Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Mug Shot

Here it is:

 NAME:  Stovall, Charleigh-Girl
HEIGHT:     22 inches
WEIGHT:  30 pounds
AGE:  Almost 10 Years

Yes, I had finally had it.  Pushed to the limit.
Time for a citizen's arrest.

The final straw:

Now, you might be thinking this doesn't look
that serious, and...
it's actually not as serious as the last thing she did--
chewing up a complete book of blank checks--
which cost money.
The above infraction, however, occurred while I was
in the bathroom getting dressed!
Never before has she been so bad with me at home. 

Who can forget this event...

 But...that was five years ago!
She was just a juvenile delinquent then. 
Now she's a geriatric delinquent!

Who am I kidding?
This is really all my fault.
She is just bored.  I don't play with her enough.
I haven't been consistent enough with her.
I am not firm.
I am consistently not firm.
Besides, who can be mad at this face?

ME--that's who.
But I can't stay mad.

She is almost 70 in people years.
I don't think she's going to change.
I don't know how I'll make it without her
and her badness. 

Oh...and don't worry about her getting upset
over my citizen's arrest of her.
Here is how she felt about it.

It was just one big yawn.
I'm just like her.
All bark and no bite.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Stop the Year! I Need Do-Overs!

Things started derailing on December 23, 2014,
when I went to my primary care doctor
for an overdue but routine checkup.
After being my doctor for about 30 years, 
 he was retiring.
For the first time in my long life,
I heard, "Your blood pressure is a little high."
Trigger a whirlwind.
Retaken--not quite as high; "Yes that is high;"
"No that's not that high;" "That's dangerously high;"
"I need medication;"
"This med is making me feel bad;" "Stop med;"
"Monitor;" "BP high only in morning (?);"
ending with:
"Go enjoy your cruise without medication!"
("Oh--no salt either!")

Now that's not all.
My only question for the doc regarded 
Lipitor, which I took for my high cholesterol.
I had heard a couple of the guys at bridge saying
they couldn't take Lipitor because it made
their legs hurt.
Hmmm.  My aching legs were a tremendous
problem to me.
The doctor suggested I leave off the Lipitor
for a couple of weeks to see if I 
noticed improvement.
I did, and I did!!!  So much better.
However, I haven't gotten the new doctor to
prescribe a replacement.
("Maybe you'll be okay without it!?")
So...if I keeled over in St. Thomas, I have two
new possible causes.
(For "old" likely causes, read HERE)

Fretting turned into true misery on
January 8, 2015.
I awoke with a horrendous sore throat, too
nauseated to drive myself to the doctor.
I was sure I had the flu.  Positive.
Susan took me for the diagnosis.
I was grateful to be wrong.  
It was not the flu, but
now I think I might have recovered
more quickly from that than from whatever
it was!
Virus, respiratory, sore throat, nasty cold,
sore throat again, cough, on and on.

I have not been this type of sick in years.
I think this has made up for it.
I have never been down this long in my life.
I have gone for days without leaving home.
My friends and family have brought
me food and faithfully checked on me.

I'll tell you what this episode has done for me.
It has made me so thankful for my wonderful,
comfortable home to which I can retreat.
My head may be stuffy, but my heart is so
warm from the way my kids have rallied 
around me.
I have thanked God over and over that my
circumstances are such that I can
keep my unpleasant self inside--
not spreading these awful germs to others.
I don't have to go to work.
What a giant blessing.
And...I am grateful to be at a point in my
life where I am responsible only
for me and Charleigh-Girl.

Now, you're probably wondering how in the
world I did on a cruise during all this.
My throat was terribly sore again the first
two days and nights, but the interim
doctor had recommended chamomile tea w/honey
as a treatment.
The spa had chamomile tea bags, room service
brought honey, and the fancy schmancy coffee
machine in the Studio Lounge 
 had hot water.  Voila!
The lounge also always had cold orange juice.
I took lots of Advil and drank lots of oj.
And the annoying sneezing and accompanying 
unpleasant symptoms did not really begin
until I got back home.

Incidentally, any thought I had of going to
the ship's infirmary, either to have my
blood pressure checked or to have my poor
throat cultured, had to be quashed.
The doctor could have confined me to my
room--my 99 square feet!
I didn't love it that much!

I am writing this on Sunday afternoon,
February 8, 2015.
This is my New Year's Eve.
I'm declaring myself well tomorrow.
I am implementing plans I had for
January 5, 2015,
to improve my lifestyle a bit.
If they pan out, I'll tell you all about them.
(If they don't, then I was just "keeding!")

A giant THANK YOU to all who have
shown such loving concern for me,




Thursday, February 5, 2015

Here's a Peek at my Getaway!

On Saturday morning, January 24th, I took off
to go get my Mexican vanilla!
Kudos to American Airlines!  It was a great flight!

And...smooth transfer to ship--the Norwegian Getaway.
First sight of ship:

(And, perhaps, the best picture!  You can't see the
gaudy part!  Just wait!)

I got a bite to eat, then started looking for my cabin.
It was a studio--and it took me forever
to find it, even though I knew it was on
the eleventh floor.
In fact, it was 11,573.  See it on this sign?

So did I, but it eluded me!

Success!  Here it is!

 And with my slightly excessive luggage!

The room was exactly like the pictures; therefore,
exactly what I expected. 
The size did not bother me or make me
claustrophobic at all. 
It was clean and new and efficient.

But...here's the best part.
The two story Studio Lounge.

From my floor looking down.

And the best of the best?
  The coffee--everything machine!
Cappuccinos, lattes, hot chocolate, hot tea!
Loved it!

 We always had cake and cookies...
 and fruit.
Now looking up at my floor.

Only we solo travelers had access to the Studio Lounge
via our room key.

Okay...On to my second favorite thing--
the Thermal Spa!

The "Salt Bath" is more of a "Salt Room"

 You sit on the tile bench (left)...
and put your feet here. 


This beautiful chandelier changed colors.

Something I LOVE about Norwegian.
The fish on the carpet swim "forward."
Let's you know whether or not you're walking
the right direction!
My cabin was starboard and forward.
Important to know, or one can get a little
more exercise than one bargained for.

This is my room and my hall.

 The colors in the hall also changed.

Now to our stops.  First--St. Maarten
We were definitely easy to spot in any port.
Would anyone argue the fact that we were gaudy?
The "Gaudy Getaway!"
I'm so sorry this is the only picture I got
 of the outside decor of the ship.
(Not really.) 

So off I go to the butterfly farm on the French
side of St. Maarten.

Do those things ^ really turn into these?

And here we are crossing back into the Dutch portion
of St. Maarten.

This picture hardly does justice to going from one
country to another. 
In fact, it is downright pitiful.

Next stop: St. Thomas.
Mission: Mexican vanilla
Method: Rode three van taxis downtown
 and right back unsuccessfully
in the heat through wild traffic.
Pictures: I have some, but I'm going to spare you.

Third stop: Nassau, Bahamas
Mission: Mexican vanilla
Method: Walked miles in the heat.
                  What a stunning picture.

               Oh, Constellation.  You are so boring.

At some point while trudging around Nassau
 searching for Mexican vanilla, 
it finally dawned on me.
For Mexican vanilla,
perhaps I needed to go to Mexico!
So...I got...Bahamian vanilla! 

 I hope it's not good, cause then I'll have
to go on another cruise--
to Mexico this time!

This was as much of an adventure as I imagined.
It was surprising how many solo travelers
there were onboard (every studio was occupied) and how sold they were on the studios.
Personally, I missed seeing the water.
I did not miss paying the "single supplement,"
which translates "paying double!"

Saturday, December 27, 2014

"I" Got It All Done

With a little lot of help from my family!
I didn't go to bed until 1:30 or so on Christmas Eve.
This is completely normal for me.
But...I got everything wrapped!

I was at the Metzgers at 7:45 Christmas morning.
This is the 20th year I have been blessed
to be there to see the excitement of my "babies."
(I'm assuming we didn't go that first year
when Madeline was only two months old--
but I'm not sure!)

At 10:30 the rest of our local family arrived--
2 Stovalls, 1 Branham, 3 Tuckers, and 1 Deaso!
John Deaso, Emily's fiance, fits in perfectly!!!
Rob and Susan had fixed a fabulous breakfast.
We feasted and visited and talked and laughed.
It was truly a highlight of the season.
Sorry I don't have access to any pics.

I came home, curled up in my recliner, and
took a 45 minute nap!

Then I had to hit it getting my wrapping stuff
put away and stuffing stockings.
If you missed my earlier warning:
Don't make the mistake of buying these!

 I'm not sure you can tell how huge they are,
but take it from me:
Filling these with "trinkets" a 19 and a 21 year old
girl would like will break your bank for sure!

My stocking is no small thing itself.
My generous kids load it up with more treasures than
most people get for their whole Christmas. 

And we ate again.
We had little sandwiches
(my contribution--executed by Terri and Susan!)
 and delightful finger foods (Terri and Jay)
and Christmas cookies (Maddie, Susie, and Susan!)

And opened presents.
We are blessed beyond measure.

So...guess what I did yesterday, the day after.
N O T H I N G.
I did return one thing which I had bought to Dillard's.
(Only because it was the 30th day since purchase!)
That's it. 
I tried to be shameless enough to take a
picture of what the house still looks like.
Couldn't make myself.  Too much pride.
For some reason, I think some of you would be shocked.
It still looks exactly as it did when the kids left
Christmas night!  
Actually, a little worse!
And I'm getting ready to go shopping with
the Metzger girls.
It may still look this way tomorrow.

Great is thy faithfulness,
O God my Father...
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness,
Lord unto me.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Six Parties/No Wrapped Gifts

I thought I would take a little break.
I am already wrapping gifts, and it's only
December 21st.
(That is supposed to be a joke.)
Here is a picture of the state of my tree for my
wonderful Christmas parties.
By the way, don't let those three boxes fool you.
They are empty.

I fantasized about this being a beautiful evening.
My Christmas music playing.
Nothing else to do but wrap.
Maybe a fire in the fireplace and a cup of
hot chocolate.

Well forget the fire.  I am sweating perspiring
like it's the middle of July.
I'm drinking ice water,
and I've only wrapped 3 gifts.
But...look at these monsters.

 Oh, this is a bit revealing.  It's been a pj and robe
day, and that's my robe flung over a chair
in the background.

Just look at the size of those gifts.
What am I thinking when I buy such huge things?
And, of course, my perfectionism does not
help matters.
Here is my equipment:

Scissors, double stick and regular tape,
a pen, and a tape measure.
I'm pretty sure I may get some flack about the last.
I'm suspecting I just might be the only wrapper
so persnickety as to measure.

Well, except maybe
Rob Metzger, my son-in-love.
He might not use a tape measure, but he is as
His packages are perfection.
I've just been laughing to myself all evening
about what a nightmare it would be if
Rob and I ever showed up at the same time to
wrap gifts at the
Mission Arlington Christmas store.
The line would be out the door!
And we would be hearing,
"Would you two hurry it up?!"

Okay.  Gotta get back at it.
Those 3 don't even have any bows yet.
I think I'll hit the dollar store tomorrow
for some huge stick on's.
I've enjoyed about as much of this as I can stand.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Establishing a New Tradition

When asked about our family Christmas traditions, 
I can't really come up with any.
Except, maybe, that we always celebrated
on Christmas morning, not Christmas Eve.
Wow.  Impressive.

Well, that's a changin'.
Charleigh-Girl and I are establishing us a sweet 
We share a love of
Chick Fil A's peppermint/chocolate chip shakes.
every day we make a trek to the drive-up window.

She usually barks hysterically,
scaring the employees, and
echoing through and disrupting the whole restaurant.
Of course, she's not doing a thing when 
the camera comes out.

So now we're home, and I'm getting ready to spoon out
 her "half!"
(Don't tell her--it's not really that much.)
(Oh, and I get the cherry.)

"I'm going to 'sit' just to be safe and sure,"
she says.
(She really did do that on her own!)

I have to snap the picture fast.
This girl is not a slow eater!


Isn't it just great that C-G loves these milkshakes
so much?
I probably would never think of getting one for 
myself if it weren't for her!
(OMG.  Hold on just a minute...
I think my pants are on fire!)

We did have to have a little talk this past
She's a very sweet girl and shared my opinion
that it is a GOOD thing that CFA is closed.
We will just have to get an extra this Saturday 
and freeze it for Sunday.

Don't you just love them.