Friday, May 30, 2014

Collect the Set!

Well wadda ya know!

Here in Washington DC, they have replica dolls of your Congressmen to take home.

Ok, so they're cuter than your Congressman and more useful too!

Instead of the heart shaped flag it should be $ sign shaped......


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Evening Scenes....



Could have sworn I was in Kansas this evening and Miss Gulch flew by......



Where's Sluggy?

More later.....


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sluggy Brain Dump

I haven't been in a great place in my head the last few day.
Just so many things coming at me all at once and I don't feel like I've made any progress in any area of my life.

But here's what's been going on around here lately.
I bought a bench at a cabinet/furniture store that was going out of business awhile back and finally got around to taking it out of the box.....

Putting the legs on it.....

And now I have a purple bench(with storage under the seat) to use in the living room and/or in the dining room when we need extra seating.

#2 Son had his French National Honor Society ceremony, the last one we ever have to go to....

Later this week is the Senior Night(which we aren't invited to)and next week is the Class Night(which we are invited to)and after that it's Graduation from high school.

I decided to accompany Hubs to DC this week.  I am having a physical issue so I don't know if I'll be up to going out sightseeing on Thursday but I'll find something to do.
The 6 hour guided tour is $70.  While this option is less expensive, I'm not sure about buying a bus pass for the Hop On/Hop Off tour buses since I don't know how much actual walking I can do that day.  And I have a fear of not making it back to the hotel before the bus stops running for the day and being stranded and having to hail a pricey cab.
Perhaps I'll just stick close to the hotel or stay in the room and take advantage of the in-room spa massage or in-room yoga feature.  12 hour a day yoga channel in the room along with a basket of equipment.  Oh yes, I can see me doing this. lolz
Ok, so there is a complimentary Wine Hour in the lobby every weekday evening so you know I'll leave the room at least once per day.  *snort*

Last week I sold 4 cuts of fabric from my Etsy store.
That's how it seems to go......long stretches with no sales and then a flurry of activity.
I've sold 54 pieces since I started last October 30th.
That was a chunk of the fabric back last September when I was going through it to list and photograph.  Now it's all stacked neatly(sort of)on an étagère up in the spare bedroom.
Well what's listed now is stacked, the Winter stuff I have written up as well as stuff I haven't gotten to yet is also stacked neatly in tubs next to the étagère....though there are ALOT of tubs not done yet.

I still don't "get" this "favorite-ing" thing....I had 18 people favorite my Etsy store of a particular piece of fabric in the last week.  For gosh sakes folks, "favorite" me by voting with your WALLETS! lolz
At this rate, I'll unload all this fabric by the time I hit 90 years old. lolz

I have sent some of the fabric to Salvation Army for donation, mostly the boring or stuff that is bulky and would be too expensive to mail if I did sell it.

I have considered taking some of these piece goods and making "stuff" out of it and then offering that up for sale, thinking I'd be able to sell it more readily.

But then again, I'd have to "invest" more time into this venture, all that sewing and listing, so really that's probably more of a loose/loose situation than I have on my hands now.
I suppose I have about 4 more years until I HAVE TO have this fabric gone so I have time, for now to figure out a plan.

And this doesn't include all the fabric I am KEEPING....lolz

I also broke down and bought a sofa for the living room the Saturday before last.  It was delivered last Tuesday.....

I went with a neutral color and size that would fit into any room/décor we have in our next house.  It's a Laz-y Boy and we have protection on various components of it. It should hold up for at least 10 years and we paid too much money for it(IMHO).  But then again, the old adage, "You get what you pay for" seems to hold up with furniture.  The stuff I saw at a lower price point looked cheesy and not well made.

Now I have to buy a chair or two.
Thinking about these ones......

Really like, kind of bright and it's leather.....
Like the colors but the stripes might be too much with that rug with circles....

This is a floral design with purple, not crazy about all that white however.....
While it's purple, a WILD color, it's the most sedate of the ones I like. lol

Or this midcentury modern chair from a used furniture store.....

I like the lines of the used chair but the color is a bit too avocado for me and I worry about what condition the fabric on it is in and I don't want to have to have it reupholstered for the price they are asking (!!!).  Plus I have to drive practically to Philly to pick it up.

If you haven't guessed by now, I have Eclectic tastes. lol

Anyway I need to make a decision on chairs, I have to buy two and no, I won't buy matching chairs and yes the ones pictured with ottomans come with them.

What do you like?....keeping in mind the sofa color(brown), the rug, the curtains(which are bright green, on the lime-ish side) and the wall color.

We took 2 loads to Salvation Army the last 2 weekends.
Some of what left our house.....

During the long weekend I worked on the living room curtains as well as a project for the kitchen but I didn't finish either....heck, I didn't even get very far on either. lolz

I'll be doing some work on the curtains again later today.

The Daughter is STILL waiting on the bank which owns the property they are buying to get their shit together.  The latest hold up is the title search or something.
She was suppose to close on this house a MONTH ago!!!
She help up her end and we got our shit done in a timely fashion but now the bank is dragging their ass and she can do NOTHING about it.  She can't drop out of the sale without losing our earnest money($5K!) and she can't move in or even have the work done to it that needs doing before they can move in.  And now she's going to have to pay rent for another month!
Banks suck.....

We didn't picnic this past weekend really, had no one over either.  We had take-out pizza and stromboli for Memorial Day.
I didn't feel like cooking after we completed a little outdoor project.......putting rocks around the HVAC system compressor outside......

We had to level the ground(sort of), attach and stake in the border pieces, lay newspaper for a weed barrier and dump marble rocks on it all.  Plus I weed whacked next to the front flower bed as it was a thatched up grassy overgrown mess.

I know it looks cockeyed but it's quite symmetrical in person and it looks a heck of a lot more presentable than having weeds all around the thing.  This will make it easier to mow around it without getting too close to the wires and make it easier for anyone who has to work on it.
And did I mention we  don't have to weed around it now?

We love this new rubberized border's made from recycle old tires and quite indestructible, even with weed whackers and mowers beating it up.  It doesn't fade or disintegrate like that hard plastic black landscaping edging either.
The only problem is it's quite pricey at $10 per 4 feet length.
We wanted to use something that will last since this is a home improvement item we don't want to have to do again in 4 years time when we go to sell our house.

We are putting in another of these beds along the other side of the house, which will run along most of that side.  That one will have a tree and shrubs in it and I can plant some flowers in it.  I'm also putting a bench in it and will use pea gravel(but in the same color)so it's not painful to walk on. lolz
We got the edging yesterday and will tackle that project as soon as we have a couple of good not-too-hot days.

In financial news......not much really.
Paying bills, balancing the checkbook and spending more money than I want to. lol
While I don't have the hard figures on the outgo yet, I've kept an eye on the balance sheet and we haven't spent more than we made this month so it's all good.

After pizza and project yesterday afternoon, I cracked open this......

Release the KRAKEN!!!

And what can I say?.....the rest of my day/evening went down smoothly.... ;-)


Saturday, May 24, 2014

April Louisiana Road Trip.....Day Five & Six

Day 5 started way early.
We were at this motel for 5 nights, which meant, we sadly came to find out, 5 mornings of a really bad breakfast at this facility.
Bad like they had a huge pan of powdered scrambled eggs with some too well done(think burnt!)sausage bits in it.  The few mornings we went to the motel breakfast, at which we hardly ever saw another soul, they would bring out this pan of nasty eggs.  I truly believe it was the same pan each morning, since nobody ever took any eggs. 

Needless to say most mornings(besides the first and the last)we found different breakfast accommodations.

We took the Daughter to Sue's Country Kitchen for breakfast and later that morning we met realtor #1 to go see houses.

We saw a lot of houses and they were quite a mixed bag!

The view out the front of the 1st house.......this one was a possiblilty but nobody was in love with it.
But the price was right.

And this one was the backup property if the one our Daughter wanted fell through.

We saw one house, well I saw it from the car and we never went inside.  It was basically an old shack, something like this.....

It was a bit wider but in just about this condition.  It was located 1 block off a major highway and looked out onto the back of a new metal pole building church.  Behind the shack was some type of repair business.  No one answered the door for the realtor but then a woman came over to the car asking why we were here.  Evidently the listing agent never told the property owners someone was coming to see the house and this woman was the sister of the woman who owned the shack.  Let's just say this woman was not the friendliest person I've ever dealt with and leave it at that.

While this woman was talking at us, a real old woman came out onto the porch of the shack dressed in not much more than a smile.  It looked like the woman who "owned" the shack wasn't all there and her sister was "taking care of her".

While the realtor and I spoke with the owner's sister at the car, Hubs and the Daughter had walked around the backside of the shack checking things out.
When they came back to the car we quickly got out of there.
The shack was sitting in a swamp basically(thank goodness it was up on blocks!)and they had a sump pump running outside the house, trying to dry things up.
This place was beyond a hot mess!  And you wouldn't believe what they were asking for this!!! lolz

Moving on.....

A pretty nice kitchen, except it needed all new appliances since the previous owners took them all when they got foreclosed on.

This one was the last house we saw that day.  This is the shot of the BEST feature of this property--the large metal carport and nice poured driveway.  The house, needless to say, was a cobbled together construction mess.

Another foreclosure with trash being thrown out in the front yard.

Except the backyard was 10 times worse! lol

If you look closely at that homemade "pond", there is a partial mannequin floating in it.....

Heck these people took the large bathtub with them.
I suppose they thought it would make a great base for their next homemade pond out back.....lolz

Daughter left us to go to work and we looked at a couple more properties, one of which was the most promising.
We called it quits for the day at dinner time and Hubs and I went to eat at a place the Daughter recommended which wasn't too far from the motel......

Shane's Seafood & Barbecue it's the Cajun thing to do.

Unfortunately Hubs didn't want to share a Crawfish Boil with me and I wasn't up to eating an entire disposable aluminum roasting pan full of mudbugs by myself so I settled for something else.......

And here is what my plate looked like when I was done.....

We HIGHLY recommend Shane's if you are ever in this area.  Good food and good prices.
Not big on atmosphere but who needs that when you are elbow deep in gator and crawfish. lol

Back to the hotel and we turned in early with full tummies.

Day 6 was more of the same--looking at more properties this time with Realtor #2.
She showed us nothing I'd want to live in, let alone have my kid live in.
Oh well.

After Daughter left us we got a call from Realtor #1 telling us about a new foreclosure, not even in the system yet.
So we made plans to go see that one with Daughter and her BF on Saturday morning, as well as the top contender Hubs and I had seen on Thursday.

This meant we were free the rest of the day so we ran some errands.

We ended up going to World Market.

Let me just say I had never been in one of these stores before and I LOVED the place!

We went in there because Daughter said they carried lots of microbrews and wines.
Hubs found a few regional/local beers to bring home.

 Ah, the taste of decaying Edwardian landed gentry.....

Strange name for a wine.  I hope it doesn't smell like wet dog!

I also found that they carry a wide selection of gourmet sodas and a wide variety of them came home with me, especially the root beer varieties......

There were many Mardi Gras type items here.....

As well as kitchy kitchenware and kitchenWEAR.......

Here are a couple more things that came home with me......

 These were intriguing mints.  While they didn't taste like anything but sugar they smelled of lavender and were heavenly.  I should keep a roll of these in my purse just for the fragrance.

Since we didn't get down to NOLA I brought this home and as soon as I remember to go buy some powdered sugar we'll be having beignets.

I "heart" World Markets selection of spices.  I got multiple large bags of this assortment of peppercorns for $3.99 each.  Beats paying through the nose for those little jars at the grocery store!

We finished off our day at Podnuh's.
(The U in "Podnuh's" and the N in "Where the Smoke Never Clears" is missing in the sign behind Hubs). 
If you can't tell from the slogan, it's a barbecue place down in Shreveport.
Lots of Roy Rogers memorabilia on the walls.

We give it a B+ for 'cue.....

And that closes out Day 5 & 6.

Day 7 coming up soon.


Friday, May 23, 2014

April Louisiana Road Trip.....Day Four

We spent the night at a Choice branded hotel in Tuscaloosa. How do I know it was in Tuscaloosa? Because these guys were hanging out by the front door.....
This places was pricey for us(over $100 a night).
This freestylin'/not having reservations thing works but only if you are willing to go in with set criteria and stick to it.

My criteria on this trip was.....

A--either a king sized bed or 2 queens
B--free breakfast
C--free wifi
D--less than $60 a night

Good criteria, right?
Except that once Hubs stopped at a hotel/motel, if it cost more than $60 a night, he took the room anyway.
So much for keeping our lodging costs low......lolz

The breakfast fortunately was very good here....not sure if it was worth an extra $40 but still.
#2 on our breakfast hit parade this trip.
Excellent yogurt, such that I took two(one for later).

We were out of there by 10ish.
I had googled and found that a Hancock Fabric Store was nearby, so we hit that before getting back on the interstate.

I got this great kitchy fabric on the clearance table......

It's a rayon so drapes wonderfully and it was .50¢ a yard!!

This will make a great fun shirt!

An hour or so after the fabric store stop, we were in a new state......

And we took a potty & leg stretching break......

Me doing my "Why I do declare, we ain't in 'Bama no more!" impression.

Not sure why the Mississippi Welcome Center had a carousel horse in it but it made a nice photo op.

Some lady offered to take our photo together....

We got back on the road quickly and were off heading west again.

We stopped in Meridian Mississippi at this place HERE , The Brickhouse Bar & Grill because we had seen a brochure/flyer in the Welcome Center.
It was a nice find.

They claim to have the largest selection of craft beers on tap in the state I think.
They had many LA, MS, AL and AR regional beers.
Hubs could have stayed here a week trying them all but had to make do with 2 choices.

They also have a list of "BEERTAILS".....cocktails they made using beer and various other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Though I was tempted to try the Crazy Bitch(shaddup!)and the 69...hehehe......I went for the Mudbug Mimosa....

It had hard cider, blood orange, Sprite and one of the local IPAs in it(I can't remember which).
I deemed it pretty good for someone who doesn't really like beer(except the porters and stouts).....but it was no Cosmo! lol

We had food too.  That was pretty good, not great, but what do you expect from a bar?
It was pricey though....

We'll have to make this a regular stop on our route to LA in the future.

And here is my gratuitous photo of the art in the ladies' room at the Brickhouse.....confirming that old saying that you don't buy beer, you merely rent it.....hehehe

Not long after getting back on the road we hit Vicksburg and the Mississippi River.....

Here's a shot from the interstate as we left the shoreline of Mississippi.  That's a riverboat casino past the railroad trestle bridge there.

And here is the next welcome sign.......albeit a bit blurry.....

It's funny that this part of the Mississippi crossing the land was so different, one side from the other.
The MS side was high with cliffs(during the War of Northern Aggression when the Yankees invaded Vicksburg, the local citizenry had to hide in caves along the cliffs to escape the shelling), but as soon as you crossed the river into Louisiana the ground level was quite a bit lower.  You had to drive a good 10 to 15 miles inland from the river to not be surrounded by boggy and swampy areas.

About an hour and a half into LA, we arrived in West Monroe.

Me with the boys inside the store.....

the world's largest duck call and Uncle Si.....

I picked up some shirts and tchotchkes.
I "heart" Uncle Si.....

Uncle Si Replica Tupperware Tea Glasses and miniature tea glass keychains....

It was BOGO that day so I got spares. lolz

Fans of the show will recognize "The Loading Dock".
Yes, it's a real loading dock.

Hubs and I got to the Duck Commander HQ right before the store closed....we were the last ones out of the building before they locked up for the day.

They had this big trailer out by the loading dock and people were milling around long after the store was closed and taking photos.

This woman came up to me and enthusiastically offered to take Hubs and my photo together if we'd return the favor and take her and her family's photo.
No problem.....

She asked me if I had been inside, when she saw my shopping bag, and about swooned when I said yes.


Her whole family(a DH and 3 little kids, including a baby)were dressed in matching Duck Commander shirts.

Here they are over by the loading dock.
She seemed just a bit too excited to be there....lolz

Heck, I should have given her this self-guided tour brochure I picked up somewhere....

She could have gone all around Monroe and West Monroe and seen all the places seen on their show.

Hey Jack!  The sign....

Me and the sign....

and before things got any weirder we gone!

We had about another 1.5 hours of driving.

I must confess to Sonya Ann that THIS is about as close as I got to a casino.......

A Casino billboard.
I hang my head in shame.....

We got into Bossier City LA, to our motel, right before dark.
We settled in, called the Daughter to let her know we had arrived(she was working)and then we went HERE for dinner since it was practically across the street.

I was too tired to take a picture of our meal but I did get a photo of this ENORMOUS bottle of Tabasco Sauce on the table.....

I have never seen one this size but then again, I haven't been in Louisiana(if you don't count that time back in about 1968 when we took a family camping trip and were down near NOLA).

The daughter came over to our motel room after work and we talked for a few hours before hitting the hay.
Thursday morning was coming bright and early and we had things to do and places to go.