Thursday, September 18, 2014

"Grandmother in Charge"

I'm in Charlotte, NC babysitting the grands while Sandy and Greg celebrate their 20th anniversary with a little trip to Myrtle Beach.

I'm back in "mommy-mode" and lovin' it. It's been a long time since I ran kids all around---but I have to admit, I'm having a lot of fun. I'm good at this---all the juggling. I thrive on it. I love the organization it all takes to work it all out. I just love it. From breakfast to dinner---on the go. I love to tease the kids, meet their friends, teachers, signing their papers: "Barbara---grandmother in charge"---embarrass them. It's all good!

Except----Sandy owes me BIG time. I sat through an hour and a half of a "senior parent's meeting" last night. Not "seniors" like me---but rather, "seniors" like Mitchell who will be graduating in the spring. I took copious notes:
I'm in the process of transcribing them now. I'm pretty sure I got it all. All I can say is "Wow!" There is a whole lot more to do these days in the application process than when my kids were at this point. 

Even though I won't ultimately be responsible for all of this, nothing will fall through the cracks on my watch!

Learn carpool line protocol---check.
Walk in and sign Elizabeth out---check.
Stop at Starbucks---check.
Meet Victoria's bus---check.
Go to mall for Apple store appointment---check.
Solve Lapps family computer problems---check.
Meet Mitchell for dinner---check.
Off to Charlotte Catholic for senior meeting---check.
Home to tuck girls in bed---check.

Pancakes for breakfast---check.
Out the door by 6:30 a.m.---check.
Meet Victoria's bus---check.
Drop Elizabeth---check.
Transcribe notes---check.
Pick up girls---check.
Meet Mitchell---check.
Pick up Mitchell's car---check.
Order Chinese for dinner---check. (Come on, this is supposed to be vacation for me too!)

Just one more day in the life of a "grandmother in charge!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Recipe Share

By request:

Warm Cheese Dip
8 oz. cream cheese
1 pkg Ranch dressing mix
1-3 oz. bag bacon bits
2 cups shredded cheddar
16 oz. sour cream

Preheat oven to 400. Combine all ingredients. Bake in covered dish for 25-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

I served it with Frito dips, but you can use any type of crackers.

Lemon Sheet Cake
1 lemon cake mix
4 eggs
1-16 oz. lemon pie filling (this was sort of hard to find)

Cream cheese frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Combine cake mix and eggs until mixed. Fold in pie filling. Spread in to a prepared 15x10 in. baking pan. Bake 18-20 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

There's nothing better than....

touring Franklin, TN on a segway! Riding a segway ranks up there in my top ten list of favorite life experiences. I've ridden segways in San Antonio, Chicago and then twice in New Orleans.
Butch had never ridden before and wasn't sure he really wanted to do it. Afterwards, he said it was a lot more fun than he expected.
We went with Bruce and Karolyn. Now that Bruce is "retired," we've been having a few adventures. We're going to try to do something fun and touristy once a month.
This is the old square in Franklin. We've been to Franklin dozens of times. After all, it's only 15 minutes from our house. I love all of the civil war history here. We've toured most all of the civil war sights.
 Karolyn, Bruce, me and Butch.
It was so much fun riding through the historic neighborhood. This area had the most beautiful, 3-story town homes built on what once was a black slum after the civil war. Each home is worth over a million dollars. I couldn't resist peeking in to this garden.
 Overlooking the Harpeth River.
After our tour, we had dinner at Kimbro's Cafe. The food was fabulous---I had the meatloaf, mashed potatoes and greens. Butch had chicken with white barbecue sauce and "slap yo momma'" mac and cheese. We stayed awhile to enjoy the music.

Considering it was a Thursday night, it was a lot of fun. We don't usually do things like this in the middle of the week. But, it was so much fun that I'm glad we did!

Five Things Thursday

Now I understand the Cloud. I signed myself up for a workshop on iCloud at the Apple store. I really thought I knew what it was. Today, I learned that I didn't know as much about it as I thought.

1. The cloud is used to transfer information from one device to another.
2. The cloud is a subscription storage service. Apple gives you 5G for free---which is just about enough to handle photos. If you need more storage, you have to purchase it.
3. The cloud does NOT store information from your computer---only phones and iPads.
4. The cloud allows you to access your computer from anywhere. You can even work on documents that are on your computer without actually being in front of your computer.
5. In order for the cloud to sync with your devices, they all need to have the same internet access. That's why sometimes when I'm traveling, my pictures won't transfer. I won't have that problem again! Yay!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Can there be anything better....

...than reminiscing with old friends?

We left St. Louis on January 1, 1977. I was scared and cried a good bit of the way to Charleston, WV. I was a country girl from a big city. I had never been out of St. Louis except a couple times across the river to Illinois. I was leaving with a new baby and my entire support group---I had my mom, grandma, 4 sisters, my cousin, Chrissy and lots of friends to help me if I needed it. I would miss them.

The enormity of the responsibility of a brand new baby---Stephanie was barely 6 weeks old---was overwhelming. Butch was working hard and going to school. As I cried to be leaving everyone behind Butch kept saying, "look Barb, it's going to be an adventure!" And, it was.

WV was a culture shock for sure. We arrived amidst cold and snow. We stayed in a motel until our money ran out. Then we slept on the floor of our new apartment---we shopped at Kmart for blankets and a rug. The moving truck did not arrive for two weeks.

I met Sandy---or I should say, we met her husband, Gary---the complex maintenance man. He brought us chairs from the laundry room and introduced me to his wife. The rest is history. We hit it off. We walked together with the kids. She reminded me of blackberry picking and how I taught her to make jelly. We took parenting classes together.

We were only there for one year. Sadly, after a few letters back and forth, we lost touch. That's why it's even more amazing to me that Sandy found me. I'm so glad to have re-connected! What a surprise and a gift! The internet is truly a magical place!!

Why don't you reach out to someone from your past? Let me know how it goes.

Monday, September 8, 2014

This Doesn't End Well

So, my brand new bike was delivered on Wednesday. I haven't been on a bike (regularly) in probably 45 years. Butch put it together for me. My short legs barely can reach the ground. I told him to lower the seat, but he said it was as low as it will go.
 I bought a helmet at Target. Safety first. Yeah, it looks real cute on. Not really, I look pretty stupid.
Here's my cruiser. It has the fatter seat, no fancy gears or hand brakes---just the old-fashioned regular pedal brakes.

Mindy and Butch went on "the greenway" on Saturday. I decided that I needed to practice in the driveway rather than just get out there. I'm not ready for miles and miles. I have to ease in to it because of my hives---that seat will definitely give me fits---and the handlebars. I'm going to take my time and break it in slowly.

Today was the day that I decided to give it a whirl. As soon as I got on the bike and turned it, the handlebars went wacky. I called Butch out to adjust them.

I have to admit, I was pretty nervous---scared, actually! I got going and kept it slow. I was on my second circle around the driveway when the seat slipped and I heard a piece hit the ground. I fell, but luckily my "padding" saved me.

I told Butch that either I'm too big for the bike or my "putter togetherer" did something wrong. He "fixed" it, but by that time, I just got on the treadmill. I might try it again tomorrow.
In the meantime, I'll let my elbow heal! If I have any more problems---well, at least I'm seeing an orthopedic surgeon on Tuesday for my toes!