Monday, September 14, 2009

Sweet Baby James Taylor

Now, isn't he just a dream come true??

On September 10, 2009 Rocky, Patti and I got to see James Taylor at the Plaza Theater. He was so good. You could just sit back and close your eyes and be transformed. But of course, we didn't do that. We couldn't take our eyes off the stage. (I can't really speak for Rocky when I get all dreamy like this!)

Right before the show started, they played that annoying "ring tone" audio and told everyone to turn off their cell phones, not just put them on silent, because the light comes on when you get a call, and, know. I thought Patti was going to have to be tranquilized. She has a special relationship with her phone and they go everywhere together.

Robyn had suggested that Patti hold up her phone during the concert so she could hear James from Santa Cruz! Even Patti didn't think that was a good idea, but Robyn said "Everyone will be doing it, waving their phones, standing up and singing." I guess she didn't understand this crowd was much like those who attended the Queen concert - except WAY more sophisticated and better dressed!! Once we were installed in our chairs, there was no getting up!

But at one point, I felt something pushing against my lower leg and when I looked down, it was Patti, almost standing on her head, trying to get her phone set up so Robyn could listen. But after a good long while, she finally gave that up and settled back in her seat so everyone around her could enjoy the concert!

James sang so many of our favorites and I guess we'd still be there if he had sung them all. The harmony of his group sends the goose bumps all over my body. So beautiful. His band is just great. Each member is a fabulous musician in their own right.

He has the cutest, most innocent sense of humor. I had never seen that side of him before, but it was delightful.

They returned to the stage for an encore, at first with the entire band, and ending with just the vocalists. He definitely saved the best for last. It was so awesome! This is my third time to see James Taylor, but hopefully there will be plenty more opportunities, because he's worth every penny!

As soon as I got home, I went to iTunes and started downloading all my favorite James Taylor tunes. I tend to do that after concerts. You should see my Queen collection!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Strange........but true!

When Patti and I go out shopping together, we take pictures of things we think are funny. This all started at Hobby Lobby, but Target also has some interesting photo ops. You'll be surprised and probably a little sad when you see what Patti did there! I could call that one "Sad.....but true!" The other interesting place for "strange......but true" photos is my house!

At Target, we walked thru the garden department and were naturally disturbed by the garden gnomes, but the bird bath attached to the garden gnome is what caught our eye.......or maybe it was the unusually large birds right next to the tiny bird bath. Patti tried to re-enact a possible scenario of a bird heading toward the bird bath, and the problem this particular bird might encounter.

Here is a strange way to carry your car keys.

Here is Patti. This is the "Sad.....but True" part. I couldn't get the right amount of light exposure, and Patti was perfectly willing to move about the store with that stupid sparkly, plastic crown on her head and the still-wrapped scepter over her shoulder! I was able to snap three different pictures!! Bless her heart! Isn't she adorable?

Here's Patti again. She found some brand new nail polish (that didn't belong to her!) at the jewelry counter and decided to stop and do her nails.

At Hobby Lobby we found some Frisket Remover. We have no idea what this is, but good news! If you ever need your frisket removed, there's a kit especially for that! We didn't spend any time trying to find out what a frisket is; we just thought it was hysterically funny.

Mirror image? Nah, it's just Jennifer's twins, Hyrum and Joseph, at the deck gate. Aren't they the cutest little guys?

Here's Troy and the big doggies on the trampoline. They jump up there when he's jumping, and in the morning, they get up on the trampoline alone and wrestle with each other. It's very entertaining!

Sometimes when we visit Mom, she lets us do ridiculous things to her.

Here's Mom doing her "jazz hands" routine.

So that's our "Strange......but True" issue. While there is absolutely no point to this post, I know you're all probably saying to yourselves "How old ARE you two anyway??"

Maybe we'll go out trolling again for more pictures. I'm a little nervous to go back to Target. I'm sure there is plenty of security tape footage with Patti and I slinking around the store, taking pictures!

But there's always Walmart.....imagine what we could find THERE!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

On Turning 60!

Last Friday, July 10, I turned 60. It wasn't a big deal. Honestly, age is not an issue with me and never really has been. But what I'm slowing beginning to realize is that I'm no longer bullet-proof, and my days probably really are numbered on this earth. Other than that, I'm OK with it.

The pitfalls of getting older:

Last week I was shopping at Albertson's. When I reached the check out, my 12 year old cashier asked if I was over 55. I said "Yes, why?" At this point, her voice suddenly reached a 108 decible fever pitch, and she screamed "BECAUSE EVERY WEDNESDAY IS SENIOR CITIZENS DAY AT ALBERTSON'S! IT'S POSTED ALL OVER THE STORE!" She was SO excited and proud. I looked around the store and down the street to see how many other people might have heard. I graciously thanked her, refused help from the carry-out guy and headed out the door, head hanging, to the car. It was a little embarrassing. But when I got home I looked at my receipt and saw I saved $7.25!" Not bad.

The next day I received a letter from GECU with a lovely and personal greeting of "Dear Valued Customer." It went on to talk about milestones in our lives and I'm thinking, "Ok, here it comes." So now I get free checks (but not the cute ones with the ladybugs on them!) more interest on my savings account, and 15 more points on my jumbo CD (whatever that means) and they had already made the changes before they sent the letter! Yeah!

So I guess getting older has it's advantages. I'm just not as excited as everyone else seems to be when they discover they have a live one! I still don't qualify for the senior citizen discount at the movies tho. Now THAT will make me truly happy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Paperless Life........NOT!

I decided that 2009 was my year to go paperless. I have so much paperwork to do all the time, and I get so tired of having to touch so many pieces of paper everyday. Besides, I want my non-existent grandchildren to be able to climb a tree one day! So I bought a document scanner and set up some folders to scan bills, statements, receipts, contracts, etc. Well, I'm finding it's not that easy to go paperless!

It never dawned on me I would need cooperation from everyone who thinks I need their paper in addition to the paper I already have! When I ask them to email it to me, I'm met with dead silence on the other end of the line. That's when I realize they think I'm from Pluto. So after the awkward pause, I ask if they have a scanner. The responses run the gamut from a very proud "Yes!", "No," or "I don't know." How can you not know if you have a scanner??? The few who know they have a scanner are asked to scan the document to email and send it to me that way. Now I'm back on Pluto.....all alone. The usual response is "Well, can I just fax it to you?" "No.....that would involve more paper." (I'm being as nice as I possibly can, and that's not easy!)

When I email a document to them, they are SO IMPRESSED! But you'd be surprised how many people can't open the document because they don't know about "double click the attachment!" Seriously! How long have we had computers, email and attachments?

So back to my immediate problem. I set up all my folders and they're ready to be filled. Well....honestly, it's just so much easier and faster to file, by hand, each and every piece of paper. (The time I spend running back and forth to the bedroom to grab bandaids for all the paper cuts, is in addition to actual filing time.) Scanning everything takes a good amount of time and dicipline, and that's not my strength! So at this point, I have papers from January 1, 2009, neatly stacked, but in no particular order, ready to go!!

I guess I shouldn't make fun of those who are still looking for their scanner. I have TWO, and still have a boatload of paper to get rid of. I'll do it tho, because the best part of this plan is shredding!! I have a deep, emotional connection to my shredder!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Last night Rocky and I decided we'd go see Queen. You know.....the rock band? I like most of their music but had NO idea what to expect from the live show. This picture shows how I sort of remember them from the 70's?

The show was held at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and anyone who's ever driven there from El Paso dreads the l-o-n-g line that can start on the freeway, sometimes 2 miles before you ever get to the University exit. It's so dangerous and it takes forever to finally get off the freeway and into the parking lot. So we left a little early, and when we got to the off ramp, there were only 2 cars in front of us and they weren't going to the Pan American Center! In seconds we were in our parking space, along with the other 10 cars in the lot. Seriously!

When we got to our seats, I think there may have been about 100 people at the most there. They slowly hobbled in until there were maybe 2000 total, in an arena that seats around 15,000! It was SAD! Most of the people were either our age or older and real out of shape. And there we were....front and center! Best seats in the house!

I've never seen Queen, didn't know their lead singer was Freddy Mercury, didn't know he was gay, and had only recently found out he was dead! But they have an equally talented (and gay) replacement for Freddy! He could sing and he did, while he skipped all around the stage, kicking himself in his own rear-end, and all while wearing a bright yellow marching band costume! Rocky said the real show was on my face! I had no idea what to expect. I turned to him and said "Maybe that's why they call it Queen?!" I'm sure Rocky was thinking, "Ya think??"

"Freddy #2" kept trying to get us all up on our feet and clapping our hands overhead, etc., but most of us were die hards! It wasn't gonna happen. Besides, I can hardly lift my left arm over my head anyway! A German family sat next to me and when "Freddy #2" said to grab the hair of the person next to you, slap them in the face and make them stand up, Mr. German man looked at me and I just said "No!" It was hard to tell if he was disappointed or not.

The music was really pretty good, but Flaming Freddie was so distracting! At one point he came out with an American flag drapped around his sweaty body. That was a little disturbing. Then at the end of the show he carried out a red velvet crown and cape. Wow. I guess he didn't see the need to model it for such a small crowd.

So as you can imagine, we had absolutely NO problems getting out of the parking lot, and we were back on the freeway, headed home in about 2 minutes!

God save the Queen!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! Our day started out with Jennifer's "vegan" whole wheat pancakes for breakfast. Vegan except for the egg. Eggs seems to be optional for alot of vegans! Yikes! Don't tell Jennifer I said that. But the pancakes were yummy!

I thought I had bought a card for Rocky, but if I did, I couldn't find it anywhere. I have a problem with cards. I always stop at the card section of just about every store and pick up several random cards, then proceed to never take them out of the bag and can't ever find them when I need them. When I do find them, years later, I always wonder "Hmmm .... I wonder who I bought that for?!?" I have a cute box for filing cards - actually I have two cute boxes for filing cards, but they're empty at the moment, except for a couple of sympathy cards filed under "Congratulations!"

Anyway, thank goodness I had watched the Today Show because Martha Stewart was on and she made the cutest Valentine cards, and they looked SO easy. I didn't really pay attention to the first part of the segment, which I have to say now, must have been the most important part, because when I went to Hobby Lobby to buy the stuff, which, by the way cost WAY more than going to Target and buying several cards, I couldn't find what I thought she must have used, so I thought, "Not a problem. I'll just improvise!"

I gathered all the materials together, and there were plenty! Then I cut out the hearts using a little heart-shaped box for the pattern. Here's where I actually DID pay attention to the demonstration on Today. Well it all looked SO easy, but noooooooo! In addition to what I had already purchased, I had to use super glue and then Elmer's glue when the super glue failed, and florist wire. Martha didn't use any glue at all! Or wire! The whole ordeal didn't go so well, but here's the final product.

While Rocky made rounds, I scurried around the kitchen making Valentine cookies and candy and was exhausted by the time he got home. And the kitchen was a horrible mess. I made some chocolate peanut candy and poured it into heart-shaped cookie cutters thinking, "Oh, isn't that cute!" But when the candy hardened, I couldn't get it out of the cookie cutters, so Troy and I came up with the bright idea of letting them soak for a few seconds in hot water. That worked well until we forgot what we were doing and hot water poured over the candy and made an awful mess. But it worked......sorta!

Troy and I decorated the cookies and as you can see, we are not in the bakery business, but it's the thought, right??? They all got eaten anyway, and we had a good time.

After all that WORK, Rocky and Troy and I went for a romantic Valentine's dinner at Peppe's in Canutillo. It's not a particularly nice place, but it has great Mexican food. After dinner I took a nap!

Hope your day was as nice as ours.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Seven Ways to De-Stress.......with a twist!

In my "25 Random Things About Me" post, I referred to something I heard on the Today Show earlier this year - a list of 7 ways to de-stress. The list was just different enough from most of the other ideas we hear about so often, and I thought you'd like to see it.

1. Exercise to decrease stress hormones.

2. Do some deep breathing.

3. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol.

4. Keep a Joy Journal. Write down things that make you happy instead of dwelling on your adversities. Keep the "daily grind" in another journal.

5. Schedule your "fret" time. ("I'll think about that later.")

6. Wean yourself off "triggers" such as checking the stock market every hour during the day, or weighing yourself every day. Check the stock market only once during the day, and jump on the scale once a week.

7. Take charge and take action of the things you can change. Let go of everything else.

There now! Don't you feel better already?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My "Almost" Top Ten Beauty Secrets!

Now there's an oxymoron, using my name and beauty secrets in the same sentence, but I've been tagged by Jennifer, and I must obey!

My beauty routine doesn't amount to much. At almost 60 years of age, they say less is more and they mean it. And it's so much cheaper!

Beauty Tip Number One: I HAVE to bathe or shower every day or I can't stand myself, and neither can anyone else. I use Twisted Peppermint body soap and foot scrub from Bath and Body Works. It smells soooo good! I used to use the Twisted Peppermint body spray until a little girl at church said "Mama, she smells just like cotton candy!" I thought I smelled all fresh and minty, but instead I smelled as if I'd just come from the circus. Poor Rocky used it once and the girls at the office said he smelled like bubble gum!

The Peppermint body wash makes a great bubble bath, but I have to be careful because if I turn on the jacuzzi, the bubbles multiply exponentially and envelope me! It's kind of scary because there's not alot of oxygen in those bubbles! The first picture is of a nice, normal bubble bath, the 2nd is only a few seconds after the jets have been turned on, and the third is my view of the bubbles while I'm in the tub!

Beauty Tip Number Two: After I dry off, I rub lotion all over my arms, legs and feet - Peppermint, of course! I have to wait a bit after I put it on my feet because when I try to walk on the wood floors, it's hard to remain upright.

Beauty Tip Number Three: Now comes the trickiest part. Makeup. I've never really been shown how to apply makeup, so I've been on my own all these years. So any thoughts you may have about what might have gone wrong on any particular occasion, now you know why.

One day when I was getting my hair done, a lovely lady asked me if I wanted to try a new type of make up "so pure you can sleep in it!" I didn't see anything different about that because I've always slept in my makeup, but I said "Sure!" like a dope, not realizing it was going to cost me more than I'm willing to say in print. For some reason, I thought it was all going to be free!!

She showed me all these different powders and "told" me how to apply them, but really didn't let me see what she was doing. Then all of a sudden she whirled the chair around and voila! There in the mirror was a CLOWN!!

On my own, I've slowly learned how to use this makeup and I really do recommend "Bare Essentuals." Yes, that's spelled correctly. It's reasonably priced, lasts forever and they have hundreds of colors!! I use only one or two colors myself, because I'm not very adventurous when it comes to makeup. The only problem with this makeup is, if a tear happens to roll down your cheek, you can see the track mark! Below are pictures of my makeup drawer and brushes. Nice, huh?

Beauty Tip Number Four: Applying the makeup, which is not the same as describing the makeup. Two totally different processes. First I start with a cheap moisturizer, like Oil of Olay or Ponds. Those pricey brands don't work. I've used them all, and look at me. If anyone disagrees, please let me know of a brand that really does what it promises!

Since I'm a middle-aged+ woman, I have several age know those brown spots we get on our hands and face. I was a sun worshipper in my youth and they're not kiddin' when they say "You'll be sorry one of these days!" My time has come. So I start dabbing on powdered concealer, and having alot of Irish ancestors, I sometimes get mixed up and spend alot of my 5 minute beauty routine dabbing at freckles!!

Beauty Tip Number Five: Makeup experts say to apply blush to the "apples" of your cheeks. My entire face is an apple, so it's hard to decide just exactly where to put that stuff! But if I mess it up, I just apply a mineral veil. That stuff is great because it blends all the awkardly applied colors to where they look.......not so bad!

Beauty Tip Number Six: The eyes. Now this part is serious because I happen to believe that my only redeeming quality is my eyes. Patti once did me a huge favor by having me color-typed. Everyone should do that because it really helps when choosing the colors you wear. Brown is best for blue eyes, so I try to stay in that color palate. Blending one color on my lids and another on my brows is way too hard. And the trickiest part of all is eyeliner! But the one thing I absolutely hate to do, but it makes the biggest difference, is apply mascara! UGH! After that task, I have to use several Q-tips to clean up the excess! I look like a little girl playing "grow up" with my Mom's makeup!

Beauty Tip Number Seven: Lips. You're supposed to wear a lip liner that's the color of your lips. So for me that's a liver color (hard to find)! Then I apply lipstick and that's about it. It's like coloring - it's important to stay within the lines! Occasionally I apply some lip gloss, but be VERY CAREFUL here! Let me tell you why. I have a wrinkle (or two or more) that go up from my lips to either side of my nose. Stop laughing -it'll happen to you too! One hot day I was at a quincienera flitting around, talking to friends, introducing myself to strangers and while they were all pleasant enough, they all looked at me kind of funny. I didn't notice anything until I got in the car and looked in the rear-view mirror. My dark pink lip gloss had melted and traveled up those wrinkles! Those people must have thought I had blood poisoning!! How totally embarrassing! I have recreated to the best of my ability, the incident for you here! (Oh, and forget the gloss debacle, look what a HUGE difference a little lipstick makes!! I think it's important to have lipstick in your food storage.)

Patti had a similar experience with bronzer. She put it on all over her face, and by the time she got to wherever she was going, it had collected in the wrinkles around her eyes, making her look like a tiger!

Beauty Tip Number Eight: My hair. I've had my hair long, very short, colored, highlighted, lowlighted, permed, and just about everything else one can do to their hair. It's pretty straight for the most part, but as I get older I have these weird "waves" which make it very hard to style. So I put a little product in, blow it dry with a huge brush, flat iron parts of it, then put a curling iron to other parts. Doesn't make much sense, huh? It usually turns out OK, but never great!

Beauty Tip Number Nine: Hmmmmmm.....I think that's it.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Twenty Five Random Things About Me.

I've been tagged three times now to do this and I guess I just need to get it over with. So here goes....

1. I don't like beets, eggplant, turnips or all.

2. I'm not a great housekeeper. My house is almost always clean, but it gets pretty messy. That's why I'd much rather you call before you come over!

3. I enjoy doing laundry and folding it, but putting it away is almost more than I can handle. Strange, huh? And I don't iron, because I don't know how, unless it's a pillowcase or a handkerchief - and who irons pillowcases and handkerchiefs anymore?! Actually I know a few people who still do that and I just don't get it.

4. I don't appear in public in a swimsuit. That's way too scary and disappointing.

5. I like to do daring things, like learning to fly. I'd LOVE to skydive, but I don't think my knees could handle the landing!

6. I would love to go to the mountains for 3 months, shave my head and see what it looks like when it grows back. I'm curious to know just how much gray or white hair I really have. I bet it's at least 60%!

7. One of my favorite kinds of music is Big Band. I got that from Daddy.

8. I love to drive around with my top down....convertible top, that is! The wind in my hair feels so good, unless my hair is whipping around in my eyes! That stings.

9. Other than my family, I have three really great friends who I treasure. Two live here in El Paso, and one just sent me a card - just because. The other lives in Dallas. She and I have been BFF's for 41 years. It's a nice, comfortable and fun relationship, and there's nothing I can't tell her.

10. I love technology and how it makes our lives so much more interesting and easy! I even love the way it smells when it's new!!

11. I love to play Guitar Hero, especially with Patti and Troy. We have so much fun!

12. One of my New Year's resolution is to be more positive, and it's really worked. There's only one subject that will immediately drag me to the dark side, so we won't talk about it!

13. I've heard that challenging your brain can help prevent Alzheimer's Disease. That may or may not be true, but since I don't like doing crossword puzzles, I like to play Brain Age and Big Brain Academy. My boys gave me Brain Age II for Christmas, so I guess they're worried about me too!

14. Earlier in the month, there was a segment on the Today Show on how to reduce stress. Most of them were the usual: exercise, take time for yourself, no alcohol or caffeine, etc., but the one that got my attention was to keep a Joy Journal. It's different from an everyday journal where you have good and bad days and talk about all the highs and lows of your day. In a Joy Journal you write only good things, like things you're thankful for. One day as I was driving across town, I was thankful for my car because it's so cute, and I don't owe any money on it, and I LOVE driving it. Another day I was thankful for the unconditional love I get from my doggies. Simple, silly things like that. Try it, whether you write it down or not, but it makes a huge difference in your thinking!

15. I'm nervous about the economy. We've lost so much money from our pension plan this past year, so now I'm just socking away as much as I can every month in a low-yield savings account. At least I know it'll be there when I need it!

16. I'm thinking about taking a nursing job at the jail!! I like the edgy jobs.

17. I seem to collect socks. Yesterday I cleaned out my dresser drawers and donated at least 50 pairs of socks to Goodwill. Don't worry tho, I still have at least that many left. Do you think I have a problem??

18. I wish more than anything that I had grandkids, but I don't. Maybe someday.

19. I'm really bad about starting projects and never finishing them. So when that actually happens, it's a BIG DEAL around here.

20. I wish I was thinner. I did Weight Watchers a few years ago and that worked well. Lately I have NO willpower. None at all. It's sad.

21. The older I get, the more I miss the people who have passed on before me, especially my brother Rico, and my cousin, Lurlene. I wish I could tell them one more time, face-to-face, how much I love them.

22. I graduated from high school in Mexico.

23. Troy gave Rocky and I a night in a castle for our Christmas present in 2000 in Germany. It was really a neat thing. We ended up in Paris for Christmas Day where we visited Notre Dame Cathedral during High Mass on Christmas morning. I don't have the words to describe that experience. It was so spiritual.

24. I love to travel, but I love coming back home a whole lot more!

25. I don't like writing things about myself that no one really cares about!!

So now I've fulfilled my obligation to Jennifer, CJ and Lisa.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

We hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2009! 2008 was a little traumatic for our family and several others we know, so it's got to be better, no? New resolution.....Think Positively! That's not MY resolution necessarily, it's a good one!