Tuesday, May 21, 2024

And It's Still May

Well, I guess I am no longer blogging, just listing anything that pops into my mind when I do have a free moment every few weeks? And pictures, lots of pictures.  

I'll start with recently and see how far back I can remember.  Late Sunday afternoon my husband opened the refrigerator door and it's wasn't cold. It was barely cool.  He is pretty handy but the fridge part was toast.  I was panicked.  I spent way too much time searching box stores in the closest big city for a new fridge that we could quickly pick up before closing before calling my neighbors and daughters to move food items. And it was Sunday night, after going grocery shopping. Luckily we found room for almost everything, and tossed anything that seemed questionable. 

At 9 am on Monday we were at the local appliance store as they opened with dimensions of the opening. My choice was this one, the same model in white and a black one that I did not like as well.  I was desperate enough to purchase anything (grandkids had to arrive with pints of milk for their breakfast) but I do love it. I was hoping for a top freezer since my knees are too old for the bottom freezer on the old model, I like the color and even though the outside dimensions are the same as the old one, we went from 18.3 cubic feet to 20 cubic feet of room that is arranged much better.  And it was 30% off for Memorial Day, they delivered it in 2 hours and took the other to the recycling.  Look how clean it is!!!

I remarked to a friend that we have spent more money this month than I probably made in a year when we were first married.  I am placing some of the blame on our new neighbors. To make a long story short - they had a new tv delivered. A 65 inch flat screen. Mr. Merry was pouting because he all the sudden needed a great big tv. So I told him to go buy one. But first we needed a tv stand.  I ordered one from Amazon and the very nice truck driver knocked at the door and told us it was smashed on the truck and did we want to refuse delivery? Yes we did want to refuse. 

This meant we had to go to a furniture store to buy one for Mr. Merry to put together. But when we walked in the door of the store, they had living room furniture on clearance. And trust me, my living room furniture was pretty sad.  So it is Amazon's fault that we had to go shopping for a tv stand and came home with an entire living room. And add in a giant tv.

So far so good. I am standing by my grandmother's kitchen table and benches to take the photo and that is as close as food and beverages are getting to the furniture. Since it is like going to the drive-in movies, the grandkids can see morning tv (Blimpi) from the breakfast table. 

I also bought the tickets for my class reunion which were $150, including a dinner, a golf outing, an open bar, a pool party at the hotel and a card game tournament.  Since we are only attending the dinner and aren't "open bar" folks, it is an expensive outing. I promised my best friend (since grade school) we would attend with her and her husband (who are only going for dinner, too) as it was a goal when she started her second bout of treatment for breast cancer. The reunion will be about 3 weeks after her last radiation treatment in July. We have another longtime friend and her husband joining us so we should have a table of people boring nobodies like ourselves. 

I feel blessed because I did have money stashed in my underwear drawer secret account, a good sized check from a side job I needed to cash and some extra money in the checking account to pay for the living room and tv that we didn't know we needed.  And I got such a good deal on the fridge I think we can eeek that out, too.  I did put it all on my credit card for points so I will use the cash back to pay my bank account back.  I can remember when we were searching for milk money in sofa cushions in the 1970's and I am so glad we are at the point where the least concern was covering the cost of the new refrigerator. The main concern was finding a refrigerator! 

We attended the graduation from preschool of our next to youngest grandchild. 

We were guests at Grandparents Day for the youngest grandchild. 

We visited the Amish greenhouses. 

We participated in the nursery school's St Jude Trike a Thon fundraiser. 

We danced in the rain. 

My purple iris came up but need to be split (hence the string). 

We have had several overnight guests due to childcare issues in the past two weeks. There have been lots of car rides with little people immobilized in car seats and trips for ice cream which kind of defeats the purpose. 

Last weekend we had two small guests as their mother is trying to move out of her house in another town since they moved to the new house almost two months ago . . .  I think she is overloaded like her mother! Luckily she is a teacher and will be home full time at the end of the month. There is already a lot of interest in the house so hopefully by July it will all be a memory. 

Somehow I am going to be a volunteer in a political booth this weekend at our city's Strawberry Festival. By volunteer I mean I was volunteered. . . 

And to continue but on a bipartisan basis, I am taking an American History class once a week for the month of May. The class is not bipartisan - it is nonpartisan.  A group of women my age organized a class since they (and me) realize that we retained nothing we were ever taught about American History in school. A very kind professor has volunteered to teach us using the slides from her AP history class for seniors gaining college credit. I have taken copious notes (because I retain more if I write it down) and it has been very interesting.  We finished the amendments to the constitution last week and I can't remember what is next this coming Thursday which will be our last class.  I really have learned a lot and I am excited about that. 

I also signed up for a summer reading program which will require me to read books other than the cozy mysteries I am addicted to reading. Here is my bingo card and I hope that I can find every book in my pile of unread books so that I can maybe share some books with the free little libraries in my community. 

I'm sure I will find the free time to complete this reading project!  

Thursday, May 2, 2024

It's May! Grands, Museum, Grands, Laundry, Grands, Stove

It's May. Even though May 1st in Northern Ohio felt like July. We have days of more rain in the forecast and tractors are in fields right now going about 100 mph trying to finally get things planted before it comes.  Our rain totals for April were the second highest in the graph I saw somewhere . . .  

And speaking of weather, a Toledo television station traveled to my granddaughter's school and she became a tv star (just ask her) when her picture was shown at 6:30 am today.  

Let's see, where did I leave off. . . We survived the wedding.  A week later I attended a 3 day state genealogy conference. Somehow driving in my comfortable car and sitting in a chair for hours and hours aggravated my back, my sciatica nerve and my feet (I diagnosed myself with a sprained Achilles but that is according to Dr Google).  I did win door prizes galore again, two books about real life history mysteries, tickets to two Amish museums in southern Ohio, and tickets to a special exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art. 

We left at 7am on the next Saturday for our assigned time. On the way up there I realized that the prize table had given me a certificate for the tickets to the special exhibit, but did not give me the actual tickets, LOL.  They were only fifteen dollars a piece, but when I told the story at admissions, they gifted me the tickets anyway.  It was an awesome day with gorgeous paintings and exhibits and I would share 1,000 photos, but I won't. AND we were so overloaded and awestruck we even missed part of the museum so we will be going back. 

Not too awestruck to order lunch at the cafe in the atrium where Mr. Merry had a cheeseburger platter and I had a Monet themed lunch special of Beef Bourgeon over noodles with greens dressed with vinaigrette, priced $1 more than a cheeseburger platter.  Delicious! 

And one photo just because I have to share at least one. This is a Fragmentary Burial Shroud, circa 120-150, Linen and Tempera paint, from the Roman Empire. 

Okay, one more. Portraits are my favorite. This young lady was painted by Rubens.  So many great artists, Van Gogh, Monet, Rembrandt, Sargent, O'Keeffe, Picasso (not my husband's favorite) I could go on. It was just fantasic

The next 10 days I visited my teenaged grandchildren and granddog while their parents attended a seminar in the Sanibel Island region of Florida which is still devastated by a hurricane in 2022.  They did not know this until they arrived and saw all the damage and some new construction.  They had a great time in the sunshine while I washed several loads of clothing and uniforms a day. This is one days' load of hoodies. 

And kept track of several pairs of sports shoes and tennis shoes, mostly twice the size of my swollen feet. 

This guy helped me get them up and on buses, feed them supper at three different times between activities, get everyone to sports practices, track meets, games and cheerleader tryouts and slept with me at night. 

Fortunately I was able to make it to my own home and bed and spent a few days in my recliner with my special sciatica pillow. I feel much better. Not ready to enjoy this weather with a walk, but better.  Unfortunately I ordered the boys some microphones that change your voice that turned out to be megaphones. Silly Mimi. 

And I wanted to share this.  During Covid the computer in my stove went out. This makes your stove flash codes to you but does not allow you to use the burners or oven. We braved the stores in masks to choose a new stove from the limited availability and bought one for more than I wanted to spend. Then we got a call that they were out of that stove and would substitute a more expensive stove which I have HATED from day one. 

It has four electric burners that only seem to like to be on instant boil no matter where you set the dial. And there is something up with the oven that causes it to smoke every time I use it. I have cooked for over 50 years and know how to use a stove, but in the limited time that Mr. Merry has used it, he had to agree that it has an evil mind of it's own. I calculated the cost and I have three more years before I feel I can replace it.  

Meanwhile, at Christmas I saw this Ninji oven thing on sale at Kohls for almost half off. And there was a coupon special for I think 20% off that. I informed Mr. Merry that was what I wanted for Christmas and an enormous box arrived. I wrapped it because I didn't want to deal with it and unwrapped it at Christmas. Then it sat until at least February because I had to decide how to rearrange my kitchen so that it would fit. The good news is that it is a double toaster oven, air fryer, regular oven, confection oven, and broiler so that I was able to eliminate the toaster oven and air fryer I was using to cook. 

This photo does not do justice to the size of this oven.  It came with two baking sheets and the basket for air frying. And an instruction book printed on paper which I need.  It is just a bit too narrow for a 9x13 pan but we are two people and it is more than enough for us. I can easily put four large burgers under the broiler with no smoke and cook a side dish in the second oven. Or bake chicken in the top and a potato casserole in the bottom. It is so smart that after I put the cooking method, time and temp on each unit, it makes all the food ready at the same time. It's magic. And my kitchen isn't filling with smoke and my food isn't burnt. 

I would like to recommend this Ninja thing. (I'm looking it up now). I think it is a Ninja 12 in 1 Double Oven with Flex Door.  Retails at $329, but it is usually on sale and I got mine for $160 including tax and delivery with all the different discounts. It was worth EVERY penny. Cheaper than a stove and if I didn't need the burners to scramble eggs (by lifting the pan when it's too hot and stirring), I would just put it on top of my useless stove. 

Can I add the air fryer is large enough to put 6 crab cakes from Aldi on the basket at once in case you would need 6 crab cakes to put on salads for family and friends?  I love this Ninja thing! 

I hope everyone is having a great May and special prayers to those who are struggling.  Don't get me started on current events either. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Just Checking In

I did not expect the eclipse to be as fabulous as it was. Here, on a sunny 70 degree cloudless day in the 100% zone, it was FABULOUS. (last year it snowed on April 8). 

My grandkids were ready. 

My neighbor with a great camera. 

Me. (you can see one neighbor in a driveway behind me).  The most exciting part was that when we reached the total eclipse our whole town erupted in cheers. It was unexpected and just perfect. I could hear voices from streets away! 

A local amusement park sold tickets to ride the roller coasters during the event. Here is a picture from their facebook page. 

My husband's family decided to go to a location closer to home instead of traveling to us which meant I did not have to overhaul the guest room or cook, LOL. 

Yesterday I ran to the drug store and when I came home there were five girls about 10 years old riding their bikes down the long slope of my sidewalk yelling like they were on a roller coaster.  And I wanted to be them so badly. 

The daughter is married. Everything went off without a hitch and we are so happy. At the last minute, everyone scattered to their own homes to get fancied up so it all worked out.  I worried for nothing. 

I'll share just one picture.  Here is my squad, my two daughters and two granddaughters who are 13 and 7, but super tall.  My hair is courtesy of my hairdresser Kim who knows how to use a flat iron? I love it, but I am afraid I would get third degree burns. I told her to remember what she did for my 50th class reunion in August. 

This is my wedding dress. It started as a mother of the bride dress, I think it was a mother of the groom dress, too.  One season I wore it to a nephew's wedding in June, a friend's daughter's wedding in July and my niece's wedding in October. I wore it to a mystery dinner theater once when the plot was who killed the groom. I can't count the weddings it has attended. I bought it for 39.99 on the clearance rack at David's Bridal about 10 years ago. It was a "petite" so I did not even have to alter it. 

My husband met my ortho who drained his knee yesterday and he is feeling 80% better already!  We are praying for his oldest sister who had a hip replaced yesterday and his youngest sister's husband who had a critical case of cellulitis manifest in a short time and was hospitalized until today. He was released with home healthcare for his affected feet and hands. That family! 

Today I woke up with a renewed sense of energy and managed to empty six big dresser drawers and bag up about half of those clothing to donate. Then I attacked my jeans pile and donated about three sizes worth of pants that are too small. I decided if and when I ever wear that size again, I will enjoy shopping to replace them. 

I am so looking forward to tomorrow! I am attending our state genealogy conference which is driving distance from my house. Tomorrow is my easy day as sessions start at 10am.  I am skipping the luncheon and taking myself out to lunch at the Olive Garden up the road. Friday and Saturday will be more challenging since sessions start at 8am. I might just go to Olive Garden on Friday too, but I remember that the venue has dance and cheerleading competitions in another area on weekends so I am packing my lunch and have volunteered to sit at the chapter table on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

It's Go Time

Thanks for the comments on my last post. Hubby's bursitis knee did not improve so I called and registered him as a new patient at my doctor's office (since he had not been to the doctor since the 1990's) and they got him right in. She was terrific, ordered everything from a colonoscopy to blood work to a scan of his chest (smoker). She also referred him to an orthopedist who got him in this coming Tuesday.  We got the blood work results yesterday and everything was perfect. Which greatly relieved him.  

I think he is of the belief that if you ignore a health issue, it will disappear.  I am trying to convince him (and so is his new doctor) that catching things early will make treating them easier. We will see how that goes. 

Meanwhile - wedding tomorrow! She did a final try-on of the dress yesterday and somehow now the straps are too long. I did the alterations this morning and hopefully we are ready to go. I have pizza ordered for a houseful of sons and grandsons while the ladies are getting hair done tomorrow, then I guess everyone is dressing in my tiny one bathroom house and heading to the venue.  

Friday morning anyone who spent the night is coming over for breakfast that I am making. Our town had a big restaurant that was closed due to family issues for a few years and just reopened. I called for breakfast reservations and they aren't going to start breakfast for two more weeks. So that makes me the chef.

I was sewing while she hit the craft store for last minute centerpiece flowers since Amazon said the order was delayed until Friday. After she got home, the order did arrive . . . 

Then a last minute dash for suspenders for the ring bearer.  I am excitedly looking forward to the weekend, LOL.   

Our town was featured on the news as the 16th best place in the country to view the eclipse. Once the wedding festivities end, I need to scrub my house for guests coming to view the darkness.  We waited until today to put gas in all our vehicles and it was too late. Prices rose 30 cents a gallon overnight. 

Laundry is calling my name!

Special prayers to my friend who is starting radiation treatments tomorrow and Debbie and her family  at https://debbie-dabbleblog.blogspot.com/   who are experiencing a challenging health situation. 

Miss Merry