Monday, June 30, 2014

This Week on the Dining Table

I am back!!!
Now to your regularly scheduled programming.

The  "#1 Son and his GF have gone home already" Edition.......

 The visit was great but way too short.

Here is my list of meals for the second half of June that were left going into last week----

1.  French Bread Pizza, Salad
2.  Pork Chops, Sautéed Cabbage, Macaroni Salad(leftover)
3.  BLT Sandwiches or Cheesesteaks-Diner's Choice
4.  Dinner out with #1Son
5.  Lasagna, Salad
6.  London Broil, Fettuccine w/Sauce, Sugar Snap Peas
7.  Wild Card meal-not planned

And here is what we ate last week that was on this list.......

4.  Dinner out with #1Son
7.  Wild Card meal-not planned

2 out of 7......lolz

Here is what we had for dinner last week.....

Tuesday--Subway sandwiches(#1 Son arrived)
Wednesday--#1 Son Birthday dinner out at Hibachi Restaurant
Thursday--Went to microbrewery for Lunch, Dinner at home was snacks/chips/fruit
Friday--Burgers, COC, Baked Beans
Saturday--Fajitas at son's request
Sunday--Leftovers and Fend for Yourself

Let's just say there was a lot of adult beverages consumed last week after Tuesday and not a lot of thought given to cooking meals.  8-))

As predicted more food buying was done last week.  We went to Wegman's on Wednesday so #1 Son could check out the BEER and I ended up buying food.....strawberries(didn't have any fresh fruit left in the house), reduced today 90% lean ground beef, lunchmeat and cheese, fresh corn, mushrooms(for the fajitas #1 Son requested), hummus(a huge vat of that), pretzel chips, blue tortilla chips, coleslaw mix(to make cole slaw for the barbecue I saved for #1 Son) and 2 small pints of ice cream(which didn't get eaten last week).
While there I also saw and bought 2 kinds/brands of root beer(my vice), Stouffer's spinach soufflés (I haven't seen for years around here!), and a huge bag of frozen breaded chicken strips for #2 Son. $86.73 later we left that store.

Hubs also spent $11.94 at the local market to get the rest of the ingredients so I could make Fajitas on Saturday.  He did NOT shop around and get the best prices so that is what it is and I am embracing that spending.

While we were in Berwick we stopped at the Surplus Outlet(it's a discounted grocery store-the kind that has deals like almost expired foods, dented cans, crushed boxes, overruns, old packaging, etc.)and another $67.73 flew out of my wallet, and pushed my monthly food/toiletries spending over $400.

Oh well.
It's all good though since I was prepared for that, we had extra mouths to feed, some of it will carry forward and be used in July, plus that best thing is--I had the cash to pay for it all.  ;-)

At least it wasn't $500+ in food spending, right?

We had a bit of food waste last week.  Had to throw out some of that #10 can of baked beans I bought for the graduation party.  We ate on them until we just couldn't anymore and a hefty portion went bad.  Lesson learned.....

Going into this week, in leftovers we have.........Fajitas filling(for 1 or 2 tortillas), 1 ear of COC, 3 helpings of Cole Slaw, a whole package of 90% lean Ground Beef, Spaghetti w/Sausage and Meatballs.

Here is the plan, going back to a weekly one for at least this week......

1.  Fish, Coleslaw, Rutabaga
2.  Pork Chops, Squash Casserole
3.  BLT Sandwiches or Cheesesteaks-Diner's Choice
4.  Tacos
5.  Lasagna, Salad
6.  Leftovers
7.  Leftovers

This plan will use up all the leftovers(hopefully)except for the ear of corn.  I'll strip that ear and either throw the corn into the taco filling or use it in making a pot of Clam Chowder but not this week.

This uses up all but the French bread pizza and London Broil w/Fettuccine meals I planned for June.
Those 2 will carry over into July, later in that month.
What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?
Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten that week?

Do you plan your meals & then grocery shop OR do you grocery shop and figure out meals using what you buy OR is it a combination of both?


Thursday, June 26, 2014

This Week

I'm enjoying having my eldest son home for a few days so I won't be online or posting much until next week.

Here we are mustering up all the decorum and classiness in ourselves yesterday while out shopping........and hopefully this makes Sassybear feel a little better......

Unfortunately Iron Man(aka Eldest's GF)refused to don her mask and have her picture took.....Humph

More later.....



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

This Week on the Dining Table

The  "One More Week and June is Over" Edition.......

] High School is over as is Marching Band.  Can't believe this picture was taken over 8 MONTHS ago!  It seems like just yesterday.
We are one WEEK from being halfway through 2014.
Where did it go???

Here is my list of meals for the second half of June.----

16.  Broiled Salmon, Veggie, Cole Slaw(leftover)
17.  Leftover Beef Stroganoff & Mushroom Risotto, Roasted Cauliflower
18.  Hot Italian Sausage and Spaghetti, Salad
19.  Leftover Burgers and other leftover party foods
20.  French Bread Pizza, Salad
21.  Scallops and Shrimp en Croute, Veggie
22.  Pork Chops, Sautéed Cabbage, Macaroni Salad(leftover)
23.  BLT Sandwiches or Cheesesteaks-Diner's Choice
24.  Battered Fish Portions, leftover party food side dishes
25.  Pulled Pork Sandwiches(leftover), Coleslaw or Veggie
26.  Dinner out with #1Son
27.  Lasagna, Salad
28.  Burritos, Salad
29.  London Broil, Fettuccine w/Sauce, Sugar Snap Peas
30.  Wild Card meal-not planned

And here is what we ate last week(in blue)and what is left to finish out June.......

16.  Broiled Salmon, Veggie, Cole Slaw(leftover)
17.  Leftover Beef Stroganoff and Mushroom Risotto, Roasted Cauliflower
18.  Hot Italian Sausage and Spaghetti, Salad
19.  Leftover Burgers and other leftover party foods
20.  French Bread Pizza, Salad
21.  Scallops and Shrimp en Croute, Veggie
22.  Pork Chops, Sautéed Cabbage, Macaroni Salad(leftover)
23.  BLT Sandwiches or Cheesesteaks-Diner's Choice
24.  Battered Fish Portions, leftover party food side dishes
25.  Pulled Pork Sandwiches(leftover), Coleslaw, Veggie
26.  Dinner out with #1Son
27.  Lasagna, Salad
28.  Burritos, Salad
29.  London Broil, Fettuccine w/Sauce, Sugar Snap Peas
30.  Wild Card meal-not planned

Right now we have leftover--1 helping of Stroganoff, 2 fish planks, Spaghetti/Hot Sausage, Meatballs, Pulled Pork(which #1 Son will devour when he gets here lol).  We also still have some Potato Salad and ALOT of Baked Beans....why oh why did I buy that #10 sized can of them for the party? LOLZ

It's suppose to be hot today so I'll probably do the #23--BLTs/Cheesesteaks--tonight.

After tonight that leaves 6 meals on my list.
Wednesday we are going out to dinner for #1 Son's birthday meal to THIS PLACE and that is as far as I know for this week how the eating will go.

Last week I did a variety of small shops, $5.23 here, $37.25 there, etc.
Total spent on food came to $76.62, putting me at $297.35 spent on $472.30 regular retail so far in June.  That gives me a 37% savings rate so far this month with 6 days to go in my buying month.
If #1 Son and GF don't want to eat what is left on my menu list, it might involve more food buying this month so check back next Monday for the TWOTDT Post to see what happened.

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?
Do you make a menu and how flexible is your plan?


Monday, June 23, 2014

Card Carrying Member of the FFV

I spent a good chunk of Sunday in the suck hole that is Genealogy.
I got past one of my brick walls and found some rather interesting(to me at least!)peoples there.

I also worked on your tree Sonya Ann and found some interesting folks related to you by marriage on your mother's side(not direct ancestors).  Yeah, I even get worked up about OTHER PEOPLE'S ANCESTORS and Allied Family.  I guess I'm a genealogy geek.  8-)

Anyway, back to my find.

It was thought that my 5x GGrandfather, John Mason 1742-1802 of the Southside Virginia Mason line had married an Elizabeth Gee 1741-1763.

Well he DID marry her in 1760......but she died 3 years into that marriage around age 22.

Up until recently it was thought that Elizabeth was the mother of all of this John Mason's children.
John is purported to have had 10 children so unless she was the original OCTOMOM this isn't correct. lolz

This was all brought up to me by someone I have connected with through my DNA testing.  She and her brother matched my autosomal results and we found that we are related genetically through the Mason line. 

She is the one who tracked down an old family record in a Sons of the American Revolution application that some of John Mason's issue were from another wife, Jane Thweatt.

This marriage to John Mason was Jane's second, as she was the widow of William Thweatt previous to John.  Jane's maiden name has been uncovered as being PARHAM.
Jane Parham 1741-1803.

Jane married William Thweatt in Sussex County, VA(west of present day Suffolk, VA-it was formed in 1753/4) in the year of 1755.
Jane married again as a widow to John Mason in Southampton County, VA(south of present day Petersburg, VA which is northwest/adjoining Sussex Co.) in the year of 1764.

Southampton County was formed in 1749 from a piece of Isle of Wight County, which was formed in 1637 from one of the original 8 shires, Warrosquyoake Shire, which had been formed in 1634, made up the Virginia Colony that had been founded at Jamestown in 1607.

Confused yet? ;-)

**Interesting tidbit about Southampton County to use at your next cocktail party--The Nat Turner Slave Rebellion in August 1831 took place in Southampton County, thus it is also known as the "Southampton Insurrection", mostly by Confederate sympathizers and Southerners though.

"Discovery of Nat Turner", Woodcut print of the capture of Nat Turner by farmer Benjamin Phipps, William Henry Shelton(1840-1932).

Back to Jane and John.....
William Thweatt died the same year as Elizabeth Gee Mason and by the following year in 1764 their respective widow/widower had married each other.

So this makes my direct ancestor Jane Parham, not Elizabeth Gee.

Tracing back from Jane, her parents were:
Ephraim Stith PARHAM (1723-1793)born Sussex County, of Sussex County, VA
Elizabeth thought to be RAGSDALE(dates unknown at this time)

Ephraim's parents were:
William PARHAM(1697-1756)born Charles Citie County, of Sussex County, VA
Ann Stith(1700-? sometime after 1723)born Charles Citie County, of Sussex County, VA

This STITH Family Line discovery connects me to the Stiths of Virginia, one of the FFVs, or First Families of Virginia.

The progenitor of the line in America is John Stith from Kirkham, Lancashire, England.  He was baptized in the Lancashire Parish in 1642, came to the Virginia colony before 1656, settling in Charles Citie County, VA.  He was an attorney, a merchant and a justice of the peace.  He served in the VA milita for at least 24 years and ranked out as a Captain.
In 1691, he was High Sheriff of Charles Citie.  During Bacon's Rebellion in 1676 he sided with Colonial Governor Sir William Berkley.
(I discussed Bacon's Rebellion in the blog posts HERE *in reference to my Sneed/Snead line* and HERE *in reference to my Hunt line*. Both of these ancestors sided with the rebels in that conflict, whereas John Stith was part of the political machine of the time.)

Among John's children was Drury Stith(1670-1740)who married Susannah BATHURST(1674-1745).
Ann Stith is their daughter, making her the granddaughter of John Stith.
John Stith is my 9x GGrandfather.

This all makes me a card carrying member of the FFVs of Virginia and John Stith gives me yet another qualifiying member to join the Jamestowne Society.
Yeah, I am discovering pedigrees up the yahoo.

More on my Stith Ancestors later as this has gotten long.

In tribute to my FFVs, I'll leave y'all with this EARWORM.....By the way.....Richard Henry Lee is my 2nd cousin too.  ;-)

What's that I hear you say?
Thanks a lot for the earworm??
Your welcomed! lolz


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Busy Saturday

We got lots done on Saturday.

Took a trunk(not truck)load to Salvation Army.
Got the dog bathed and brushed.
Picked up RXs.
Deposited 2 dividends and a rebate check into the bank acct.
Went through the garage and got a start on another load for Sallie's.
Got rid of more cardboard boxes from the garage.
Went to Ollie's(Good Stuff Cheap!)and spent $34.14 on food items, plus more on some items for Hubs and #2 Son.

I also went up to the grocery store to pick up $10 I had evidently forgotten when I wrote a check there last month(Please note, I do NOT write checks at the grocery store and I told her so.).

I can't recall that I did this, but they called me at home and when I went in Saturday, the lady at the Customer Service Desk insisted I did and I should take the $10 bill she was holding.  Well, if you insist, yes, I will take your money. 8-)

I promptly spent that free $10, before I even left the store.  They had a grocery cart of discontinued toiletry items and everything was 50% off or more.

Everything in the photo came to $12.23 and once my free $10 was applied I was out $2.23 for a stockpile of soap and body wash for #2 Son to take to college.

Nice. 8-)

As for my meal planning--We ate meals #16, 17, 19, 21, 24, 25 from my list so far this week.  I didn't have to cook any new food(besides defrosting frozen veggies)until Friday night.
Today will either be spaghetti and Italian sausage with salad OR lasagna and salad since the weather is conducive to running the oven Sunday.
I might splurge and get Subway on Monday or do Breakfast for Dinner.....or we'll finish the leftovers(1 helping of Stroganoff and 1 helping of spareribs and sides).   Not sure which it will be yet.  Tuesday oldest Son arrives for a week so we'll be leftover free by then.

We are also still eating brownies and cake from the Graduation Party.

Hubs cut the grass and we had a fire in the fire ring last night.  The air was cool and the bugs were out unfortunately and I forgot to put any bug spray on. bleh.

In blog news, I have decided to leave the blog roll on the side bar AND have a blog roll page, so everyone can find their favorite reads from either location.
See?  It is possible to make everyone happy......sometimes.

I have also been adding blogs to the roll as I think of it.
Again, if you want me to add your blog to the roll, or you have some good suggestions for blogs to include, please let me know.

In addition, I have updated my "Thing to Do" List on the side bar.  Yes, I hang my head in shame that it still was on April, and that April update was a half-assed effort at best.
Speaking of half-assed, I have still not finalized a list of Goals for 2014 and we are closing in on the midpoint of the year now.


On that note, I am signing off for the day as I need to get more de-cluttering and organizing done today, instead of sitting on this machine all day.

What's going on at your place this weekend?



Friday, June 20, 2014

Sluggy Alone in DC.....Part 2

Thursday dawned and a quick look out the window I discovered the weather was sucky for outdoor sightseeing.
Yep, forecast for all day was rain, a slow drizzly rain.  Any copious amount of walking outside is difficult for me, add in heat and/or rain and it's just not going to happen.

Hubs left early as the conference goers had a breakfast meeting.  The thought of an $18(yikes!) room service "pastry basket" put me off.
So after a leisurely shower and downing the leftovers of the welcoming fruit plate from the day before and a cup of hot tea I readied myself for the day and left the room at the crack of 10.

Touring monuments via the "jump on/jump off" buses was not the option I went with because of the precipitation.  Instead I found a nice INDOOR thing to do and it was only 2 blocks away so I could walk that.  I waited for the rain to let up and walked over.

So where did I go?

Why the US Postal Museum, of course.

That place is jam packed with information and stuff.

I found particularly interesting these postal mailing containers.
Back in the 1800's, as the country expanded west, most goods were unavailable locally in stores, so most everything that had to be bought was delivered by mail from manufacturers/companies back east.

This metal box is for shipping could hold 6 dozen if memory serves.

This was a metal box a college student could use to ship their dirty laundry home and have it returned clean by dear old mom.   This was a common practice into the 1940's believe it or not.   Thankfully for me, colleges have now discovered washing machines....lolz 
Seriously?  Would you want your ungrateful teen sending you their dirty drawers?

This tiny 6 inch long wooden container was for shipping bees...probably just a few queens.
I've known a few queens in my life and none of them would fit in this.....hell no honey!

And this wooden insulated box was for shipping butter.
Mmmm.....doesn't it make your mouth water?

They had an interactive exhibit for mail sorting.  For kids there were mail bags and packages set up and they could throw sort the parcels.

For the older peoples there was a mail sorting machine/keyboard.  After a quick tutorial you had to be the sorting operator and input postal zip codes into the machine to route the letters to the proper office.  The thing sped up as you worked.
The lady before me failed this test miserably but it looks like I have a bright future in the US postal service......well, if it was still 1972.

Here is an old scale.  I had to put that in as tribute to my years of selling crap on scale was practically my BFF back then.

An old postal wagon used pre-1920.

Stagecoaches were used for mail delivery well into the 1900's.


This was the top of the line in stagecoaches.....made by the Downing and Abbott company in Concord NH.  They were the most comfortable of coaches and fanciest....and I daresay the most expensive! lol 
Of course the ones used in the west had no glass windows, as the rough trails out there would have shattered them all by the first day of the journey.  These mail coaches as they were known were produced until 1919 by this firm.
I sure hope there was plenty of padding on the ones used out west, so the passengers didn't get too roughed up on the journey.

Can you imagine having the view of this for hour after hour, day after day if you drove wagon back in the day?

William Goddard is an important historical figure in our early history as a nation, and was instrumental in setting up the predecessor of what we know as the US postal system today.
He worked with Benjamin Franklin to innovate and set up a mail delivery system between the colonies, separate from the British mail system then in use.  As the means of communication between colonies during the American Revolution it was a vital part in our winning that struggle.

While the Continental Congress passed him over and gave the job of US Postmaster General to Benjamin Franklin, William Goddard essentially became our first Postal Inspector.  Goddard was also a publisher and printer...... was his older sister, Mary Katherine.

For all you feminists out there, Mary was our first Postmistress.
Along with their parents, they founded the first newspaper in Providence RI called the Providence Gazette.  William left to start a newspaper in Philadelphia, as well as a revolutionary journal called The Maryland Journal.  
When William started traveling to promote a postal system for the Colonies, Mary took over  running The Maryland Journal until 1784.

Mary Katherine Goddard became Postmaster of the Baltimore MD post office, which at that time was the busiest branch in the Colonies.
She also ran a bookstore and published an almanac over the course of her career.
Her big claim to fame was that she was the first publisher, while heading the Maryland Journal, to publish the certified copy of the Declaration of Independence with all the signatures of the Continental Congress, that was circulated.

Might I add that this was quite the risky thing to do, and treasonous by British standards, and put her life at great personal risk to be hanged as a traitor to the Crown.
Mary Katherine Goddard, you had you some balls lady!

They had an actual old post office, such that you would find inside a general store, which included this bank of metal post boxes.

You know, my postal box at college looked just like these!
Yes, I am as old as dirt.....

Oh look!

 To totally changed gears, here's The Unabomber exhibit....

 Complete with a replica Unabomber package.

I learned way more about the Pony Express than I ever wanted to know...

The Pony Express only lasted for 19 months or 308 runs.
The bag used to carry the mail was called a mochila.
Mail cost $5 for half an ounce at the start and was reduced to $1.
$3.45 was the charge for carrying the first 10 words of a telegram.
Special lightweight paper was used to print newspapers that were carried via Pony Express.
34,753 mail items were carried in total.
The route ran from Saint Joseph, MO to Sacramento, CA.
The first trip west took 10 days.
400 horses and 120 riders total were involved.
Riders could weigh no more than 125 lbs.
Riders were paid $100 a month.  (Unskilled labor of that time by comparison was $1 or less a day.)
There are only 2 reports of lost mail(one due to Indian attack).
Most well known Pony Express rider was William Cody(aka Buffalo Bill), though he is a celebrity not for his PE days but for exploits later in life.

First rider was either Johnson William "Billy" Richardson or Johnny Fry(back row, left to right)......

Me with a display about how important the mail system was during the westward expansion/the Great European immigration during the mid to late 1800's.  Pre telephone, letters were how families, separated by continents and oceans, stayed in touch.

And a clip of a letter sent during this time.....

Me with Zippy......Mr. Zip to you.....

There was an actual railway mail train car in the hall.
Inside was a film....

My favorite part was the exhibit about Owney, the Postal Mascot Dog.
Here's the film about Owney they show in a kinescope machine in the main hall.  Try to ignore the children screaming and the power tools background noise.  No, the kids weren't running amok with chainsaws and drills that day nor where they filming another in the series of Friday the 13th movies.  US government employees were working on a closed exhibit(your tax dollars at work!) while a swarm of pre-schoolers with their handlers were storming through the museum.

Unfortunately(or fortunately)they don't tell you about the sad end Owney came to.  It's still mired in controversy but the story goes that Owney was "put down"/shot June 11, 1897 in Toledo OH, amid claims that Owney had became aggressive.

Other sources claim that a kind hearted mail clerk in St. Louis had taken Owney in during his dotage and the head of the Railway Mail Service told his employees not to let the "mongrel cur" ride in mail trains any longer.  This officials employees defied their boss and took Owney on a mail train to Toledo, where he was said to have attacked a mail clerk and a US Marshal there so the Toledo Postmaster shot Owney dead.  It's reported that a mail clerk had chained Owney in Toledo in the basement of the post office there and many suspect that this is why the dog became aggressive.  The Chicago Tribune at that time, displayed outrage and called it "an execution" and there has never been a satisfactory answer surrounding this event.  The Postal Museum kind of glosses over this incident.

The museum even have the real stuffed Owney in a glass case in the lobby.  After he was put down he was "preserved" and in 1911, whoever had him then, donated him to the Smithsonian and he came to live here in the Postal Museum.
If you want to see his carcass you can Google Owney.  It was just a little too gruesome for me, as the passing years have not been kind to Owney.
Poor doggy.

I did purchase a pin, in the gift shop, of the postage stamp released in 2011 honoring Owney.....

Da plane! Da plane!

In 1911 this Wiseman-Cooke aircraft made the first mail flight officially sanctioned by a U.S. Post Office.     Fred Wiseman flew from Petaluma to Santa Rosa in California.  The trip took 2 days.

An old mail truck, early 21st Century.

In the Wartime Mail display, a coconut mailed home to his wife by a serviceman during his stint in the South Pacific theatre of World War II.
And it was delivered safely to Springfield, MA.

A statue honoring Benjamin Franklin in one of the hallways outside the Museum near the restrooms.
What an honor.....

There was also an exhibit of  stamps issued over the decades by the US Postal Service in another part of the building.
Philately doesn't rock my world so I just made a quick duck into that exhibit and that was enough for me.

There was also a small gift shop and even better, a Stamp Store next to it that carrie almost every single US postage stamp currently available.
Of course I couldn't think of any single stamp design I wanted at that moment. 8-P

Of more interest to me was the architecture of the old Post Office building the Postal Museum is house inside......this was the City Post Office building for Washington D.C.  Constructed in 1914 it served in that capacity until 1986.

 A shot out in the lobby(of the old customer windows), before you have to go through the metal detectors and the surly guards to get into the museum space.

The incredibly detailed plasterwork on the ceilings from 1914.  You don't see this artistry anymore.

One of the two main entrances viewed from the inside toward the door.
The Postal Museum takes up 75,000 square feet of the old City Post Office but there is much more room than that in this building.

After taking in the postal sites I slogged in the rain, a block over, to Union Station.  This is the transportation hub for the Capital Hill area.  It's a bus, train, subway station.
Completed in 1908, Union Station, was designed by Daniel H. Burnham in the Beaux Arts style.  The building is modeled after the Baths of Caraculla and Diocletian and the triumphal Arch of Rome.  The exterior was constructed with white granite from Vermont.  The interior woodwork is all mahogany.

The design included statues of semi-clothed Roman figures. The figures were originally cast as nudes, but railroad officials, fearing the public would be offended, ordered shields be strategically placed on each statue.  Love them Victorians......

The building cost $4 Million to complete in 1908.
The restoration of the building cost $160 Million and was completed in 1988.

A bit of trivia about Union Station--During World War I it was used to mobilize the US troops heading overseas and many prominent woman in Washington Society worked in the Station's canteen serving our boys in uniform.  One of them was the second Mrs.Woodrow Wilson, Edith White Bolling, who happens to be my 7x Great Grandmother's niece, through her third marriage to Thomas Jefferson's uncle, Field Jefferson.  I talked before about Edith HERE and Mary and Field HERE

Besides being a transportation hub there are restaurants and shops galore in the new improved Union Station.

I picked up a few souvenirs at a couple of stores there, though I didn't buy any of these cute sock monkeys.....

I went into some stores I have never been in before as well, like H&M and The Body Shop.
I didn't stay too long in The Body Shop as there was a super aggressive sales lady chasing me around with her sales speil and squirting me with fragrances and lotions.
I smelled like a French whorehouse by the time I emerged from that place!
Way to lose a customer bitch.....

I grabbed a sub sandwich from a food vendor called The Potbelly Sandwich Works and a bottled tea and wearily trudged back to the hotel to eat in the room around 2:30pm.

A bit of internet time and then Hubs was back from his day of conferencing.
Soon we rode down for the big Conference Dinner in the banquet room of the restaurant next door to Hotel George, which was actually IN the hotel.

A cocktail hour with appetizers(duck breast egg rolls?  Yes please!!).  I sat on the red sofa in the photo above, awkwardly alone, while Hubs did his mingling thing about the room.  A few of his industry coworkers came and sat and talked with me when they tired of talking shop and we had a delightful visit.  Seems one of Hubs coworkers has vacationed on Bailey's Island off the coast of Brunswick, Maine, where I spent 2 Summer's working theatre.  We compared notes and reminisced about our experiences there.

Then it was time to sit down to dinner.....
 Filet Mignon and Crab Cake.....

Dessert was a plate of amuse bouche pastries.  The best one was at the back, the yellow rectangular one.  Notice the tiny macaroon....I think it was 1/2" wide.  WTF?!?  And it had no flavor.....
I am still NOT convinced that they didn't actually make a mistake and serve us a board game piece--right size, and those have no flavor as well.....

 Our table with some of the conference attendees.

Hubs looks a bit lit up in this

Soon it was back to the room.  After a cocktail, 2 glasses of wine and dinner, sleep soon followed.....and I am guessing it's safe to say that snoring also followed as well.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Just an Extravaganza of Randomness

*  Well, the Graduation festivities have come and gone and so have assorted relatives.  I got the house in decent enough shape before the hoards descended.  All the cooking got done too with help from my sis in-law.
#2 Son's friends showed up for the cookout....about 2 hours after we ate.  I should have known better than to start a cookout at noon when inviting 18-22 year old males.  This crowd is NOT known to be early risers after all....and yes, getting up and out of the house by noon would constitute an early riser.

After all the celebratory eating and drinking was done, I have a ton of food leftover so Hubs and I will be eating on all this for meals this week.  I don't believe I will have to cook anything until at least Saturday.

*  My awesome lime green leather chair did NOT arrive on Friday, when it was suppose to according to FedEx/the manufacturer.
Sis in-law and I followed a FedEx truck on Thursday on the way home to the house from the grocery store.  I  joked that maybe my chair was on that truck(since we don't see many FedEx trucks around here)and they were delivering it a day early. HA!
Friday came and went and I checked the tracking # that evening after things settled down.  It was on the truck but it was parked at the facility 2 towns over until Monday, since FedEx home doesn't deliver on weekends.  Yes, the chair got to the truck at the facility and then got to sit for 2 days. Lovely.

But when I got up at 9am Monday and came down the stairs, I saw a big box sitting on my front porch already....

I had to wait until #2 Son got up at the crack of 1pm to help me cart it into the house and unpack the chair.
But here it is now, in all it's glory.....

It really needs an ottoman however for me to sit comfortably in it.  Having short legs, the seat is too deep, so my lower extremities hang in midair.
But it looks lovely.

You will notice that I still have NOT gotten the living room curtains finished, as the bare window behind said chair attests to.
I did work on the curtains last week and have almost gotten the tabs for hanging them attached to one drape.  I just seem to move in slow motion these days.....

*  I spent yesterday trying to make head way in cleaning/organizing the garage.
Here's a shot from before I began this Herculean task.

#1 Son is coming for a weeklong visit next Tuesday and I want to get everything gone through before he arrives and box up lots of items I want to send to Salvation Army.  Yes, another clutter and purge session!

I plan on having all this ready to go but not before I let him go through and see if there is anything he wants.  After I let him pick through I'll give Daughter second dibs on things and I can take that out to her when I make another trip to Louisiana.

That large shelving unit hides another just like it behind it, out of the camera's range.  Both use to hold my vast food stockpile, but as my stockpile has shrunk, both are not required now to contain it.  I got my mailing boxes sorted and up on other shelving unit.  Now I need to go through and organize all the foodstuffs, as they have just been thrown willy-nilly onto the shelves for the last year.

I suppose I'll work on that task today.

*  Speaking of Daughter, the house closing was suppose to be this Friday.  It has been delayed yet again with the signing of an extension until mid AUGUST!
The excuse being touted is that the Seller's attorney didn't file some paperwork.  Really?!?
Incompetence, thy name is lawyer.....

This means now that I won't be going to Louisiana to visit the Daughter until the Fall.....which changes the plan for my July trip......well, what little plan there is at this point. lolz

*  I've been paying bills this month as they come in but I do need to sit down and go over where we are with the money for June.  The big honking credit card bill came in yesterday and I need to separate out the regular charges(gas, etc.)from the charges I am paying from Hubs yearly bonus.  I didn't counted that bonus in our regular income.  A chunk went to finish off #2 Son's college fund and I have been holding the rest of it in reserve.  My new purple car is being paid out of that bonus as well as the new sofa and chair I bought for the living room.  I need to add this all up and see what is left(if anything)from that bonus.  If there is anything left I'll put it toward my July road trip.

*  I started panicking this morning about #2 Son's college stuff.  Up until now I've been too distracted to concentrate on all this, other than filing the FAFSA.  It seems we never received his financial aid award letter.  So I had to call the school about what was going on.  They "say" they sent it out late February. Hmmmm.....really!?!  So they are resending it later this week.  It's not like he gets any help though since we are rich.  Right.  We are up to date on everything now.  We have dealt/are dealing now with 3 different colleges in our state's public university school system and it drives me INSANE that none of them have done things the same way!  They all have their own way/time frames for doing everything so I can't use my experiences with School A or B when trying to deal with School C.
It's so frustrating and makes me want to eat rats in Tewksbury(to quote someone I know). ;-)

*  I had a dr. visit early last week.  The bad news--my weight is up(a little).....the good news--my sleep apnea is totally under control and I graduated to only having a yearly dr. check-up.
Go me!
Also in the good news department--we hit our high deductible late last month so now we won't be hemorrhaging money on medical bills.  It will become slow steady leakage instead..... ;-)

*  I've got a case of the blues this week.  I suppose it's the aftermath of the excitement(and strain)of last week's festivities/events and the getting everything ready.  I really don't want to do anything except sit and eat pastries and bread #2 Son brings home from his job....and that half a sheet cake left from his party.
I've got the Summer doldrums I guess.  I've never been a big fan of Summer and the heat, even as a kid growing up in the South.  Give me Spring and/or Autumn any day instead!  My mojo and motivation goes out the window in Summer.  Add in that our swimming pool is shot and I won't get nearly enough exercise this year.  I miss our pool but the expense of fixing it when we will only be living here another 4 years wouldn't be worth the $$$.  Sigh

I've got plenty to do to keep me busy but nothing sounds appealing.  I hope I can pull out of this soon and be productive.  8-(

So what is going on in your corner of the world?



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sluggy Alone in the DC....Part 1

I am not a gal who enjoys crowds and big cities.
I doubly don't enjoy those two items when I am by myself without family or friends around.

That being said, I had an opportunity to go with Hubs to his G.A.P.C.A. conference in Washington D.C. last month.  (GAPCA stands for Group Annuity Pension Compliance Association.)
Since his company was already paying for the rental car and the lodging, I could tag along and all it would cost out of our budget would be my meal costs.

Whether to go still gave me pause since Hubs would be in meetings until 5pm-ish the two days we were there.
This meant that I either hid out in the hotel room all day or I had to get around D.C. on my own, by my lonesome.
Add into this uncomfortable-ness that from noon on Friday, when we had to check-out of the hotel,  until 5pm I would have no where to be, except out into the unknown of the mean streets of Washington.
Oh my!!!

That thought almost made me decline the invite.
I am a bold, sassy woman of "a certain age", yet when all alone in a big city, I am nervous and unsure of myself.

Yah, I am a fraud I guess, masquerading as a grown-up.  ;-)

Even though every cell in my being screamed to stay home!, I went anyway to prove to myself that I could do this.

We drove down on Wednesday morning, missing rush hour, and made good time.
Here I am after we left home.......from the look on my face you can see that I haven't yet convinced myself that this was a good idea! lolz

We hit Maryland finally.....

Pretty soon after that, we started hitting the big city traffic.
Hey, that I-83 Jones Falls Expressway/Baltimore sign looks very should!  I went to college around these parts.

I'm glad we had Viki along this trip.......Viki is our GPS.....

We nicknamed her that on the trip to Louisiana.  She liked to think for herself and take over and change our orders, much like HAL2000 or V.I.K.I from "I, Robot".

Hey!  I found the NSA........sssshhhh, don't tell them......

$1 for a bus ticket?

Yep, it's a Megabus.....the first one I've ever seen.

Before I knew it we were in D.C., working our way into the heart of the city.....

Almost there......

Valet parked the rental car and up to the 5th floor we rode.
Not a bad little room, done in navy, white and gold.  Note the pillows on the bed look like the front of a military jacket and shirt front.......

Gee, there were even pictures on the wall of relatives of my childhood friend's DH.....

Yes, the hotel was called Hotel George.
Yep, that George......

I took a selfie of me in the room to prove that I actually stayed in a hotel that cost $250+ a night...lolz

While the room was nice, the bathroom was amazeballs.....

I think it was as big as the bedroom part.  Heck, we could have held a cocktail party in the shower.....except the drinks would all get watered down. ;-)

Fancy pants soap and lotion and even a shower cap and a tiny package of Q-tips.....

Bottles of body wash, shampoo and conditioner in the marble shower....and no I didn't put them in my suitcase when we left......

If you haven't noticed yet or are new here, I have a thing for bathrooms.

The closet had a yoga mat, you know, for using in conjunction with the 24/7 private yoga channel on our big ass TV.

And we fought over these luxe animal print robes too.
Hubs had to settle for being the zebra while I was the leopard......rwaaar!

The mini-fridge was stocked with liquor nip bottles, as well as fancy pants waters, teas and sodas.
Then the cabinet next to the fridge was full of non-refrigerated "stuff" too....

Snacks and a bottle of wine.

Essential medical supplies.

An "intimacy" kit and more.

My ass about fell off when I took a gander at the mini-bar supply price list.
$3 for a can of coke.
$7 for a bag of M&Ms.
Great Googleymoogley!

But this was also on the counter by the evil Keurig machine......

A fresh fruit plate.....

And a freebie bottle of wine.......

And a thoughtful handwritten note welcoming us to the Hotel George......
Nice! 8-)

Being on the executive committee, Hubs had to bug out for a 2 hour meeting pre-conference, so I was left to my own devices until dinner time.
As we hadn't eaten since breakfast we headed down to the attached restaurant, Bistro Bis, and Hubs had a soda with me before leaving.

You could see the open kitchen from our table......

And here is my work of art on a plate.
A beet salad with exactly 11 leaves of arugula on it, $1 for each leaf.
The goat cheese on it was VERY good....

After eating, I headed back to the room, got nakid and laid down for a bit.  Of course, being the country bumpkin that I am, I forgot to close the drapes.  I bet the local hospital was inundated about 4pm that day with emergency cases of sudden onset blindness from adjoining building's residents.

About 5pm Hubs returned and we went down to the lobby.

The hotel had a complimentary WINE HOUR each night from 5-6pm.
You know I wasn't going to miss that now, did you?

Proof I was hand and my glass of Sangria.....

Hubs talking with a fellow employee in his industry.....

Then a large group of the conference attendees walked over to Johnny's Half Shell, a seafood restaurant......

Here's my dinner, Maryland crab cakes......

And here is dessert.....
 I ordered a rice pudding with lemon....

And Hubs got a peanut butter/chocolate pie concoction.

Conference attendees and Hubs' friends.

A quick selfie on the street on the way back in the wind....

And Hubs in front of the hotel....

A little tv and then we hit the sack.