Thursday, February 28, 2013

Boston Trip

The dolls as I was dressing them

The jungle animals

The ocean

The north pole

Jack gathering animals for the farm area

Corinne fixing the dolls hair

The dolls waiting for the violin concert

The violinist
I went to Boston last week to see my daughter Kate and her two children, Corinne and Jack.  The kids were on winter break, so I got to spend time with them Thurs. and Fri. while Kate worked.  We had a good time playing with American Girl Dolls.  I'm always worried Corinne might think she is too old to play with dolls anymore, but luckily she still enjoys them.  Jack set up different areas in his room for all of the stuffed animals, and I dressed dolls while Corinne fixed their hair.

We also spent a lot of time eating.  Kate's friend Michael took us to the University Club Wed. evening, Kate cooked a big dinner Thurs. evening, Fri. my sister and her husband came for dinner and we had lasagna, shrimp pasta, garlic bread and tiramisu cake.  Then Sat. evening Michael took us to a Japanese Steak House.

Jack loves his cereal

Kate and Michael

Me with the kids--Jack acting silly

Jack was trying to catch shrimp as the cook tossed it


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New Kitchen

We're moving right along with our addition plans.  We've gotten financing and locked in at a good interest rate and talked to our contractor last week.  He told us to contact the HVAC man and electrician to have them come look at our house and see what we need to add.  He told us to also pick out our cabinets.  He can't really give us a bid until he know all of those things.

So, Sat. the HVAC man came and then we went and looked at cabinets.  The man who we were supposed to work with was not there Saturday, so we went back yesterday.  Though I've pinned a hundred kitchens on Pinterest and have a kitchen idea book on Houzz, I did not realize how many decisions we had to make.  I didn't really pay attention to all of the little details. We were with the guy for about an hour and a half and made lots of decisions.  We're going with maple cabinets painted white with grey speckled granite counters and a red island with a butcher block top.  We picked bead board cabinets but when he asked if we wanted up and down I had no idea what he was talking about.  He showed us and we agreed we wanted up and down--just not all cabinets the same in a row.  I want a farmhouse sink, but didn't realize there were so many choices.  He was pushing for a stainless steel, but I really want porcelain with some decoration on it.  When he asked about bathroom cabinets I realized I hadn't even thought about the bathroom.  He suggested we go with bead board in there, too.  I don't want it to look like we hit a cabinet sale and everything is the same, but he thought the bead board would look the best.  He's going to come up with a plan with everything we want and we'll go back and look at his pictures next week.

Then we went to the local appliance store where we've always bought appliances, and there were more major decisions.  We wanted a 36 inch stove, and the first one he showed us was $5200.  We were kind of shocked.  It had six burners, but I told him there was no way I could watch 6 burners at once, so we decided on a 30 inch for about half as much.  We're going with stainless appliances and started with all Kitchen Aid, but when we went with the smaller stove we switched to GE.  There were lots more decisions and we did not buy them yet, but we now have a pretty good idea of what we want.  By the time we got home, we were both mentally exhausted.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

I actually started this post on Tuesday, but all of the sudden it is Friday.

1.  I had a birthday on Sunday.  I got lots of nice gifts and gift cards, and lots of eating.  I got everything I wanted, lots of diapers to make burp cloths, a red dutch oven, storage containers, season 1 of Call the Midwife, the music from Jersey Boys, sheets, a darling egg tiered stand for Easter, and a few more things I cannot remember.  My biggest gift was a serger sewing machine from husband.  I guess when you're 63 the gifts aren't too exciting.

2.  Poor baby Stephanie's has been sick since she started day care.  She's had the croup, a stomach bug, an ear infection, a sinus infection, the flu, and when I talked to John last night she had a pretty bad cough.  She's been at the doctor's the past four Fridays, and it looks like she'll be there again today.

3.  My little sister Lorie was in hospital last weekend.  She is having trouble making platelets so they removed her spleen last month but that did not help.  She ended up with blood clots from the surgery and had to go back to the hospital.  I sure hope they get it under control soon.

4.  We went to a new restaurant in Webster for my birthday, The Block.  It is more expensive than our usual selections, but I had a gift certificate from my nephew from Chirstmas so we used it this week.  We had steaks that were pretty good, but no baked potato--the best part of a steak dinner for me.  Mine came with garlic french fries and RW's with creamed spinach.  We would have gone to Tuckers, a restaurant in Soulard, but last weekend was Mardi Gras and it's a zoo down there.

5.  Every other week I have to do payroll at work, and this is the week.  We have to send all of our new employees paperwork downtown to be put in the system, so the tutors cannot get paid until they are in the system.  It used to take three of four days to get them into payroll, but they forced an older woman to retire two years ago and replaced her with four younger women who still have not figured out what they are doing.  It's the fifth week of the semester and some of my workers are still not in payroll.  A math tutor quit the other day and I got a nasty e-mail from her teacher, telling me I need to pay my people.

6.  Which leads me to my retirement.  I'm still waiting to get the okay from social security to buy a couple of retirement years.  We do not pay social security in the Missouri Public School Retirement System, but I worked off and on for eighteen years before I started this job.  I cannot get SS now, but I can buy a few years by paying what I put into retirement each year plus what the school puts into my retirement, then my pension would be substantially larger.  I'd like to buy three or four years, but the way things are going I don't know if I can make it until the end of the fiscal year and until I get approval to buy years.  The dean would like me to turn in my resignation letter, but I'm waiting until I know for sure what's best for me.  The whole STLCC system has become more of a corporation than an educational institution.  They keep hiring more administrators and cutting student support and not replacing those who retire in the schools.

7.  My sister Patty had the Fancy Aunt Lunch Sunday for my youngest sister Libby, who's birthday is on Valentines and me.  It was really nice, except for my sister Lorie not being there because she was in the hospital.  She brought me a pineapple upside down cake Wednesday evening that she was supposed to have brought to the luncheon.  It was delicious.

8.  Our addition plans are moving along.  We applied for the refinancing this week and we are going to look at cabinets tomorrow.  An HVAC man is coming tomorrow to determine how to heat and cool the house with the addition, and the appraiser for the loan is coming next Wednesday. 

9.  I had a doctor's visit this week and all looks fine.  My blood pressure was 120/65, which is better than it has been in years.  It seems like I spend half my life going to doctors.  I need to find a new cardiologist because my old one has cancer and retired.

10.  I'm going to Boston next Wednesday.  Kate's kids are on winter break so she bought me a plane ticket for my birthday to come visit them.  I used to go on my spring break, but then she'd keep the kids out of school and her ex started complaining about his children being truant.  They're just getting over a blizzard there--I hope it melts by the time I get there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

50 Things

50 things you didn't know about me until you read this...

1.What color is your tooth brush? Turquoise
2. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Heating leftovers
3. What is your favorite candy bar? Reese's PB Cup
4. Have you ever been to a strip club?  No way
5. What is the last thing you said aloud? She looks like a trophy wife
6. What is the best ice cream flavor?  Moose Tracks
7. What is the last thing you had to drink?  Diet Cherry Pepsi
8. What are you wearing right now?  Sweat shirt and pants and slippers
9. What was the last thing you ate?  A piece of Abbey's birthday cake
10. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?  No
11. When was the last time you ran?  ha ha, um... in my dreams?
12. Who was the last person to send you a message/comment on your blog?  Sandy
13. Do you take vitamins daily? No.
14. Do you go to church every Sunday? No.
15. Do you have a tan? No.
16. Do you like Chinese food over pizza?  No..
17. Do you drink soda with a straw?  No.
18. What does your last text message say?  I don't text
20. What are you doing tomorrow?  Working
21. Where is your dad?  In heaven.
22. Look to your left, what do you see? My couch, dining room and kitchen
23. What color is your favorite pair of shoes?  Black.
24. Do you use chap stick? Yes.
25. What's your favorite thing to do in your free time?  Read or play on computer
26. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? Drive Thru.
27. Do you have a dog? Yes
28. Last guy you talked on the phone with?   Son, Robert
29. Last girl you talked on the phone with?  Daughter, Amy 
30. Any fun vacation plans soon?  Yes, Gulf Shores in May
31. Do you dye your hair?  No
32. Can you say the alphabet backwards? No
33. Do you have a maid service clean your house?  No, unfortunately
34. Are you jealous of anyone?  No 
35. Do you love anyone?  Yes.
36. Do any of your friends have children?  Most of them
38. Do you like cats? Yes
39. Have you ever been to six flags? No
40. How did you get your worse scar?  Appendix removal
41. What is your favorite smell? Christmas trees
42. What is the last DVD you watched?  Downton Abbey
243. Have you ever been to Disney world?  Yes
44. What is your favorite number? 14
45. Do you toast your pop tarts?  No
46. Have you ever waited tables? Yes
47. Where did you have your first kiss?   Back seat of a car
48. What should you be doing?  Laundry
49. Do you enjoy wasting time blogging?  yes!
50. Who do you want to tag?   Don't do that tag thing

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chance of Snow Flurries

We had a chance of snow flurries last night, but we got four inches.  I woke up to a scraping noise and couldn't figure out what it was till I looked out and saw the snow plow.  The weather is really crazy here.  One day it was 70 degrees in the morning and 30 by afternoon.  The next day there were storms and tornado warnings.  By Friday it was 7 degrees.  Crazy weather.

I was just going to post a few pictures from January.  We had our tutor training at school on the 11th:

The next weekend we had the kids over for son-in-law Dave's birthday.

Then last weekend we went to Cincinnati for Stephanie's first birthday.

My sweet daughter-in-law always has roses and candy in our bathroom for me.

We always stop at Cracker Barrel on the way there and back.  In fact, a year ago we were eating dinner in Cracker Barrel in Terre Haute when John called and said Stephanie had been born.