Adventures in Hollywood – Day Two

The Stars Are Calling

The morning after our flight, fortified with eight plus hours of sleep I awoke to my first daytime view of Southern California.  I was struck by two things; the immense blue, blue  sky, and the mountains. These weren’t like the mountains in upstate Pennsylvania, the kind I was used to, all green and rolling, surrounded by miles of emptiness.  These mountains, crispy brown with scatters of scrub bushes appeared suddenly and incongruously at the end of a city street or grew along the side of a six lane highway.  This place was different and I was ready to explore.

Now, if you happen to be an “old Hollywood” fanatic, like me, and you find yourself in the Greater Los Angeles’ area your first sight-seeing stop is pretty obvious: Hollywood Boulevard, home to Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the Walk of Fame, so that’s where we headed. The trip from Burbank was only fifteen minutes and even though the traffic was insane, it wasn’t nearly as scary as the ride from the airport.  Maybe it was the daylight or the lack of headache, but I also noticed that Los Angeles drivers accepted the fact that you couldn’t travel without cutting across multiple lanes and squeezing in and out of spaces while doing 70. Kyle zig-zagged in and out without attracting rude gestures, horns or squealing breaks, not at all what I had come to expect in Jersey!

Arriving downtown, we realized that Hollywood Boulevard was blocked off for a movie premiere, something Kyle said happens quite frequently. We had to park a few blocks over and walk to the theater which was fine because we passed Mel’s Drive-In, the Wax Museum and several other really cool sights on the way.  By the time we reached the famed footprints in front of Grauman’s, I was positively giddy!!

The Theater, and me enthralled by the footprints!

The outside of the theater itself is quite beautiful. It is a style of architecture that recalls a forgotten era, very ornate and over the top.  The courtyard, in front, was much smaller than I had imagined it being (and believe me, I’ve been imagining it ever since I was a teenager and got hooked on Hollywood’s glamorous hey day). I moved from one to another totally in awe, these awkward cement squares, some of the older ones held together with metal frames,  crammed together in no particular order. Each one bore the footprints or handprints of famous people who only seemed half real to me. I searched for my favorites; Jimmy Stewart, (whose hands and feet were twice the size of mine), Paul Newman (barefoot?) and Joanne Woodward, Cary Grant and Clark Gable!  They had been in that actual spot and written those actual words! Geeky, I know but I was star struck!!

After that, it only got better.  We strolled up the street checking out the stars on the Walk of Fame, while side stepping both people trying to give us free music tapes and costumed entrepreneurs charging money to pose for photos.  We saw a Captain Jack Sparrow, Spider-Man and Batman in the span of one block! There were also several types of food for sale, being cooked right at the curb on portable grills.  You couldn’t have paid me enough to try any, but it did smell really good. I didn’t realize there could be so many colors and music and interesting people all in one place!

Stars and the mall complete with a set piece from D.W. Griffith’s film “Intolerance”

Kyle said he knew a good place from which to view the Hollywood sign (also at the top of my list) so we headed into a courtyard shopping mall with elevators that brought us up to a bridge looking out onto the Hollywood hills and there it was! So cool!  See how excited I was…

For the rest of the week, it was hard for me to get used to seeing it every time you turned a corner.  I’m pretty sure Linda and Kyle got tired of me shouting “Look!  There’s that sign again!” After our photo shoot on the bridge,  we strolled along Hollywood Boulevard  a bit more checking our the many gift shops and purchasing the first of many souvenirs. Linda has seven grandchildren so she needed a lot of souvenirs!

Kyle doing his best Spider-man pose and me channeling my inner Fay Wray!

When we were finally done with all that excitement, Kyle showed us his apartment in the Los Feliz section of the city, then took us to one of his favorite restaurants,  Spitz for an excellent Mediterranean lunch.  The fries were amazing, covered with some decadent secret sauce and the wraps were so big that Linda and I took half of ours home in case we wanted to finish them for dinner.

That, as it turned out,  is exactly what we did a few hours later exhausted and tucked away in our Burbank nest.  Kyle had Ubered home to his apartment, claiming that one night on that couch was enough to last a lifetime.  Linda and I carried our wraps and our much needed glasses of wine into the living room, put up our feet and planned our next adventure!

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If We Were Having Coffee…Rainy Sunday

Morning!

If we we were having coffee…I would hurry you in out of the wet weather and quickly hand you a cup of something warm.  It’s really that kind of day. Yuck! It’s hard to complain though because yesterday and Friday were really nice.  I’m hoping we have left the truly frigid  weather behind. This afternoon I’m going to see a movie with a friend but for now I have some time to visit.

So what’s up? Has life been calm or stressful for you this week? I hope you found some time between all the “have to” for some “want to.” The D-man and I were fortunate enough to be able combine those two this Friday.  He “had to” go to Atlantic City for a workshop but we “wanted to” have a little get away so I tagged along!

Atlantic City is only about a fifty minute drive for us so we were able to leave right after work and get there in time to check in and walk around a bit before his first training session at 6:00.  We stayed at Ballys which is one of the older hotel/casinos in AC, built in 1979,  but I like vintage so it quite appealed to me. Our room was on the 20th floor and faced the ocean which was amazing! Also amazing was the opulent bathroom with gold faucets, a large soaking tub and another huge window looking out onto the beach!  Pretty fancy stuff for the likes of us but it’s fun to live large once in a while.  We were able to splurge because January is the off season, so room rates are very reasonable.

While D-man was busy learning stuff, I explored the area…and got lost.  The hotel is designed to be a huge winding maze mostly, it think, intended to lead you from one gambling area to the next.  I imagine Las Vegas is set up much the same way. All the nearby casinos and hotels are attached so I kept ending up in different ones.  There are also very few windows. It’s  like you’re in an alternate universe instead of just steps from the beach.  Another thing  I noticed is that the only places to sit down are in the bars, the resturants or the casinos.  They don’t want you relaxing somewhere that they can’t make any money! Not a problem for me because I got my frugal genes from my daddy. I don’t part with my money that easily!

I totally meant to take this duo photo of me in our room and the view outside!😊

Later on my handsome hubby and I had a late dinner at Gordon Ramsey’s Pub next door at Caesars.  The food was really good (sea scallops served over risotto) and since our table looked out on the indoor mall so we were able to people watch while we ate.  This might not come as a surprise, but there is an incredibly eclectic populating hanging our in Atlantic City!  We really enjoyed imagining the stories behind some of the interesting people we saw, knowing that our own story was quite boring in comparison!

After dinner we wandered around checking out the different casinos (my favorite was a massive area set up to look just like an old fashioned western town, complete with saloons, poker tables and an elevated mine car track!) then headed back to our room to enjoy a night cap and the view.  The boardwalk below was glowing complete with a neon Ferris wheel and the lighted hotels stretched out all along the edge of the ocean. Even though I prefer my beaches much more natural, it was still breathtaking.

I felt only a little guilty the next morning, sleeping in while the D-man headed off to a morning workshop.  He’s an early riser anyway.  I lounged with my coffee, packed up and around 10:30 we headed back to reality.  After all that opulence, I felt like such a commoner shopping for groceries that afternoon!

So that was my mini adventure this week.  Now, we have some time for you to share yours

If we were having coffee…I would warm up your drink and get you something sweet to go with it. Then you could tell me all about it. Maybe you can just tell me in the comments below instead. 😉 Afterwards you should definitely hop on over to Eclectic Allie’s  and check out the rest of the Coffee Share Posts.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great week!

Adventures in Hollywood – Day One

Nancy and Linda Fly the Friendly Skies

When my sister Linda and I first hatched our crazy plan to fly clear across the country by ourselves we actually felt pretty confident. We had no worries about enjoying the destination.  My nephew Kyle has been living in Los Angeles for seven years and my sister has been out to visit him once before. She knew what to expect and I knew he would take care of us, driving our rental car and showing us all the touristy sites.  In addition, we were not worried about our accommodations because we were staying in the same little apartment in Burbank that Linda had rented during her last trip six years earlier.  We knew it would be clean and safe and in a good location.  We didn’t even care about sharing these close quarters for a week because even though there is a 12 year difference in our ages (she the oldest of four, me the youngest) we have always gotten along famously.  We have the same personality type, decidedly introverted but with a side of adventure. We share the same sarcastic sense of humor, eating habits and taste in wine.  In fact, my brother-in-law often claims that we share a brain.

So it was with excited anticipation that we planned our adventure.  We had just one obstacle and one big worry…getting there.  It wasn’t a fear of flying that gave us anxiety.  We both really enjoy the actual flying part. . It was more a fear of arrival times and baggage claims, of security checks and boarding passes. In addition to sharing a brain,  my sister and I also share a phobia of rule breaking.  The idea that we would be late or get pulled out of line for an infraction of the security rules, which are much stricter since the last time either of us flew, had us both nervous wrecks. Linda alleviated her anxiety by scouring the internet.  Every few days I received another link to another site with tips for stress free flying. Personally,  I went straight to the horse’s mouth, or rather to my friend Donna who has flown more miles than she cares to remember both for work and pleasure.  She sent me a nice long email detailing what we could do to make the flight and check in easier.

When the time arrived for us to finally embark it felt like we had prepared all we could for our 5:45 flight out of Philadelphia. I even arranged to leave work early just in case of traffic. Our  bags were packed (although Linda was sure she was going to be over the 25 pound limit for checked bags); our carry-ons were filled with books and food (in clear zip lock bags); we were wearing slip on shoes  (in case we needed to remove them for security), and socks (because airport floors=gross);  we were without cumbersome scarves, jackets or necklaces so we could plop our stuff into those plastic bins with ease and once through security, we planned to buy large bottles of water to drink on the plane to stay hydrated.

So we were ready, right?  Worries and anxiety in check, right? Not really.  We still kept imagining everything that could go wrong.  Linda worried more than me, always has.  I think it’s a birth order thing.  Any-hoo, the departure day finally came. We arrived at the airport hours ahead of our flight, checked our bags quickly and easily (she had a 1/2 pound to spare, mine was 10 pound lighter-I know how to pack!), and sailed right through security, without even removing our shoes.

Really?!

It was sort of anticlimactic. We just looked at each other and thought,  “That’s it?” No pat down? No bag searches? No suspicious looks?  The most difficult part was trying to figure out how to print our baggage tag  from those annoying little kiosks they use now. My kingdom for a real, live person with a pen and paper!! Oh, and we also sat at the wrong departure gate for an hour (long story) but we figured it out in plenty of time.

The five hour flight was a little cramped but fine.  The flight attendant did get sort of snippy when we asked for wine.  Apparently they had to wait “till we reach cruising altitude.” Yeesh!  She obviously didn’t realize how badly we needed that wine! Anyway, finally around 9pm (12am without the time change) the lights of the Greater Los Angeles area appeared below and we began our decent.

We had been warned by several people about how crazy LAX could be but we actually found it easier to navigate than the Philadelphia Airport had been.  We found our luggage and my nephew Kyle, who had Ubered to the airport, in no time at all.  A shuttle took us to the Hertz Rental Center where we signed in and were sent to pick out our rental car.  It’s a nice idea, really, giving you the choice of all the cars in the lot but in the dark after a long day I would have preferred someone just hand me the keys.  Since Kyle was going to do most of the driving, we let him pick.  By this time, I had a crashing headache and was just ready to climb in the back seat and nap. It was probably due to stress…or the wine…or the fact that I’d mostly had wine for dinner.  I could blame it on the dry air on the plane but that’s unlikely. Anyway, my introduction to the insane L.A. Traffic and all the zigging and zagging involved was not fun and I was grateful to make it to our cute little Burbank apartment without hurling in the back seat of the rented Toyota.

Day one down.  Technically, I guess, it was already day two since it was around 1am.  Linda and Kyle decided to stay up for a while and catch up. Me,  I crawled into my pjs and into the nice comfy bed thankful for the peace and quiet. I was asleep in minutes, dreaming of all the adventures to come.

Watch out Hollywood. The Sisters have arrived!

IMG_0083

Our Burbank Abode and the snazzy rental car.

 

 

If We Were Having Coffee…All Smiles Around Here

If we were having coffee...I would tell you that last night around eight, my husband noticed that his car had a flat tire.  He also discovered that one of the headlights in Miss Dee’s Beetle was out.  This was after Mr D had called him to say he needed someone to rescue him because he’d locked his keys in his car and after he’d cleaned up cat pee off the carpet.  But you know what? None of it mattered because the Philadelphia Eagles were heading for NFC Championship and as far as hubby was concerned all was right with the world!

Now,  this morning when the temperature is around 18 degrees and the D-man is  outside trying to maneuver the tiny wires out of the headlight while simultaneously running the air pump to pump up the tire  enough so he can at least get it to the garage (coming inside every 10 minutes to warm up his hands) he might not feel quite so calm.  We’ll see how it all plays out.  I do know that last nights game was exciting and nerve wracking and if the Eagles hadn’t been able to pull it out things would have been a little different around here. Even Mr D knows that if they’d have lost he would rather have walked home than call his father to bring him his spare key.

Since I do realize that not everyone out there is a football fan (and to be honest, if I wasn’t married to the super fan himself, I wouldn’t be either) we can talk about other things while we enjoy our French roast. Speaking of which, I had a mini panic attack while trying to make coffee this morning because the Keurig was not cooperating.  It just stared at me making horrible sounds.  Thank goodness for the internet because it turned out to be an easy fix.  Not even an Eagles win would have improved my mood if I had to start my day coffee free.

In other news this week,  our school had a delayed opening on Tuesday thanks to the ice storm that hit the northeast Monday night.  Then Friday was a half day for the students so that we staff could have one of our required in service trainings.  It’s been so long since we’ve had a regular full week of school that I’m not sure I can handle it anymore.  Luckily this is a three day weekend (thank you Martin Luther King Jr) making next week a short week as well, so I can put that whole thing off a little longer.

Miss Dee and I watched the whole Golden Globe thing last week and, totally avoiding any political discussion here because this is my happy place, we had fun  checking out the fashions and seeing the celebrities out and about.   Of course, the Oscars are really “MY SHOW” but the Globes are a good warm up.  She and I really like the Netflix show “Stranger Things” so it was fun to see the cast there.  It was disappointing that they didn’t win anything but there’s always next season. We pretty much binge watched seasons one and two.  Miss D even subscribed to Netflix herself so she could watch.  The show “Handmaidens Tale” got some attention  as  well as a movie title “The Shape in the Water” neither of which I  have seen.  There are a lot of films out that I would like to catch if only I had the time and the money!  Eleven dollars for a movie ticket is a little our of my comfort zone. I am planning on going to see “The Phantom Thread” with a friend next week.  It looks pretty good so I’ll let you know what I think.

Well, my coffee is gone and I guess it’s time to be productive.  There are bills to pay and wash to be done.  Miss Dee is the only one who has to go out to work this fine Sunday but the rest of us have a list too.  Mr D has to take an hour long online course to prepare him for the online course he starts on Tuesday (🤔?)  I know.  We don’t get it either but it’s a requirement. So that will keep him busy for a bit and D-man, as we know, is working his way through car maintenance which is going better than expected.  While I’ve been occupied here, he managed to remove and replace the headlight bulb and pump up the tire enough to take it to the garage to get a plug.  So I guess all really is right with the world, or at least in our little corner of it.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you have a great Sunday.  Please make your own Coffee Share Post (hosted by Eclectic Allie) or comment below so I can hear all about what’s going on in your corner of the world!

 

If We Were Having Coffee….BRRRR!

If we were having coffee today you would want it extra hot, extra large and with a side of thick socks! Here in the Northeastern U.S. we are in the middle of a record breaking cold front.  Anyone remember that movie “The Day After Tomorrow” with Jake Gyllenhaal?  Well, if New York Harbor freezes solid, I’m moving to Mexico.

Any-hoo, if we were having coffee, I would whisk you on in out of the frozen tundra and offer you a seat.  Santa brought me a new Keurig machine and the Elves threw in a few dozen coffee and hot chocolate pods so I’m confident we can find something to warm you up. I’ll be having a nice strong French roast served in the nifty Hollywood mug I got on vacation.  Sorry, you’ll have to use a less cool mug but I promise to fill it all the way to the top while you fill me in on your week.

So tell me, are you happy with 2018 so far?  Planning on watching the Golden Globes tonight? Read any good books or seen any good films? Going on an interesting vacation? Enjoying temperatures above freezing in your end of the world?

Sorry, I’ll stop harping on the crappy weather.  It’s just that I’m a summer girl at heart and all this ice and snow is seriously messing with my mood.  Good thing I wrote my “January To-Do List” last week.  It’s the only thing that’s been keeping me going.  Ive gotten a good start on it thanks to the weird week we’ve had work wise.  After being off for Christmas break, we had school on Tuesday and Wednesday and then were closed on Thursday and Friday due to the snow and ice.  Now, I could certainly get used to working two days then having a four day weekend but I don’t think we can managed the required 180 school days per year that way!

Well, my plan today is to start packing away my Christmas decorations so I suppose I should get started.   You’re lucky that we aren’t really having coffee because I might enlist your help.  Although, in this house we’ll be going from green and red decoration to green and silver thanks to all the Philadelphia Eagles signs and flags my hubby had spread all over the house!  I’m not complaining though because we’ve been devoted fans forever and have routed for the Eagles through out some pretty crappy seasons so the fact that they had such a great season and made the playoffs is a pretty big deal around here.  Plus, even if he is injured and will be unable to play, Miss Dee had a serious crush on Carson Wentz. 🙂

Before I get to work though,  I wanted to mention something very sad that happened while I was away from the blogosphere. This September we lost our handsome boy Jack. We rushed him to the emergency vet after he started having trouble breathing and a tumor was found growing next to his heart, pressing on it. We were fortunate to have had a chance to say goodbye and tell him how much we loved him before the doctor sent him off to sleep.  He was our friend for 13 years and all of us, including his sister Chrissy who now walks around meowing, in search of him, miss him terribly. Jack continues to be a presence all over my blog but in remembrance, I’d like to close this post with some of my favorite moments with him…

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you have a great week!

Many thanks to “Eclectic Allie” for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share. Stop by and check out the rest of the posts.

First Line Fridays

https://hoardingbooksblog.wordpress.com/

This week’s first line is from…

Life of Pi

by Yann Martel

 “My suffering left me sad and gloomy.

Academic study and the steady, mindful practice of religion slowly brought me back to life.”

 

This book was the January pick for my book club but is one I have wanted to read for a while anyway. So far, I’m finding it quite enjoyable.

Share Your World -Week 1

This is the first time I’ve taken part in Cee’s Share Your World Challenge  but it looked like fun so I thought I’d give it a try.  Here goes…

What one word describes you best? 

⭐️me·thod·i·cal : A person orderly or systematic in thought or behavior. (Yep, that’s me.)

What is set as the background on your computer?

My daughter took this after the last snow fall and I just think it’s so pretty.  It’s also my blog header for the moment.

If you have been to a foreign country name those you have been too?

My husband and I took a cruise to Canada a few years ago. I’ve also been to Bermuda, the Bahamas and the US Virgin Islands but I’m not sure they count.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week

Nikki from A Texan’s View of Upstate New York inspired me to try this challenge!

Saying Goodbye to Sue

Posted on writer Sue Grafton’s Facebook page Friday December 29th…

“Hello Dear Readers. This is Sue’s daughter, Jamie. I am sorry to tell you all that Sue passed away last night after a two year battle with cancer. She was surrounded by family, including her devoted and adoring husband Steve. Although we knew this was coming, it was unexpected and fast. She had been fine up until just a few days ago, and then things moved quickly. Sue always said that she would continue writing as long as she had the juice. Many of you also know that she was adamant that her books would never be turned into movies or TV shows, and in that same vein, she would never allow a ghost writer to write in her name. Because of all of those things, and out of the deep abiding love and respect for our dear sweet Sue, as far as we in the family are concerned, the alphabet now ends at Y.”

The first Sue Grafton novel I read was “D is for Deadbeat.”  It was around 1989 and the book came as part of my new book club offering.  For those who are unfamiliar (or are too young to remember books before the internet), mail order book clubs would gain new members by offering a number of books for a dollar if you committed to joining the club and purchasing 3 or 4 other books at regular price within the next year.  I was always part of at least one book club then and often surfed from one to another collecting my discount novels.  Usually they were books that were left from previous years.

It didn’t take me long to get hooked on Sue and her character Kinsey Millhone.  I went through letter “D” pretty fast and then immediately fulfilled my membership agreement by ordering “A” “B” and “C”! I was 27 years old in 1989 and reaching the end of my first marriage. My life was in a place where Kinsey’s independence and moxie appealed to me.  I wanted to live in a converted one car garage and run my own private detective agency.  I wanted to make all my own choices (good or bad), drink wine and eat peanut butter and pickle sandwiches instead of figuring out a grocery list and doing laundry. Kinsey rocked, even if people did occasionally shoot at her.

Over the next twenty something years, my life included some big changes but Sue and Kinsey remained a constant.  Every year I looked forward to the next letter, the next novel, to see what they were up to.  Surprisingly, even after so many books, Sue was able to keep the character and the stories fresh and interesting.  In some of the more recent novels she began writing entire chapters from a different characters point of view, or taking the reader back in time to the original crime and then switching back to Kinsey’s take on the situation. Another quirk about Kinsey’s world that appealed to me was that she was still still living and detecting in the 1980s, each of her stories moving just months beyond the one before.  This meant she didn’t have cell phones or the internet and had to solve her mysteries using good old fashioned brain power aided only by library cross reference books, microfiche, and what ever info she could get out of the witnesseses.  She also had a habit of keeping notes on 5×7 index cards that she could shuffle and rearrange to see if a pattern appeared.

I was already a dedicated fan and quite in love with Sue Grafton by the time “X” came out in 2015.  We had a relationship dating back years and I had my favorite books and characters already but this novel quickly became the most favorite because on the beginning page of a chapter half way through, quite by happenstance, Sue used my son’s full name for a minor character.  Seeing his name in print was pretty cool and then when I glanced up at the number of the chapter, I realized it was also my son’s favorite number, the number he wore on every sports jersey through out high school because he considered it lucky! It was a weird enough coincidence that I was compelled to send  a note to her Facebook page. I explained what a big fan I was and how she had simply made my day with this happy accident.  Two days later I received this reply:

“What a lovely surprise for you. Can’t remember where I came up with the name. Maybe a spirit visit in the dead of night. Tell him he’s now been immortalized and not even as one of the criminal element. Thanks for your note. What a hoot.”

I regulary go through my Messenger account and delete messages so the fact that this note is still on my feed should tell you what a big deal it is to me!

Now, sadly, there will be no more Kinsey.  Her story and the stories of all the other characters  Ms Grafton so lovingly brought into existence are now in limbo.  I suppose that its up to each of us, those readers,  who have invested so much in Sue’s world to finish their stories as we see fit.  It will never live up to the endings she would have chosen but I’m just happy I was along for the ride.  For me, personally,  my thoughts and sympathies go out to Sue’s family with love and appreciation for all the enjoyment Sue Grafton brought to me and to all the other countless fans of Kinsey Millhone.   For us, as her daughter so perfectly stated , “the alphabet now ends in Y.”

–Respectfully submitted,

A Fan

If We Were Having Coffee…Plans For January

If we were having coffee today you would notice that the “view from the porch” is a snowy and fridge one.  I think temperature today here in south Jersey will top out at 21 degrees (brrr!). A story in the paper this morning said that they may even postpone the Philadelphia Mummers Parade tomorrow because the brass instruments keep freezing up.  Hard to play “Golden Slippers” when you have to keep breaking icicles off your  trombone!

Anyway, if we were having coffee today you might also say to me “Where the heck you been, Lady?!”  According to my WordPress dashboard, its been five months since my last post.  I could blame this on my iPad which kept freezing up and crashing every time I tried to post or I could blame it on a lack of time, motivation and ideas.  All of these would be true.  However, thanks to Santa, I now have a new IPad and a nifty Bluetooth keyboard that will make posting less technically challenging and since  the holidays have passed, or at least our hosting responsibilities which wrapped up with a gathering of friends last night, I have gobs more time.

So this morning I noticed that every January I find myself in this same weird state of mind.  For months before (since we also hosted Thanksgiving this year as well as Christmas) my mind is full of details and plans, a nonstop whirlwind of things to do and remember.  Then the week after Christmas when all the gifts are given, all the food is cooked and serving dishes stowed away once more my brain says, “Hey, what’s with all this room in here? Where are all the things we need to arrange and acccomplish?  What am I suppose to do with my time now?!” Although its nice to let my poor tired brain rest for a bit, I also know we will both go bonkers without some kind of plans for the cold months to come so I am dedicating this “Coffee Share Post” to listing the things my brain (and body) can acccomplish now that things have slowed down.  This blog post is the first thing on my list as will be (hopefully) more regular ones in the future.

Number two on my January “To Do” list is creating a scrapbook from the pile of 112 (yes, 112) photos stacked on my desk.  In November my sister and I took a trip to Hollywood to visit my nephew.  It was quite an adventure, which I plan on doing a series of posts about, but documenting it in paper form is also a goal.  I’m one of those weird people who actually still prints out photos and puts them in books.  I love being able to leaf back though the memories.

So there’s that to accomplish.

Next, D-man’s stepmom has been asking me to paint a portrait of her son’s dog.  Poor Oscar passed away a few months back and she wanted a portrait to give her son in memory.  This is a lovely idea and even though animals aren’t my best thing, I will give it a try.  I’ll keep you updated on that.

Another plan is to start an indoor herb garden.  I have a box that will fit in my kitchen window sill.  Now to work out the logistics.

I also need to work on getting my feet fixed.  To explain, thanks to family genetics, I have incredibly flat feet.  No arch what so ever. Nada.  This translates, with age, into bunions, the result of the bones in your feet pushing apart to compensate for their flatness. Ouch, right?  I have orthopedic insole that I have worn for years that help with the pain but they are in need of replacement and even with them, I am going to have to break down and have surgery eventually. Six weeks in a boot is not my idea of fun and also even less fun,  here in the U.S with our wonderfully inefficient healthcare  system, the first step in all of this is dealing with the insurance company. Ugh. That’s why I’ve put it off as long as I have but January is the end of procrastination!

Well, my brain feels much happier now.  I’m sorry I’ve run on so long but now that I have a plan I no longer see the cold months ahead looming like a black hole!  Thanks for listening.   Let’s warm up your coffee and you can fill me in on what’s been going on with your brain!

Many thanks to “Eclectic Allie” for hosting the Coffee Share.  Stop by and check out the rest of the posts.

If We Were Having Coffee…7/16/17

Good morning!

If we were having coffee today you would find me lounging at the kitchen table still in my jammies, hair all askew and my coffee cup within reach. Hope you’re okay with that because I am now in full summer mode. For we school employees, that means that “run-around-and-get-all-your-errands-done-Sunday” becomes “stay-in-your-pajamas-and-have-some-more-coffee-Sunday,”

School officially ended on June 16th so it’s taken me a month to finally get to this point. For two weeks, at the end of June and the second week in July, I was preparing for and working at STEAM camp. Whew! What a lot of work, but it went really well and the kids had a great time. Here is Miss Dee and a “friend” modeling one of the photo boards I made….

In between camp weeks, I was preparing and finishing up art work and projects for the second week and celebrating July fourth so now, this weekend is what feels like my first real weekend off. The first few days my brain was in relaxation heaven! Ahh!  Just not having anything nagging at the back of my brain was wonderful. Welcome to the mind of an obsessive, over thinker!

So…

If we were (finally) having coffee this morning I would pour you a cup, offer a donut and ask, “How the heck have you been?” I would ask about books you might be reading, movies you might have seen and activities you might be involved in? I would also inquire about your work or projects and any challenges you might be having there or with life in general? I hope they are few and far between.

My last coffee share highlighted my first whirlwind week of summer break. That was fun, but crazy! My biggest highlight since then was this Wednesday night. Miss Dee and I went to see Ed Sheeran in concert! Her birthday (number 19) is tomorrow so the tickets were a present from her dad and I. The D-man was kind enough to act as our chauffeur since I don’t drive in the city (it’s better for everyone, believe me) but I got to enjoy the concert with her. What a great show! She has been a huge fan of  his for years but I was only familiar with a few of his songs. Now I’m a huge fan too. This was Miss Dee’s first ever concert and it couldn’t have been a better experience. She is not a big fan of crowds and noise but Ed seems to have a very eclectic fan base, both young and old, so we were surrounded by a pretty tame crowd and since it is only him and his guitar on stage, the noise level wasn’t the same as most other concerts I’ve attended! We really had a blast dancing and singing along and I’m so glad she chose to share this memory with me!

In other news, Mr D was down for the count with strep throat last week. His temp reached 103! I know it’s just the bodies way of getting rid of an infection, but high temperatures  freak me out! He missed almost a full week of work and spent most of his time curled up on the couch while I tried to force food and juice on him! Even at 21 years old, he is still my baby when he gets sick! Thankfully, he is back to normal and actually just got home from the beach himself last night.

He and Miss Dee are enjoying having all their friends home on college break. I love having the crowd back around too (except when they come and go in the wee hours and hubby and I are trying to sleep)!

Okay, If we were having coffee, I would probably feel the need to get on with my day by now. The first few weeks of summer have been too crazy to even bother looking at my Bucket List, all though I’ve checked off a few things without even trying. So maybe I’ll take a look at that today….or tomorrow. Mostly I guess, I should put on some clothes, brush my teeth and try to be productive!

Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope your weeks is awesome! Don’t forget to visit either  Nerd in the Brain or Part Time Monster (the ladies are co-hosting this week) so you can check out the rest of the Coffee Share Posts!