Monday, January 26, 2015

My week in pictures

Last week was one for the record books: My son got engaged to a fantastic woman whom he's known since first grade, my sister sailed through brain surgery, President Obama came to town, my mother's first grandchild (and my grandniece) was born; my husband finally got a high-tech hearing aid after ten years of my nagging, and my daughter landed a new job through which she can give me chemical peels! (Suffice it to say, I slept a LOT yesterday.)
These little babies are controlled by the coolest app on the hubs' new iPhone. Relationship changer. 
The picture that will live on Jayhawk fans' phones forever.
The happy couple sailing off into the sunset. Wedding in October.
My first beautiful grandniece.
Baby sis looking alarmed for nothing. All is well.
My esthetician daughter's new line of products made just for me. Just in time for a wedding.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Barack Obama slept here

Air Force One's arrival last night in Topeka
Last night, the POTUS slept just 1.4 miles from my house. (I will refrain from commenting on the Holiday Inn's Holidome as the Secret Service's presidential lodging choice.) Today, he is speaking a half-mile away on the campus of Kansas University. The town is abuzz and, although I am not attending the event, I will be glued to the TV and computer, watching Barack Obama address many of my friends and former colleagues. Rumors have it that Obama - college basketball fan that he is - will meet the Jayhawk basketball team(s?) before or after his speech at Allen Fieldhouse. Meanwhile, enterprising downtown merchants are printing t-shirts and creating Obama burgers, in hopes of attracting attention.
Since I live so close to campus, I plan to keep my eyes peeled for the presidential motorcade - and take a morning walk to see how close I can get to the action - but keep my car off the streets until POTUS is winging his way back to the White House. I've never been a big fan of gridlock.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Love, discretion and social media

My son got engaged this past weekend to the woman of his dreams....and our dreams, too. (Cue fanfare and heavenly angel chorus.) I would have told you sooner, but I was bound by a promise not to blab until the happy couple announced it to the world via Instragram.  Here's how they did it (emoji not pictured)....
That's the happy couple standing in the ocean off the coast of Puerto Rico.  My son took a knee in (the shallow part of) the sea to pop the question because there were people on the beach and he wanted total privacy.  Evidently, he took his great-great-great grandmother's ring (engraved with the date '1875') into the drink with him, along with a beer.  This is a miracle on many levels, the least of which is that he did not lose the family heirloom in the freaking Atlantic!
Later that evening...on land.
Now, I prepare for my new role as MOG, realizing that in the big scheme of things, the mother of the groom is a character part, at best.  But, what the heck? I'm a character! And I've been rehearsing for this for 33 years. Wedding to be sometime in October.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dames in the desert: Part Deux

On Sunday, we treated our hostess to a spa day as thanks for putting us up and schlepping us around all weekend. I picked The Spa at Camelback Inn, simply because my parents used to stay there and I knew it was good.  It was. That said, I've had better massages for one-third the price here at home.
Site of the most intense massage I've ever received. I have bruises on my back. Seriously!
The obligatory feet by the pool shot. Still a little cool to swim, but not to hot tub. 
I love a fanciful succulent, don't you?
I was jump-up-and-down thrilled to obtain TSA pre-approved status on the flight home. I was the only one without it on the flight out and, let me tell you, it makes all the difference in the world. The other girls were almost on board before I got through the line and had my picture taken by the naked x-ray machine.  They told me it was because they were over 60 and I wasn't. I didn't buy that for a second.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Dames in the desert

I'm re-posting the recap from Phoenix due to poor quality photos from my iPad Blogger app. It's warmed up to a balmy 18 degrees here in Kansas and I'm already missing those highs around 70.
Hiking by Red Mountain
This trail was just two blocks from our friend's house
The backyard pool we never swam in. A little too cool for lightweights. But lovely.
Saturday's trip to Singh Farms was a highlight. Agri-tourism at its best, this is a working farm with vendors, tons of creative natural seating areas and horticulture galore. Check it out here.  So cool...

The canopy I want to duplicate in my backyard.

Lemons like grapefruits.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Tea and strawberries

It's currently ten degrees outside, but I have no business complaining. In about 48 hours, I'll be in sunny (I hope) Phoenix, Arizona, having myself a girls' weekend. Still, it's a struggle keeping warm until then. Hot tea helps. Lots of hot tea. But, sometimes, the tea is just too hot. You want to drink it right away but, when you do, you burn your tongue (witness the blister on the tip of mine) which tends to ruin the Zen of the tea experience.  To solve this annoying albeit first world problem, I've come up with a solution. After brewing a cuppa, I drop one extra-large frozen strawberry into the drink. Voila! It quickly chills the beverage down to sipping temperature and provides a lovely natural sweetness, to boot! This is particularly tasty in lemon and mint-flavored teas. You're welcome.

Friday, January 2, 2015

By the time I get to Phoenix, I'll be warmer!

Not way warm, by anyone's standards, but warmer than I am here in Kansas...which is why I'm counting the days (7) to my upcoming girls' weekend in Mesa, Arizona.  Is 70 warm enough to enjoy swimming in my friend's backyard pool? Probably not. But, who cares? I can deal with 70 and sunshine. I can deal with mid 40s at night. These are my ideal climate conditions, people. And no Happy Light for 4 whole days!
Phoenix AZ long-range forecast

And, the greatest thing is, I don't have to pack my shorts and other skin-baring garb I wasn't mentally prepared to revisit so soon, anyway.
Lawrence KS long-range forecast
The only challenge in this embarrassingly fortunate scenario is paring down my shoes so I don't have to check my bag. But, it's a new year, dammit, and I am up to the task! 

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 ...