Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

The hubs and I are heading for Hermann to celebrate Halloween with a bunch of German wine, beer and sausage makers in "the prettiest town in Missouri."  There's a hard cider tasting tonight at the bar in our inn (right under our room, we hear, although the bar allegedly closes at 11...we'll see).  Costumes are recommended, so we're going all out....
as Sister Mary Catherine and Monsignor Hamilton.  (He wouldn't settle for being a mere priest. "Too pedestrian.") As you can see, we were pretty pleased with ourselves posing for this dress rehearsal photo. "We'll kill!"  I said, ignoring the sixth commandment. Then, I got a load of this guy on the Facebook last night....
my friend and former co-worker who, after laboring through all those World Series games and countless gawd-awful Rob Lowe commercials, is going as "Creepy Marlins Man." (You'd have to have seen the series to get the joke.) Okay, my friend, you're gonna kill!! And where on earth did you get those giant (get it?) binoculars!?!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

All baseball. All. The. Time.

We do have the cutest players, though.
It's been a while since I blogged. How long? I have no idea. Days? Weeks? Seriously, I would have to do extensive research to tell you. Why is my mind in a deep blue haze? Because of baseball. Baseball - specifically, the World Series featuring the Kansas City Royals - is all-consuming. Sure, life goes on. But, not life as we know it. Everyone is preoccupied. Baseball is all we talk about, plan for, (each game starts at 7:07) work and play around. We end every conversation, every email or text with "Go Royals!" We stay up late every night, watching until long after the last pitch. We operate on precious little sleep. Monday was the hubs' and my 35th wedding anniversary. Fortunately, it was an 'off' night for the Series as the teams were traveling back to Kansas City for Game 6. So, we went out, had a nice dinner and talked about baseball, albeit in the context of our so-long-term-the-details-get-fuzzy relationship: "Which game did we get to go to in '85, anyway? And, if it wasn't Game 6, where were we when we won and how did we celebrate?" Tonight is Game 7.  I'm excited and nervous and very, very tired. Tomorrow, we'll mourn or be joyful. And I, for one, will be relieved. On Friday, the hubs and I will go to Hermann, Missouri, for a proper anniversary celebration. We've booked a suite in a funky, old inn with a four-poster bed and no TV.  There will be wine and beer and bratwurst and weird German names to pronounce. But, no baseball.  Let the games begin!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Two more days till Tuesday!

Tuesday is going to be a banner day. The Kansas City Royals play in their first World Series game since 1985. (I had just had my second child and was living in a KC suburb, at the time.) That's exciting enough because, if you're a loyal baseball fan (and I was, back in the day,) 29 years is a long time to wait for post-season payoffs. This time around, however, I've been a loyal fan for three weeks, which is exactly how long I've been waiting for this....
my new, silver iPhone 6, which is finally scheduled to arrive by FedEx - you guessed it - on Tuesday! Finally, I'll be able to return my tortoise-slow iPhone 4 for a $200 credit and experience real legibility and speed again. The hubs said, "You'll be spending so much time fooling around on your new toy, you won't even know the Series is on." Which may be true, but that's the beauty of the World Series. There is so much more baseball to play after Game 1. Gooooo, FedEx!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ebola: A little perspective

Thank you, Frank Bruni, for the much-needed injection of common sense today.  Does Ebola scare me? Sure, a least, for now.  Does my heart break for the victims in Africa, Dallas and elsewhere. Of course. But, at 58 (going too swiftly on 59,) I'd rather worry about the health enemies I can see and understand, including worry.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Living in "Gilmore Girls" town

A painting of Downtown Lawrence, artist unknown.
It's so refreshing to experience your hometown through a visitor's eyes. The guest admires and appreciates things you have come to take for granted over the years. Such was the case the last four days when my friend, Carol (aka Short Jewish Gal), visited for the auspicious first reading of our play. (It went really well, I'm thrilled to report.)  Her emailed description of my little burg to a friend in Los Angeles prompted the response: "Oh, it's like Gilmore Girls!"  I thought, well, I guess if you injected a bunch of college kids and hipsters into Stars Hollow, sure, you might have Lawrence, Kansas. The SJG loved the Ladybird Diner we went to for breakfast, the subterranean sushi place downtown, our brand spanking new library (which isn't provincial at all) and, especially, the crisp, cool autumn weather, complete with turning leaves. Thanks, friend, for reminding me what a wonderful place I call home. Come back soon!
Working on rewrites in our shiny new library.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

My first bathroom-warming gift and SJG #beRoyal

The Short Jewish Gal arrived from hot and dry L.A. yesterday, on time and bearing gifts:  A beautiful necklace with an azul stone that matches my eyes for me, and this most appropriate tome for the new reading room.  In return, I gave her lodging in my son's old room and crisp, cool fall weather. She is here for the first official reading of the play we co-wrote, "It's All About the Hair." Tonight, actual actors will ascend on BoomerGirl's house for a table read, followed by dinner which the SJG and I will prepare this afternoon. We are excited! Meanwhile, we are basking in the afterglow of the Kansas City Royals' play-off victories. That's the Boomer Girl's hometown team and SJG's adapted team since the Dodgers are out of it. I may not convince her to purchase a souvenir Royals t-shirt, but she will no doubt take the name Billy Butler aka "Country Breakfast" home with her on Wednesday. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bathroom Remodel: The End (almost)

New bronze fixtures. Shelves will have a new leaded glass cabinet door, eventually. I need better towels.
With less than 24 hours to spare before the arrival of our house guest, the Short Jewish Gal, the reading room - formerly known as the music room - is finished! Well, not completely finished. I need to hang more pictures and, obviously, purchase new guest towels. But, it's functional again and a heckuva lot better than this, this and this.  (Well, maybe not better, but more calming, somehow, and up-to-date.)
The new paint color is fab (I didn't get to the hall yet) and the old mirror looks great with a fresh coat of white paint. But, my favorite feature is the custom-made walnut cabinet with the soapstone top, crafted by my talented hubby, that holds extra TP, magazines and towels.
Obligatory box of Kleenex to go on back of toilet.
We hung one old picture as a nod to the old sheet music theme. (More art to come later.)
Game of Thrones... New Moon... P is for Peril
And, I'm having a blast stocking the library with books whose titles have a water closet theme, no matter how obvious or esoteric.
I've always been a sucker for bathroom humor.
I pilfered some books from my dad's old collection, others from my own, and still others from used book outlets. And, I'll be accepting any and all contributions from friends.
Some titles may be replaced as the bookcase fills up.
The plan is to wait and see if our guests catch on. But, I'm guessing I'll have to point it out sooner than later because I'll be bursting! Pardon the pun.
Go, Dog, Go... Oh, Baby! Go, Baby!... Flush!
My two favorites, at the moment, are "Sprinkles and Secrets" and "The Tao of Pooh." "Gone with the Wind" arrives in the mail soon!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Transfer of Stuff: Part 2

Last Sunday evening, the children (and a couple grandchildren) gathered around my mother's dining room table to view the cast-offs up for grabs in the latest installment of "The Great Giveaway." This time, it was china, silver and odds and ends Mom found in the closets. While my sisters were poring over the silver serving pieces and fine china, I found myself uninterested in anything but these cool informal plates....
They had me at "no two are alike."
 I knew nothing about them - just that I loved them - but have since discovered they are the "Laurita" pattern by Della-Ware, hand painted and hand glazed, probably from the 40s. They belonged, originally, to my maternal grandmother.
I wish I knew what the 14 meant. Or, is it 1K?
There are 12 of them, so I decided to put eight in the glass cabinets in the kitchen.
So bright, cheery and cottage-y!
This meant I had to displace the Polish pottery formerly in those spaces and the only place to put them was here...
This right here is the illustrated definition of "insane."
in what is starting to look like the crazy hoarder lady's dining room.  There are two corner cabinets, each equally full. I live in fear that the shelves will collapse.  (The good news is, my daughter loves Polish pottery, too, and I've decided not to make her wait until I die to get some.) My other major acquisitions were these huge brass candlesticks. At some point, I had put away all my brass. I don't know why. It reminded me too much of the super-shiny 80s, I guess.  But, after a good polish, these gorgeous creatures have inspired me to dig out those old wedding presents. Sometimes, you just need a little shine in your life.
I'm thinking lovely red bows at Christmas time.
 Thanks, Mom.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Remodeler's remorse: Episode 4

How's that bathroom coming along, you say? Oh, pretty good. The walls were a challenge to patch, but I sanded the last of the mud yesterday. (Note to DIYers: Always wear your best black DKNY pajamas to sand drywall mud. The white dust gives them added pizzazz.) The hubs insisted on doing the painting. "Twist my arm and I'll cry 'Uncle'," I told him.
Sink getting new faucet. Little shelf getting a cabinet door, custom-made from leaded glass, eventually.
The new sink fixtures and accessories I ordered from are supposed to come tomorrow. Hopefully, the light fixture and toilet will be installed tonight. It's been a little scary having to sprint to the master bath every time nature calls. My 58-year-old bladder doesn't always give me a lot of notice.
This is where the toilet goes, you should excuse the expression, and not a moment too soon.  Next step: Decorating the Reading Room.

Boomer Girl Review: Ultimate Oriole Feeder

I've still got a way to go before I'm feeding pigeons on the steps of St. Paul's (which I never thought was a bad thing to do ...