yesterday were wrong.

Nonetheless, while in Austin for Kimberly’s belated birthday celebration, we lived it up as best we knew how and made fun of everything worth making fun at. If you haven’t figured it out yet, anytime Kim and I are together we’re laughing and misbehaving. We’re cool like that. After watching Bridesmaids – which, by the way, is a GREAT movie and very, VERY funny – we took a quick trip to Wal-Mart; and, as usual, Wally World did not fail to entertain. As we were leaving the parking lot, we saw this:

We went out of our way to get a better look at this piece of spectacular-ness. We’re curius: does the canoe come with the car? or is that extra? 

Kim and I decided the ONLY thing better than a canoe strapped to the hood of your car would be a mattress, because you never know when you need a nap or the extra protection during a hail storm. We live in Texas, after all. Long-distance travel is a given here and the weather (especially hail storms) can be so unpredictable.

Moving on to the good stuff…

If you’re in Austin and looking for a nice place to meet friends for good food and wine, check out Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar. The location is great (and easy to find, even for an out-of-towner like me!), the drink selection is extensive, the food is amazing, and the ambiance is wonderful for an evening with friends. Did I mention the food is amazing?

Take a look at some of the menu items we devoured:

Tapas Trio: olives, red pepper hummus, tomato brushetta with assorted breads & crackers

House Salad with Grilled Chicken

Nutella Crepe with Mixed Berry Compote

Wow, I’m hungry just looking at these plates of food. Believe me, the food tastes as amazing as it looks!

No doubt, it was a wonderful evening with Kimberly and her friends and co-workers. I’m looking forward to future get-togethers and any excuse to get in the car and go to Austin. I’m really starting to love the Capital City of Texas.

I’m all for keeping the city weird too. I met a particularly WEIRD resident of Austin this weekend, his name is Bob, or so he said.

Smiling Bob

This was the conversation between Bob and I….it was rather extensive:

(Bob enters Nicole’s personal space and sits on the stool next to her.)

Bob: Hi!!!!!!!

Nicole: Umm, hi?

Bob: I’m Bob!!!!!!!! Who are you?

Nicole: I’m not interested.

(Bob quickly exits, searching for his next conversation.)

Gotta love Bob.

Blessings abound


When I started this online journal six months ago, I never dreamt it would be this fun, interactive, or rewarding. I also never imagined how much I would enjoy sharing life’s struggles and celebrations with my blog readers.

To every visitor: I’m grateful. To every visitor: I appreciate your time. To every visitor who’s left a comment: I appreciate your kind words.

To all of you, whether a first-time visitor or a long-time friend (or my parents – hi Mom and Dad!), I’m glad you’re here. Thanks for visiting and I hope you’ll come back again. Share the link with your friends, invite them to my little place in Blog-land.

I created this blog without a distinct purpose or theme. I had a similar blog going at Blogger, but to be honest, I was bored. Someone once asked me which blogging platform I preferred (Blogger or WordPress) and I responded with WordPress for one reason: its streamlined simplicity. I have nothing against Blogger (still have an account there), but I felt disconnected with other bloggers and longed for a sense of community. I feel connected within the WordPress family. I especially love browsing through Freshly Pressed and participating in blog groups, such as the weekly photo challenge. I’d love to be “freshly pressed” someday….hint hint, WordPress people!!!

Feeling that sense of community and connectedness with fellow bloggers is just one of the many reasons I love sharing my rants and raves in a public forum. My friend, Lisa, introduced me to WordPress through her personal blog, but she also has a fashion blog at Blogger, which I love and follow religiously. Funny thing about Lisa and I: we’ve never met face-to-face. We used to work for the same transportation consulting firm. Lisa was in the Norfolk, VA office and I was in Dallas/Fort Worth. We both worked in marketing and business development. I can’t tell you the number of times I’d call her in a panic for a project code or photo or project manager’s bio hours before a deadline. She’d laugh, provide the information, and then we’d talk for 30 minutes as if deadlines were nonexistent. I miss the phone ringing and seeing her name on the caller ID. I always knew a treat awaited on the other end of the line. Nowadays, she’s still doing her thing in marketing (but with a different, more friendly company) and I’m spending my days with cranky teenagers as a middle school teacher. Not much as changed in my world….except three things every teacher loves: June, July, and August.

Anyway, I’m really proud of Lisa and consider it a privilege to call her my friend. She is constantly sharing tidbits of her life, whether it’s a to-do list gone wrong or tips on how to effectively (and fashionably) pack for a vacation. You’d be surprised how much she can fold inside a carry-on luggage piece! Her blog expectations continue to exceed her imagination and I’m so glad to share in her journey. Most recently, she received a pair of Costa Islamorada sunglasses to review. Not only is that a wonderful opportunity, but it’s a compliment that speaks volumes to Lisa and her blog.

Lisa - thanks for the digital camera suggestions and discount links…..YOU ARE THE BEST!!!

Another blog “connection” I’ve made in the virtual world is with Jan, over at The Diamond E. If you’re a regular visitor here, you might recognize her name because she was the winner of my giveaway last week. Jan and I met through a WordPress group. I read her post about working in a hay meadow and pulling a truck and trailer through the pasture. Since I’m permanently banned from operating any automobile or piece of equipment with an attached trailer, I instantly considered Jan a hero. Our blog-ship (blogging relationship) blossomed even more when we realized that we lived within 30 minutes of each other. What are the chances?!

I bet Stefanie Gordon never imagined her transformation from just another passenger on a Delta flight bound for Florida to an instantly famous snapshot-taker of the Space Shuttle Endeavor as it launched from Cape Canaveral, FL headed to the International Space Center early Monday morning.

Space Shuttle Endeavor from Delta Flight 2285 ~ Photo courtesy of Stefanie Gordon

I saw this photo on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and knew I had to share it with my students as we were discussing the beginnings of NASA and the construction of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. I even assigned a current event article summary based on the current Endeavor mission. I never imagined I would “connect” with the actual photographer via WordPress when I saw Stefanie had been “freshly pressed.”. Again, this blog thing is crazy.

Congratulations, Stefanie, on being Freshly Pressed and taking such a memorable photograph during your flight!!!!

I’m constantly impressed with the opportunities that present themselves through unconventional channels. A few years ago, my Aunt Georgia gave me a book that she had read with her book club and wanted me to have it for my own collection. That moment changed my life forever. The book was The Organic God by Margaret Feinberg. Fast forward to today and I have Sacred Echo, Scouting the DivineTwentysomething and Margaret’s most recent publication, Hungry for God.

"Hungry for God" ~ Photo courtesy of Margaret Feinberg

I’m always excited when I receive a piece of mail from Colorado, as I know it’s from Margaret or her assistant, Jade. Those ladies know how to make me smile….send me a book and my soul is happy. Send me an autographed copy of Hungry For God (released THIS WEEK) and I scream, shout, and dance around the dining room table.

Next Tuesday (May 24), I will get an opportunity that I’ve been looking forward to since the moment I opened Organic God: I will meet Margaret Feinberg. She is taping a segment on LIVE Today and Margaret has invited me to be in the live audience at the studio located in Euless (a suburb of Fort Worth). Excited doesn’t even come close to my emotions right now.

To celebrate two milestones here at my blog,  27 & Counting, Margaret has graciously offered to host a giveaway and I’m including some surprise gifts of my own too. Please check for updates on this exciting event, I’ll be celebrating my 100th post soon and more than 5,000 site visitors.

I couldn’t do any of this without YOU, my visitors, so thank you. Again. From the bottom of my heart.

In the meantime, visit Margaret Feinberg or her Facebook Fan Page and Twitter @mafeinberg.

Check it out: http://mar.cta.gs/00y

A Royal Prayer


I did not watch the wedding or invest lots of time and energy dwelling into the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton (now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge). I didn’t lose sleep to watch their pomp and pageantry in the wee hours of Friday, April 29, 2011 either.

What I can’t get untangled from the web of my mind’s thoughts is the poignant and simple prayer the royal couple wrote for their ceremony at the majestic Westminster Abbey. The prayer was read by the Right Rev. Richard Charters, Lord Bishop of London, during his sermon:

God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.

In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.

Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I think this is one of the best compositions ever.

I think William and Kate’s words are beautiful, timeless, and filled with thoughtfulness for the human race. I’m guilty of allowing the busyness of life to get in the way of the things (people) that matter most to me. As I’m preparing for the mission trip to Haiti in August, the ways I share my love and consume my time and energy are becoming painfully obvious.

My hope – in Haiti and everywhere I go – is that I will love, comfort, serve, and nurture those that suffer with the blessings I’ve been given while on this earth. 

to whom much is given, much is required — Luke 12:48 

This is my prayer. What’s yours?

my marriage debacle


My marriage is in trouble. The deep doo-doo kind of trouble.

Kevin and I don’t have arguments or fights and we can have a thorough conversation without communicating a single word to each other. It’s a gift we have. We might toss around the idea that one of us is completely insane for being with the other (the jury’s still out on that one), but overall we have an extremely (ir)rational relationship.

Kevin calls me crazy. All. The. Time. My usual response,

I’m crazy in love with you!

He rolls his eyes.

Kevin farts. All. The. Time. My usual response,

Eww! Put a plug in it.

His response,

Do you want me to blow up?

He has a point.

You can often find me running to the bathroom like a crazy buffoon about to pee my pants and when I reach the porcelain throne and realize the toilet seat is up, I start to panic. That 0.4 seconds it takes for me to put the lid down is critical. I could have an accident.

Fortunately, hasn’t happened. Yet.

I say the toilet seat goes down. Kevin says the toilet seat stays up. I’m always putting it down. He’s always putting it up. One of the many things I love about marriage. And living with a man.

While we’re in the bathroom and still on similar topic, we occassionally have an issue with the toilet paper. Kevin could give a hill of beans (a.k.a. he doesn’t care) if the T.P. goes over or under the roll, he just simply puts a fresh roll on the thingamabobber and goes on about his business.

When we remodeled our bathroom we installed the toilet tissue holders that have the little arm thingy that the T.P. slides on, instead of the roller-springy-thingy you have to take apart, remove empty roll, insert new T.P. roll, and squeeze back on.

Did you get that? I’m not sure I did either. Moving on…

What else do I love about my husband?

The man will cut the balls (ahem, testicles – sorry Mom) out of a bull calf, but he simply REFUSES to touch a dirty dish. He’ll be knee-deep in horse poop, up to his elbows and eyeballs in grease, or weld a metal pipe fence, but don’t expect him to touch anything in a sink of soapy water. Oh. Em. Gee.

Where am I going with this post?

(waiting for the light bulb)

Oh, I remember!

Kevin thinks I’m crazy (he’s right), I think he’s crazy (I’m right), but one thing we both agree on: I drive him absolutely bananas when I leave the light on in the garage. I don’t think it would be an issue if I didn’t do it all the freakin’ time.

We have two doors in our utility room. One goes outside and the other into the garage. There is a light switch near the door to the garage with two lights: one for the outside security lights and the other one for the lights inside the garage. It’s taken me four years, but I’ve memorized which switch works for which light. What I have NOT memorized is to turn the lights OFF upon my re-entry inside the house.

Take last night for example…..

6:30 – Kevin had already gotten home from work and left with Blue for the roping pen

7:45 - About dark, I turn the OUTSIDE lights on. A nice gesture on my part, right?!

8:30 - I turn on the INSIDE garage light because I’m getting my school bag out of my car. I retrieve the bag, return to the living room.

9:00 - Kevin gets home and turns off all the lights.

9:05 – I return to the garage for my cell phone. (lights remain ON)

9:15 – Kevin goes outside to the barn to check on horses. Turns OFF all lights.

9:30 – I go to the garage to get my wallet. (lights ON again)

10:00 – Kevin goes to bed.

Guess what’s on all night?!?!?!

7:00 am - I head into the utility room to retrieve clothes I’m going to wear and wouldn’t you know…

HOLY CRAP

Sweet Baby Jesus, thank the Good Lord, that I found it BEFORE my sweet, loving, caring, and compassionate hubby-dearest found it. Ohhh, that was a close one.

For the record: when I left the house this morning, I checked, double-checked, and triple-checked that ALL the lights (inside and out) were turned OFF.

If I were a cat, I’d be down a life or two right now.

Have a great day, Y’all!!!!!!

Hostess with the Leastest


Disclaimer: this post is entirely a pissed-off rant session. I have a skull-splitting headache and having a self-proclaimed pity party. For the ladies that so graciously and generously attended today’s luncheon – M.J., T.C., L.W. and Lil’ A - I’m so thankful and appreciative. I’m glad we could share this meal - plus recipes – and the laughs together. My favorite part of the day was watching Lil’ A and Kevin…she knows a good guy when she sees one. Plus, she had a blast with the horses.

It’s times like these that cause me say What the f*ck?

Six weeks ago I decided that I was going to host a luncheon at my house. After some consideration, I decided it would be a recipe swap/potluck. Everybody brings a prepared dish, including copies of the recipe, to share with the group. Soon afterwards, I began making preparations. I ordered custom invitations (the snail-mail variety), created an invite list, and collected recipes.

On a recent trip to Austin, I found a colorful set of tableware I thought would be perfect for a “spring” luncheon. Nothing fancy, but definitely festive. 

Trying to be the Hostess with the Mostess, I went to a local shop and bought recipe-themed items and spa/pampering products to fill seven gift bags. I filled another gift bag with items from Starbucks®. Yeah, I spent some moo-lah on this damn thing.

Housecleaning Fairy – $100.00

“Vacation” Day to cook and prep – $125.00

Custom Invitations and Postage – $57.00

Tableware and tablecloth – $35.00

Board Game – $27.00

Fresh flowers – $15.00

Food and drinks – $100.00

Gifts – $83.00

I don’t even want to know this total. Besides, I’m just guessing at these amounts and most likely forgot a purchase or two. I don’t want to know…I really don’t.

OK, yes I do.

$542.00

Holy. Heifer. It’s not about the money. It’s principle. I sent 32 invitations. Eight responded. Three attended. I didn’t have a clue how many people were actually coming. As a good Southern woman does, I planned as if they were all coming – hoping for the best, prepared no surprises. Of course, I over-did everything - from the gifts to the fresh flower arrangements.

Four adults…that’s $135.00 per person (the toddler doesn’t count, she didn’t eat enough to feed a canary). We should have met someplace for lunch and saved all of us the hassle.

Three strikes for my hosting abilities:

One showed for New Year’s Eve

No response on Derby at Lonestar Park

Three and a half (remember, the toddler) attend the Recipe Swap

 I’m out.

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