Wednesday, November 28, 2012

More New Orleans

I'm definitely not a southern gal (even though I do love spending time in a warmer climates) so it's always culture shock when I visit. When we left for New Orleans on Nov 10 trees, grass,  and gardens were  brown and  dead  around here and we've donned long pants and warm jackets. On the bus I spent most of my time reading and talking to the people near me, but sometimes I'd look out the windows at the passing scenery. Highway 55 took us into MO where the trees were still wearing their fall colors. I'm seeing some green vegetation. Mississippi brought some cotton fields with a few stray wisps of cotton remaining to be seen. I was on the wrong side of the bus to get a photo. It was down right fabulous to see flowers blooming and green grass in New Orleans and the rest of our southern stops.
3/4 of our group....I forgot to get a beer

Bonnie, our trip/tour guide, makes the trip so much fun! She's full of energy, patience, and ideas! She's quite short and you could  always see her in her tie-dyed sweatshirt holding her camera above her head and trying to get a photo.  As the senior center supervisor not only does she take us on the trips, she has to raise funds for the senior center. One of the things she did was a 50/50 raffle and one of the gals in our group won the first drawing of $57....not a bad way to start your vacation! She also auctions of 'valuable' and unique items. It's hilarious because someone requests that she does an auctioneer 'dribble' and a few imitation auctioneer calls later everyone is laughing and someone has bought the sought after item.  For instance  my friend bought a refrigerator magnet for $17, she's going to transform it into a Christmas ornament and I purchased a brand new (cheap brand) of toilet paper  ($7) that had an autographed wrapper (by the bus driver and Bonnie). I wanted the autographed wrapper for my scrapbook to remind me of the laughter.

On a bus trip the itinerary is spelled out right down to the minute, but someone goofed with ours and our driver saved us some time in the Chicago area. We were able to make a few unplanned stops and arrived at our hotel early and even got home several hours earlier than expected.  One planned stop was the Rock 'n' Soul museum in Memphis. Everyone was given head phones enabling you to go at your own pace and listen to what you chose. At one point you could play some old rock and roll. At the end of our tour a group of about 8 of us were groovin' to Wooly Bully on our way out.
street artist - can you imagine how hard it must be to stand like that ? 

I caught a brief glimpse of this woman's white face before  she rode off on her bicycle 

posing in Jackson Square

her version of Mona Lisa?

 There are many opportunities for photos.....and for donations to the artists

To be continued.........................

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Orleans

Early Saturday morning we departed on the bus for N'orleans. It was a nice mild almost winter day.    I got settled and crammed into my seat. Talked to the gals across the aisle. I kinda new Carla from a stamping convention but hadn't seen her in years. So we became friend again and took turns 'picking on' (aka teasing each other). If ya can't laugh at yourself you have a pretty sad outlook on life! We both have the Nook color so compared notes and apps. The first interesting place we stopped was at Lamberts cafe, home of throwed rolls, in Sikeston, MO. Yes, they literally throw the huge rolls to you. Those young guys seemed to really enjoy that part of their job.
Then they come around and pass out free handouts: deep fried okra, beans, and other things I can't think of. We also ordered food and had to eat that. Needless to say we all overate. That was lunch, for supper we stopped at another place where we got too much food. That was the beginning of "I ate too much."

In Memphis we stopped at the Rock n'Soul museum.
Interesting to learn about the history of rock n'roll. As usual I felt rushed through it and just skimmed. Next door is the FedEx Forum, and there was a game that day so the area was full of people. 

I really, really liked this purse made from albums ($60, I think). There were only 3 for sale and I didn't care for any of the artists that were featured so I saved myself some money.

 Entering New Orleans over Lake Pontchartrain
The houses are NOTHING like any I have ever seen.

Driving on the  Lake Pontchartrain Causeway - the longest bridge over water (continuous). ..bayou....houses....more water

 We took a river boat cruise on the Natchez......

 On a cold, cold day. I thought my jacket was on the bus, but it wasn't so I was in search of a warm sweatshirt and another woman in our party was on a quest for a camera. Doesn't it look cold as you gaze at the skyline? I had on a light t-shirt, thin sweater. When I got my free t-shirt from the casino I put that on too! I did find a nice sweatshirt and I was really glad it had a hood!

 On our first day of free time we walked Bourbon St to Pat O'Briens for lunch. I was bound and determined to eat outside (that's one of my favorte things to do on vacation.) We sat in the adorable little courtyard and were seated right under the heat lamp....everyone was happy. 

 We shared a Hurricane

 I saw lots of interesting, alternative modes of transportation. This couple was on the trip with us.

 I enjoyed the street artists! 

 many, many unique shops to stop in....we didn't stop here though

 narrow streets, with buildings connected
after several fires in New Orleans it was ordered that buildings had to be connected

this little car holds 2, not sure if I be brave enough to drive in something this small.

Bourbon st.
I wish we had gone in the evening with some of the others from the bus. The daytime atmosphere is just not the same. Many, many streets were still under repairs from Katrina.

lots of unusual sights

I'm sorry I didn't post sooner..........I was busy and it seems like I've lost that lovin' feeling for my blog. Do you ever feel that way? Even though I didn't have to do anything for Thanksgiving I am feeling overwhelmed with Christmas preparations.

Last we they 'killed' me at one did my job so I had 2 weeks worth of work to get done. I was glad I had to work Friday, that gave me time to get it done. I totally forgot about my oldest granddaughter's birthday and feel like a heel.

My husband came home a week early from Singapore, so he went to my mom's with me. Even though he is not demanding as far as cooking and cleaning are concerned I still get more done when he is not here.

I'll post more photos soon!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you have a blessed time with loved ones, whether it's many or a few. My hubby will be home a week earlier than anticipated from Singapore, so he's joining me, at my mother's assisted living residence, for dinner with her. 
Sunday night I returned from my vacation to New Orleans, sorry I haven't had time to share my photos. Monday I ran errands, did laundry, and put Christmas lights outside. Today I had to work and when I got home I put a new lock on our front door. The directions were as clear as mud! If they have to have those stupid diagrams I'd like the directions in WORDS to explain it! Wednesday and Friday I am working....there's my life in a few short sentences. 
I will be back as soon as I can to post more fun and exciting news.....or just whatever pops into my mind....and to get caught up. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday

Today I want to share a few things that I am thankful for.......tis the season ya know!

  • I'm thankful that my sister has found a great guy to love and that he loves her too! She's waited a long time for this. God had her focus on raising her son before He put Jack into her life. Logan will graduate soon and that part of her life will be past. She's HAPPY and deserves to be!
  • I'm also thankful that my good friend and (almost) former sister in law is finally happy and 'finding herself'. She had a lot of upheaval in her life the past year: loosing her job, starting school   at 40+, leaving her husband, raising a son who can be difficult, initiating a divorce, and dealing with a uncooperative (soon to be ex). She's started a new life and is HAPPY and deserves to be!
  • I received a phone call from my step son (who usually only calls when he needs something ..hhmmm) This time he had some good news to share. His supervisor called him into her office and showed him a letter she had drafted and that was signed but the other supervisors stating that they want to put him on as a full time employee (he is currently in a seasonal position that is ending as I write this) and send him to school for CNC training. :-) I am so excited for him! This is the break he needs, he's made a lot of bad choices in the past but is trying to move on. It's not for sure as I write this.....but I'll be praying.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Sensitive Subject?

Well, this is kinda personal............but I think women all have to face it at one time or another in our lives. I'm fair skinned and have light, fine hair. I am over 60 and have been finding fine hairs on my upper lip and chin area. The chin area is easy to pluck, but a mustache? not so easy. It's really not that noticeable but it still bothered me. In summer I shave my legs every day, even though no one would probably notice, but I'd know. A friend of mine is also fair skinned but her body hair is darker and coarser. I know she does the bikini wax thing but I don't think she has problems with facial hair yet. I have often seen a woman in the grocery store that I frequent who has a dark mustache and I feel bad for her. Maybe she doesn't know what do do? or maybe she doesn't really care. Just because we are older does NOT mean we don't wanna feel attractive, some women care more than others, but I think we all want to look our best. One day, when I was browsing in Walgreen's I noticed this facial waxing kit. It was under $6 so I decided to try it. I have never, ever waxed any part of my body. I read the directions and decided to try it - heat in microwave, brush on, pull off. Ok, it stings a bit a first but there is a lotion to apply to help diminish that feeling. It works, it's easy, I like it, it's inexpensive! So if you are uncomfortable with facial hair and wondering what to do, try this, it works!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday

Here I go with some random thoughts.....again.........
  • I'm going right to thoughts of Christmas TODAY! (actually I started a week ago) It was then 8 weeks until Christmas! No, I am not totally skipping Thanksgiving. Although this year the holiday will be different than usual for me. It doesn't really matter to me if I have a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings and tons of people or not. More on that later. I am thankful for many things, but I don't think I'll participate in "30 days of thanksgiving" this year, mostly because I will be gone for a week. As I am writing this (a week earlier) I am listening to a radio program by Marcia Ramsland titled 'How to simplify Christmas'. Marcia is an organizing pro and has written several books about simplifying your life. This year is our turn to host one of the family Christmas Eve gatherings so I need to get things done! I'll be loosing a week in Nov when I am gone. So I wanna start thinking Christmas early this year.  I hope to get some outdoor lights up before mid November and get some more Christmas cards made. I have almost enough completed but want to have them done before I leave on vacation  December. I know exactly what I am going to do so that takes a lot of stress away from me.
  • Hubby will be out of town for Thanksgiving and I hate cooking a big family dinner anyway so I am going to my mother's to visit for the day and eat dinner with her at her assisted living residence. It works for me! My step-daughter asked what we were doing and I replied 'nothing', which would be my stay home alone and have quite 'ME' time. But who knows how long my mom will be around and I don't visit much so it's a win-win situation to visit her.
  • eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh (insert blood curdling scream) I have hardly anything done that was on the listed I posted the other day. And today I will be gone most of the day. But I'll return home with a new do! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Let's Get Packin'

In less than a week I will be on my way to New Orleans! I am going with 2 friends and hopefully making a 3 one on the way. (A woman who barely knows one of the gals I am going with is being a 4th, so we can have 2 in a room). Guess I better get organized and think about packing. I do have a couple of things checked off my list. I found my overnight bag (for the couple of single night stays on the way there and home). There's a key and emergency numbers for my friend who will  check on the house.  I'm using up my gift certificates: appointments  1) for a hair cut and color :-) later this week. 2) I had a massage last week. I LOVE massages.  

Things to do yet:

  • plant flower cuttings that have been growing in water
  • print Red Hat info for everyone
  • make up a goodie bag for one of our Red Hatters who lost everything in a fire
  • actually pack for the trip
  • put all the boxes & bins back (in the basement) that hubby moved so the new furnace could be installed
  • clean, I like coming home to a semi clean house
  • put  up outdoor Christmas lights and put away all of my fall decorations.
  • and TONS more I am sure!
Wish me luck! Any suggestions for me? Thanks!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Art of Tablesetting

This year I was lucky enough to again view the interesting tablesettings at the Rahr Mansion. When I first heard about this exhibit MANY years ago I thought "Who in the world would want to see tables set  with dishes  and silverware? How many kinds of plates can there be?" Boy, I was I wrong. The table settings  are limited only by the individual's imagination. 
 If you know me, you'd know I'd have to pick this as my favorite (or one of my favorites). Perfectly coordinated: the ribbon napkin rings match the ribbon on the hat, the plate have polka dots. 
 I met a friend after work one day to walk through the exhibit, but the museum was closed. I really wanted to see it and it would be over by the week's end. What to do? I guess I was meant to see it because I got a last minute call  to babysit on Thursday so I had to drive to town anyway. I left early (for babysitting) so I'd have time to see the display before the museum closed. When I got there I was surprised to see my friend's car in the parking lot. The autumn one above was her favorite. 

This is up-cycling. They used broken parts from a bike shop to make something cool.
 It is more fun to have someone to discuss your interpretation with. 

 Carolee, a retired teacher, said she never had a place setting at her desk. It's all in the eye of the artist. 

I love the green and pink, but when I read the program I knew I had to share.  Read the program for the women's luncheon, in 1948, below. ......personal girdle care????  LOL

 A tribute to breast cancer survivors. 

The hat on the chair is exactly like the one in the photo.......that poses the question-which came first? 

"A Diversity in Marriage"
A merging of the Jewish faith and Christian faith. We spent a great deal of time discussing this one. 

 The one above is way too much for me.

 I love this autumnal setting too!

Are you a Star Wars fan?

 Of course, I HAD to have a photo of the Red Hat tea.

This one was done as a tribute to the artist's father, an avid hunter.

 In the lobby of the museum was a display of  painted  'Chairs for Charity'. Local artists paint the chairs and then thy are auctioned off, 50% the money goes to scholarships for visual and performing arts. I'm not sure where the remainder goes. They are fun to look at anyway. I am not an artist but I certainly can appreciate it! Hope you enjoyed this visit with me!