Ode to Summer

Family Time, life, Mothering 101, Travel and Adventure, Uncategorized

I’ve been buried eyes deep in packing boxes, fresh from the “big move.” Racing to make the new house “home” so that we can get back to the pace of real life again. You’ll hear more about that adventure soon. Since I haven’t had much time to write, I thought I’d post my first “guest blogger” and share this lovely article, Ode to Summer, with you.

Enjoy!  I think you’ll enjoy it as much as  I did when I read it.

Ode to Summer

Those lazy, crazy days of summer! Photo Credit Suzanne Scheve 2017

I’m sitting on a California beach watching my daughter jump the waves. This year we swapped our annual crazy road trip for a stay on the west coast, and at the end of an idyllic, albeit busy, ten day vacation with my family, I suddenly find myself staring at a new school year lurking just around the corner. While I’m excited to get my class list and finish organizing my room, I’m definitely not ready for summer’s last hurrah.

Summers Past

When I was my daughter’s age, I counted the days to our annual two-week beach trip by number of sleeps until the big day arrived.    We didn’t own a car, so travel was by motor coach to the south coast of England, a 7-8 hour mostly tedious journey, endless motorways finally giving way to the first views of the twinkling blue waves at the bottom of the hill as we pulled into the bus station at our destination.

We always stayed at a B&B for our fortnight of sand, sea, and sun; usually chosen sight-unseen from a holiday book, sandwiched somewhere along a row of Victorian three-storey homes, mostly the same on the outside, but revealing the personal stamp of the owners on the inside.  Creaky floorboards, uneven staircases, and old paisley carpets were de rigeur, however; along with the smells of morning bacon wafting up the stairs as we woke to the alarm call of the gulls wheeling in the impossibly-blue skies; the sound of stainless steel spoons in bowls of cereal, the scrape of knives and forks as you ate up every scrap of that full English breakfast which always tasted better on holiday.

Nell at the beach, Cardiff, CA. Photo Credit, Suzanne Scheve 2017

Sand Castles and Salty-Sea-Lips

Most days were unplanned but usually had the same routine –  heading down the Chine to the beach with a towel (sometimes splurging on a deck chair); digging sand castles with a new bucket and spade; salty-sea-lips, mixed in with the taste of suncream and lunchtime baps filled with tomatoes, cheese, the obligatory packet of crisps,  and some form of lunchmeat.  Most importantly, it was essential to time the return to the B&B perfectly so that we’d be first to stake a claim on the communal bathroom – otherwise we’d be relegated to a quick cold dip in the tub, or worse, a ‘lick and a promise’ with Quickies and cold water in our attic twin room.  The bedroom sink did double duty as an underwear rinsing station too: M&S smalls hung to dry on a makeshift clothesline outside the window – and never a problem until one day a gust of wind blew a very sparkly pair of my purple knickers off the window sill and onto the No Vacancy sign in the parking area, where they remained until Mum rather sheepishly reclaimed them before dinner that night.

On the days when the tide was high and the beach area was reduced to a few feet, we’d take day trips to explore nearby towns and sights: a local safari park and forest, miniature recreations of British and worldwide monuments; we’d play mini-golf or time-waste in thAe penny arcade; or shop for souvenirs at Beale’s or W.H. Smith’s.  In the evenings, we’d walk into town or hop on the open top bus and ride the cliff roads with views of the bay: the Aqua show, Pier Theatre, and the fairy lights in the Public Gardens were always at the top of our post-dinner to-do list.

Sometimes we would go to the pictures – I remember seeing the Sound of Music for the first time and crushing on Colonel Von Trapp; belly-laughing at the corny jokes of Airplane!; and the summer of the disaster movie – Earthquake with the simulated shaking in the theatre; Towering Inferno with a sweaty Paul Newman and George Kennedy; and Jaws of course, after which every innocuous black shape in the sea caused a mild panic on the beach.

Years later, I look back at old photographs and find great joy in those memories of childhood summer holidays.  How lucky I was!  And how lucky I am in my summers now, to be able to spend many days off with my own daughter.   My Junes are filled with swim team and Vacation Bible School – quite possibly the best summer invention ever; my Julys and early Augusts calendared with trips by road or plane to visit family.

This summer, my goal was to get my house in order and focus (my one little word for 2017) on the myriad personal projects I never have time for during the school year.  I’ve organized and reorganized my pantry, kitchen, and the bedrooms; prepped for my new classroom; purged, tossed, and shredded paper piles; donated, sold, and put away the contents of my closet; finally tackled my tangled up jewellery boxes;  read more books for pleasure than for professional development; and most importantly, carved out serious quality time making new summer memories with my girl.

My grand daughter, Nell and “grand dog” Toro, a.k.a “Mush” Photo Credit, Suzanne Scheve 2017

Last week, on our connecting flight here, I found myself sitting next to a mother who had recently lost her Navy son to a tragic accident.  She was on her way to give comfort to her daughter-in-law, who was drowning in despair, struggling to come up for air with a seven-month old son.  We talked about loss; about hanging on to faith by your fingernails when everything seems overwhelming; how there is no timeline on grief; how anxiety and depression can overwhelm your soul in those early days of loss; and how the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel can seem as unattainable as the summit of Everest when the pain of loss is but a few days old.

Time Waits for No Man……. or Woman

In 9 days, I will be exactly the same age as my husband was when he left this earth – 52 years and 98 days old.  28 days after that will be the 6th anniversary of his passing.  My daughter is a rising 5th grader who will turn 11 in October.   She tells me she remembers his voice.  I hear his laugh in hers, and see his kindness in her thoughtful ways.  She is his legacy of love.

Stopping the clock to freeze our favourite moments in time; pushing the snooze button on summer; tweaking the past with a time-turner – these are not available options for us.  In times of loss, it’s easy to clutch at the past, as a drowning man grabs for a lifebelt.  Time passes, and the rawness of immediate grief gives way to what is often called a new normal (I hate that term by the way); we resolve to go forward; to try to live our best lives, appreciate what we have, while we have it.  To be present in the moment and enjoy those simpler pleasures.  Dust bunnies and laundry can wait til tomorrow. Our lives shouldn’t be measured by piles of stuff, but too often, those piles become our defining memories.

Simple Pleasure of Summer

So summer of 2017, here’s to you and your simple pleasures…..

….to lazy days of walking on the beach and jumping the waves….

…..to that can’t-put-down novel and languishing in luscious language……

…..to sunburned shoulders and freckled faces…..

…..,to diving in the deep end of a pool and blowing bubbles through noses….

…..to cold pizza and icecream for breakfast, juicy watermelon dripping down chins, and everything good to eat…..

…to sleeping in on weekday mornings, and napping on the wraparound porch as the hummingbirds dive bomb the hanging baskets like kamikaze pilots…..

Cheers to you, summer…..

Cardiff-by-the-Sea CA. Beach. Photo Credit, Suzanne Scheve 2017

A bit about the author:

Suzanne Scheve is a single mom and a third grade teacher living in Houston, Texas, with her daughter, dog, and cat.  She enjoys traveling, cooking, eating anything on a plate, and hanging with her extended family in California, St. Louis, and on the East Coast.

Suzanne is also my step-daughter, from a previous marriage (it’s complicated, and FAR too difficult to explain here! She is also the fabulous mother of my only Granddaughter, Nell. Suzanne is a talented writer and photographer, in addition to her other previously named skills. I will vouch for her love for travel, cooking and eating! I have witnessed her abilities in all 3 activities!

Just days after they were with us for our summer visit, and their return home to Houston, Hurricane Harvey hit. Luckily, their home wasn’t damaged, and they were not impacted as severely as many there were.  We are blessed to have these two females as a vibrant and important part of our family.

You can find more of Suzanne’s writings at https://suiteanglaise.wordpress.com

By the way, If you haven’t yet subscribed to my blog, do it now! As soon as the boxes and clutter are cleared away, and I can get back to “real life” I’m going to be running some fabulous “subscriber only” contests!  You don’t want to miss your chance at fabulous free stuff—- do you?SUBSCRIBE ALREADY!

 

Faded Photographs…….

Family Time, Household DIY, Royal Ramblings!, Serious Shit, The Queen's Castle- DIY, Uncategorized

Out With “The Old?”

There is no doubting that in our lives, time passes, things change, people come and go from our lives.  On my computer, my screensaver is a constantly changing round of all of the photos stored on my computer.  I have never gone in and purged photos from the years past, so, undoubtedly, photos from past relationships show up, my children’s past relationships, sometimes family or friends who are no longer with us, or aren’t any longer a part of my life.  My daughter has expressed shock that a picture of an old boyfriend of hers will pop up on my screen. “Mom, why do you still have THAT on your computer?”  I’m sure there has been the occasional time my man has walked past my computer to see a picture pop up of me with one of my ex’s.

You may wonder why I don’t “purge” those photos from my computer.  Time. Or lack of it may be one reason.  However, even if I had the time to go through dozens of files of photos to take out those from past relationships, I probably wouldn’t do it.

This silly picture is me, my daughters, Alyse and KT. We went up to Long Beach, to see my sister who was visiting from Illinois. This was New Years Eve Day, and who could resist these glasses? (I still have 2 pairs!) It’s one of those memories of a great family day, filled with silliness!

Memories of Days Gone By

Each and every one of those photos are a part of me.  Although a breakup happened, those photos typically represent a small snapshot of time, a time that I was enjoying the day, the person, the event.  To purge those photos would be purging a happy memory.  While a relationship, in “the whole” might not have worked, the day at the beach was a good one.  The family trip may have been a special one.  The wedding we attended was a beautiful day for the couple involved, even if that couple’s relationship- or mine- may not still be intact.

Seeing those pictures from years past often give me a brief spark of memory of what redeeming quality  I did see in that person at the time, and make the “mistake” of the relationship a little less piercing.

And if you know me, you know I’m a bit vain, so seeing myself as I looked a few years back is a fun kick in the pants too!  “Damn, I looked pretty darned good at that family party, I must say!” “What was I thinking wearing that Christmas sweater?”  “Look how young the kids were there!”  “That was such a fun vacation! I remember that we did (this or that) on that trip!”

Traces of Love… And Friends No Longer With Us

If you are old enough, you may remember the song, “Traces of Love”, which had the lines, “faded photographs, covered now with lines and creases, tickets torn in half, memories in bits and pieces…traces of love, long ago, that didn’t work out right….. traces of love with me, tonight.”  Our digital photos no longer fade and crease, but our memories often do.  The constant replaying of those photos helps me to remember those days, those moments and those memories.

I love the feeling of looking at my computer, and chuckling over a particularly silly time, or feeling that little “tug” on my heartstrings when a photo of a friend who is no longer with us pops up.

My lovely friend, Sharon Freed. So gorgeous, so much fun! When we worked together, we would laugh so hard our stomachs would hurt. Gone too fast, and too young. When this picture pops up, although I look like a complete DORK in this picture, seeing my friend makes me smile every time! Yes, it’s bittersweet, but memories of our times together are nothing BUT sweet!

Life’s “Before” and “Afters”

I have photos of the first home I purchased as a single woman, about 5 years ago.  At the time, I had recently come out of a marriage to a financially reckless man who left my finances devastated, my credit score well below 500, and no credit cards to my name.  The ability to purchase this home was totally unexpected- kind of kismet, you might say.  So, as I remodeled this home, doing vast amounts of the work with my own two (manicured) hands,  not only did I build myself a new “home”- I was in the process of building a new life. Reinventing myself, and reinventing this dated mobile home into something I was proud of.  I can remember the nights I worked at that house until 2 or 3 am getting it ready to move into. I loved that home, I shared it with numerous friends, having many events there. The sweat equity I built into that home became  a springboard to purchase my second home as a single woman, the home I currently live in.

This was the “before” of my bedroom at the home I redecorated.

Here is the same bedroom after I worked on the house.

Looking at those photos when they randomly pop up- whether it is one of the “before” photos of a dated, worn out kitchen, or the unpainted 1970’s dingy, dark paneling, or the “after” pictures of the fabulous 1940’s style black, white and crystal bathroom I created, I feel a great sense of accomplishment for having made my way through what could have been a dark time.

Here was the kitchen when I took possession of the house. Yes, all of this junk was left for me!

Here is the after on the same kitchen. I LOVED that kitchen! I did it on a shoestring- pulling out the old cabinets myself, re-using the stove, and getting a refrigerator free from a friend! This picture wasn’t taken ‘staged’- so ignore the stuff on the countertops!  You’ve got to remember, many of these photos were taken for “memory’s sake.” I had no idea I’d have a blog where I was sharing them!

There is no rhyme or reason to the order my photos from my past show up.  Some pictures will have rotated 20 times through my screen, when others don’t seem to appear for months, but whatever is on my screen, there is ALWAYS a memory sparked.  Often a smile.  Sometimes a shake of the head and an eye roll, along with “What the hell was I thinking.”  But no matter what the reaction, I know that what I am seeing is a snapshot of my past. And every one of them add up to having made me the woman I am today. The unique me that I am.  Every one of them is a treasure to me, and to my ever fading memories of my past.  Will I clear out those photos of my ex, my daughter’s ex, even the “friend” who might have turned out NOT to be such a great friend?  Probably not.  Because every one of the memories that pop up before my eyes are there for a reason.

My darling grand daughter Nell and me at Disneyland. We were attending the “Princess Lunch” and you can see she was thrilled! (So was I, obviously, because I was wearing a tiara….. Once the Queen, always the Queen, and don’t you forget it!) Nell is 10 now, and she was only 4 here!

Say What Siri?

Comedy, Uncategorized

It is only me who has Siri say and do strange things?  Sometimes I really have to wonder if there REALLY just might be a person on the other end, just trying to screw with me!  Have you ever noticed how, invariably, when you do the “talk texting” something is always misunderstood by Siri, and it, without a doubt, will come out as something sexual? I can’t help but believe that someone at Apple must be a perv, because they had to program this in!  These responses just don’t dream themselves up! Siri isn’t thinking this off the top of her head, you can count on that!

I admit in this video that I have actually been known to argue with Siri.  I know, it’s embarrassing, but true. At least I admit my faults — few as they are.  Not everyone can say that!

I invite you to watch me tell my experiences with Siri from one of my comedy shows.  If nothing else, I hope you get a laugh from it.

After all, it’s Friday afternoon.  Time for a laugh……. and a drink.  It’s the official start to the weekend. If you are still working, just tell your boss I said it’s OK……..

Don’t forget, if you are ever looking for a speaker for your event, a comedienne for your party, event or office party— I’m your girl!  Whether you need it to be G rated, or a little bit more racey…….. I can tailor my presentation to YOUR needs!

My “New Guy” Turned Out to Be a Real Dummy!

Fabulous After 50, Raves & Rotten Reviews, Travel and Adventure, Uncategorized

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

One of the thousands of Rosebuds at the San Jose Rose Garden.

Don and I just had a quick little get away to the San Jose area.  (If you are anywhere near my age, the song, “Do you know the way to San Jose” popped in your head the minute you read where we had been, didn’t it? Come on, admit it!) Typically, when I am up in that area, I’m a San Francisco girl.  I can’t ever get enough of that city!  But this trip, we didn’t even venture into the city. We stayed right around the San Jose area.

We had a fun and relaxing time, and got in a lot of sightseeing. The first evening in town, we had dinner at a fabulous restaurant in Palo Alto called St. Michael’s Alley. If you are in that area and have a chance, I’d highly recommend it! We were at a private dinner function in a back dining room, with limited menu choices.  I got a scallop dish that was out of this world, and Don had lamb.  Let me tell you, I’d go back for either one of those dishes!  My seared sea scallops were served on a slice of Yukon potatoes, with a bit of bacon on top and an herb butter sauce.  I’m not too proud to admit, it was all I could do not to pick up the plate and lick it! Don of then started his meal with a delicious Lobster bisque and I had a wonderful salad of a variety of tomatoes with burrata.  Yummm!  We even went all out and ordered dessert.  The service was impeccable, the company was delightful and the setting was lovely.  Try it out if you get to Palo Alto, or frankly, anywhere in the nearby area!  It would be worth going a bit out of your way for.

Kind of A Dummy!

(I thought my new crush was kind of  cute, but it turned out, he was kind of a “dummy” and not much of a conversationalist either!)

The next day, after a relaxing breakfast and a read of the paper, Don wanted to go to the Computer History Museum, in Mountain View. Now mind you, a girl who really isn’t all that techy wouldn’t put this “tourist attraction” at the top of her list, but since he accommodates my every whim, how could I possibly say no?  This museum gives you info on “computers” all the way back to the abacus! I will admit, it was more interesting than I expected it to be!

Sitting by my new crush!

My favorite part of the museum was the crash test dummy.  I just had to have my picture done with him!  Turn out, he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, as they say!  Not much of a conversationalist either!

Don enjoyed himself, and that’s what matters most!

Don was checking out his photos after “geeking out!”

Then we were off to a delicious lunch.  Don’t you just love how, nowadays, you just ask for the top restaurants near you, and WHAM- you can find a delicious place to eat, without taking much of a risk of getting a bad meal! Thanks to “Siri” and her help, we found The Voya Restaurant, in Mountain View.  The restaurant was an unexpected delight!  We had a charming server, and we went with his suggestion of a house specialty pork dish, Cochinita Pibil which we shared.  It proved to be as delicious as he promised, and more than enough to fill us up!  Once again, I’d suggest stopping by if you are in the area.  It’s well worth the trip!

Enjoying a fabulous “get away” lunch at the Voya Restaurant, Mountain View, CA

The Winchester  Mystery House

The back garden of the Winchester Mystery House

Then, on we went to a tourist attraction I’ve wanted to see for over 30 years- The Winchester Mystery House.  We were there for HOURS, and even then, the tours we took only covered less than 100 of the 160 rooms in the house!  This woman didn’t know the meaning of “enough is enough!”  I won’t cover this attraction in too much detail, because I plan another blog about it soon.  My suggestion is that when you go- wear comfortable shoes!  Just on the main tour alone, you cover more than 1 mile, and I can’t even begin to imagine how many steps, up and down, down and up!

Our evening ended up with seeing the movie Dunkirk and my dinner was a HUGE ice cream cone at the theater.  I guess I subscribe to the saying “Life is short, eat dessert first!”  I figured I could use the “I’m on vacation” excuse for this one!

San Jose Rose Garden is a spectacular treat for the senses! Not to mention, it’s FREE!

He Never Promised Me a Rose Garden…….

Hundreds and hundreds of rose bushes make up this spectacular, world famous rose garden! The perimeter of the garden has beautiful, stately Redwood trees.  What a beautiful combination!

Our last day, we went to see the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, which has been voted “the world’s best rose garden.”  It is truly a beautiful sight to see, with literally hundreds of rose varieties, and they are surrounded by beautiful redwoods.  Dead center in the middle of the roses is a beautiful fountain.  At first glance, the fountain almost looks like it is made of crystal or clear glass.  The whole park is a delight to see.

When you first see the fountain, it appears to be made of glass or crystal!

We were told by a volunteer who was cutting back some of the roses that just before Mother’s Day is the most spectacular time to see the roses here. We plan to return, Don with camera and tripod in hand to capture the beautiful sight!

Beautiful roses, every size, every color, and all with different scents!

No matter where we travel, we always seem to have a great adventure, and it’s always fun to share it with my friends!

My theory is that money spent on travel is the best money you will ever spend!  DON’T WAIT until you have money and time to take the biggest trip possible!  Fit in those little 2 or  day adventures into your life! They are well worth it, and can be done on a budget, if that is what you need to do!

Tora, The Body Beautiful, The Headless Woman

Comedy, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

Most of you probably know that I do stand up comedy.  But, perhaps some of you don’t!  I thought I’d just share one of my stories which is on my You Tube Channel. The story of my first job, and how I became the success I am today. After all, how many people do you know who were stars of a Freak Show?  That’s me! People often ask where I get my material for my comedy. Look people, when you start out life with your first job as Tora, The Body Beautiful, The Headless Woman……… life just brings you enough shit daily to make people laugh!

That being said, I thought I’d share that sotry here.  Funny thing is, when I pulled up my YouTube Channel, smack between all of my videos is a video entitled, “Lady craps her pants on slingshot ride!  Seriously, as I said before, you can’t make this shit up!  WHY in the world is this smack dab between all of my videos, I ask you? I am not that woman, and I have never, to this day, crapped my pants in public. (Sure as hell, because I said that, it will happen before the week s out, you can just about count on that!)

That kind of sums up the story of my life- a woman crapping her pants, right between my funny-ness. Go figure.

Anyway, here’s one of my stories, just to give you a little laugh today, and if you want to check out more of my videos, go to you tube, and my channel, Patti Phillips, The Comedy Queen.  

And of course, it goes without saying, I can bring my funny-ness to you, or the organization of your choice any darned time you might like- because that’s what I do!

Have a funny day! And try not to crap your pants, slingshot ride or not!

 

What’s the “Deal” Wayne Brady?

Productions & Concerts, Raves & Rotten Reviews, Royal Ramblings!, Uncategorized, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

Really Wayne Brady?

Really Wayne?  Is this the best you’ve got for those people who have been your fans for years? Where is the funny guy, the friendly guy, the personable guy we all think of when we see Wayne Brady? I just have to ask!

Last weekend, my daughter Alyse, her friend Liza and myself took the hike up to LA to be on Let’s Make a Deal.

Now, if you know me, I’m ALL about putting together costumes!  I have, literally, dozens and dozens of costumes in totes in the top of my closet.  If you can think it up, I probably have a costume for it.

Your’s truly, my daughter Alyse, and her friend Liza. We are pretty damned glamorous, you have to admit! 🙂

We decided to go as the Three Blind Mice.  When I do a costume, I do it up to the last detail. We had mouse tummies, mouse ears, mouse bow-ties, mouse tails, mouse “canes”, sunglasses.  Sayings printed on the back of our costumes, and great 2 sided signs, with oh-so-clever sayings……..  If that doesn’t get you chosen for Let’s Make a Deal, what would, right?

The Wait Begins………

So, if you’ve never been to one of the TV game shows, let me tell you, this is a LONG and drawn out affair!  It starts with the reservation to go up there, then when you get there, you stand in line to prove you are supposed to be in the audience.  You have to show your reservation and your ID.  Then you go through a security check and metal detector…….. after that the wait starts.

Waiting in the line that seemed to take forever. But we kept the “perfect contestant” smiles plastered on our little mouse faces!

You are handed a clipboard, with about 8 pages of small print.  You fill that in and wait. And wait. And wait.  There are various people you connect with to get your ID scanned, paperwork checked out, nametags, numbers, blah, blah, blah…….

We were aware that they are checking you out the whole time to see if you are “fun material” for TV, so we kept the fun-a-coming….. the happy attitudes in check and the cuteness factor just oozing from our bodies for every damned minute…… hour (and seemingly day and week).

The thing that amazed me was the amount of people who come into this process WITH NO COSTUME!  Yep!  You can rent them there.  Now, silly me….. the way I would do this thing would be to look at who really made an effort at a costume, made it fun, made it creative — and they would be at the top of the “people to choose” list.  Evidently, not so, as you will soon see!

Don’t get too excited about this picture. This is just a “fakey” they do in front of a blue screen! Your phone is confiscated AGES before you get to the studio. We were actually sitting behind where my left ear was when we were in the audience.

At the end of the long and tedious line, you are pulled off into a little section at the end of the room with about 20 people, where one of the producers goes around, asks your name, what you do, etc…….. then into the holding tank you go, with all of those who are going to be on the show that day.

You’d think they might give you a clue, such as, “The bus to the studio will be boarding approximately “blah-blah” time, or “15 minutes after the last contestants get through their interview” or “when hell freezes over” or “when you die of old age” or “once Bettie White is no longer the most popular female in the US.”   Uh, no.  No hint.  You are a bit scared to go off to the potty, because it’s out the door, down and around the building, and up on a trailer full of porta’ potties. (Seriously?  They can’t even give you a REAL bathroom here at the Let’s Make a Deal holding pen? Let me tell you, on a day that hovered in the 80’s with more damn humidity than is legal in Cali’- this was not a pleasant experience.)  So, you don’t know if they might call everyone while you are porta’ pottying it, and you might miss the whole damn show!  And, when you are one of the 3 Blind Mice, you miss it, and the rest of the gang is also kinda’ shit outta’ luck for their costume ensemble…..

A little information for the masses would be nice you execs in charge of Let’s Make a Deal.  Just sayin!

Me and Liza. (BTW- might know that out of hundreds of people, I’d get assigned contestant number 69! Just sayin’!)

So, it’s once you are put into the “holding pen” that those who need to can rent a costume.  These aren’t great costumes.  Not by any stretch.  A lot of “Hawaiian Shirt and plastic lei” type of stuff. Santa and Santa’s helper. With “Santa” consisting of the Santa top & hat, no beard, no Santa pants or boots…… Very basic, not-a-real-costume type of costume…

And the wait goes on…..and on….. and on……

We kept up our happy-as-fuck little effervescent attitudes, however, because we KNEW we were being judged each and every moment.  Once 3 separate people gave us our marching orders (all 3 speeches were basically the same, BTW!) We were told that, indeed, we were being watched moment by moment, both now and throughout the show, until the very last moment, and we needed to keep our enthusiasm til the end, act excited if we won a prize, even if we hated it more than our mother-in-law, don’t touch Wayne Brady in any way, unless he gave explicit consent, and don’t chew gum…… we finally were herded into buses to go to the studio.

Upon getting to the studio, we were then herded into a sort of hallway to sit until further notice. Again, a bit of information would be nice.  Information such as how long we might be there, if/when and where we could go to the bathroom, etc.  Of course, the moment my daughter wandered off to the bathroom they started us moving inside, giving the other 2 members of the “blind mice” ensemble a moment of panic.

It might be nice before they DO herd you into the studio to tell you you WON’T be able to get a drink of water, or go to the bathroom for the next 2 hours or more……… HOLY GOD, is that too much to ask?  Heads up here people, do what you have to do, and you have this much time to do it in……… NOPE!

Then the fun, and the disappointment begins.

Once they seat us in the studio, there is yet another speech (#4 for those of you who have stopped counting).  This speech reiterates the same content which was gone over repeatedly before boarding the bus.  I DO fully understand, that some of the people in said audience are not rocket scientist….. but SERIOUSLY?  This isn’t LIVE TV, and if someone really F’s up, they CAN edit it out……

“His Royal Highness” Arrives!

Then “his highness” arrives on the set.  We are all prepared for the moment.  When Wayne Brady enters, the first person he calls up is a gal who isn’t even IN a costume.  SERIOUSLY?  WTF?  She was cute, and did win a motorcycle, so we were all pleased for her.  When it’s time for a commercial break, Wayne strolls out, no interaction in ANY WAY with the audience.  Not a wave, not a smile, not a joke, nothing! We, however, stand up and, as Liza put it, “dance like monkeys” the whole commercial break, because that’s how they told us they choose people for the segments. It was like rinse, and repeat for the rest of the taping of the show.  Almost everyone chosen for the show was- are you ready?…… wearing one of the IDIOTIC RENTAL COSTUMES!

Closeup of Alyse and Liza. Once you are on the show, your contestant number comes off.

There was one costume that was UBER popular in the audience.  This was a hat type device which looked like a milk carton, and your face became the face on the milk carton.  There were at least 7 people in the audience with that clever $5.00 costume.  There were 3 “rainbow unicorns.”  90% of the costumes were easy-peasy purchased costumes We had the only hand held signs in the whole audience.  No notice of that!  We had accessories! We had cuteness!  We had creativity!  All that, on top of our sparkling personalities the whole frickin’ day!  And none of us were called!

There was one gal in our “group” who did get called up front.  We were so happy for her! She was a kind of Sandra Bullock look-alike, and very friendly.  Her costume was a slot machine, and she had personalized it with Wayne Brady phrases on it.  Alyse called it early on that she would get chosen, and we were excited to see her do well.

Wayne Brady……. Not So Much……

But the worst part of the experience? Wayne Brady. Wayne Brady and his lack of interaction with anyone in the audience.  He didn’t actually even ACKNOWLEDGE us in any way shape or form!  Other than 2 funny bits he did while the camera was rolling with guys on stage and in the audience, none of us existed.  We were simple “props”, and not worthwhile human beings.

Like mother, like daughter. Even as blind mice we look similar! Turns out, Wayne Brady is kind of a dirty rat. At least, not a very friendly one, as it turns out!

Wayne, Wayne, Wayne……. I’ve loved you since I saw the first Who’s Line is it Anyway…. but I’ll never feel the same about you.  Bummer! I don’t think a bit of kindness to the people in the audience would have been too much to ask from you. Wayne actually came right in front of us in the audience, to get to the woman they were choosing for “the big deal”.  No eye contact, not a hello, not a hi five…… in fact, I don’t think he knew we were humans he raced in front of.

Wayne, you pompous little ass! You hadn’t been standing in line all day. You hadn’t been in the holding pen for hours. I’m pretty damned sure YOU hadn’t missed lunch.  You weren’t dying of thirst and needing a bathroom.  Would a little hand wave, a few hugs, maybe a little joke or two have killed you? What’s the deal, Wayne?  Did you forget the people who put in in front making the big bucks? Our relationship is officially over now you chump!  I’m embarrassed for you and your lack of simple kindness and compassion to the people who came to see you.  Nice suit, by the way.

The “Bees Knees”- Restoring my Knees!

Fabulous After 50, Health = Happiness!, Serious Shit, Uncategorized

Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That! Aching Knees Are NO Fun!

You’ve GOT to Take Care of Yourself!  No One Else Will!

I’m about the most active person I know.  I dance a few times a week, exercise fairly regularly, and go, go, go!  I fit more life in a week than many people do in a month.  Maybe two months.  So…….. imagine my surprise when, without notice, my knees went from fine to completely fucked within a matter of about 2 months.  Seriously, I’m not exaggerating about this. Everything was A-OK, when I went on a cruise last Oct 1.  I tend to take the stairs between everywhere I go on a cruise, just to avoid the elevator crowds AND to try to burn a few of the excessive calories I am consuming while cruising.  About 4 days into the cruise my knees were stiff and hurting worse and worse every time I took the stairs.  I finally had to give up doing the stairs before the end of the cruise.  From there they just got increasingly worse through the holiday season.  I couldn’t even THINK of going to the gym- it was not only painful, but it was impossible to do any sort of class.  This may be TMI- but by Christmas I couldn’t hardly get on or off the damned toilet!  The pain was about 25 on a scale of 1-10, and the “hinge” movement that lifts you out of a chair wouldn’t even work.  If there wasn’t a handicapped stall in a bathroom I was a gonner!  At least with the handicapped bathroom I could pull myself up on the metal handrails!

Not only was I in pain, and nearly immobile, but then I started feeling like I was getting whacked in the knee with a metal club when I walked.  That was excruciating!  And it was causing me to stumble and fall. Very attractive I must say.

Dancing is my “Drug of Choice

(When you click on the link above, you’ll see a video of Don & I dancing at Kingston Mines in Chicago this past June.  My daughter shot this unknown to me at the time.  Not the best lit video, but just a typical night dancing for my man and I!)

Anyone who knows me, knows that my “drug of choice” is dancing.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that if you are barely ambulatory, you aren’t doing too damned much dancing!  So, I was quickly becoming an unhappy girl!

Do you know that when your knees don’t work, you’re almost unable to get up from any restaurant table?  Few restaurant chairs have arms, and most tables only have a center support pedestal, which makes leaning on the table for leverage impossible.  The whole situation is far less than sexy and attractive, I have to say! It was a struggle every time I went anywhere. I quickly developed a keen sense of empathy for anyone going through physical challenges!

Let me tell you, I definitely have new found respect for people with knee issues.

I went to the Dr., got a check up and x-rays, only to be told I had arthritis, and would probably be needing a knee replacement STAT!  GREAT NEWS!  Just what I wanted to hear! Part of me felt like- do it now and let me get it over with, and the bigger part of me said “HELL NO!”

I refused to just take the word of a western medicine Dr, and decided to do all a could to get my knees back to as normal as possible, before resorting to letting someone take a saw and cut out the supporting members of my legs!

Another deciding factor on dealing with our “western medicine” practitioners came after I scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic specialist.  Let’s just leave it at this— after waiting a combined time in both the waiting and exam room of about an hour and a half, I left, never seeing the Dr.  I could hear him visiting with the patient in the next room for 45 minutes, discussing the holidays, family vacations, work, their favorite ski resorts, blah, blah, blah.  I called to the assistant, and explained that I worked, and this was the middle of my work day, but no one seemed to care about me as a person, or as a patient……… I decided I deserved better treatment than this Dr. could provide, and left.

That is when I started doing a little research. I looked into stem cell therapies a bit.  Hard to decipher what is legit there, and what was “snake oil” in the stem cell field. I couldn’t get enough “real data” to figure out what was what with the stem-cell choices.

Tart Cherry Juice Was My Lifesaver!

I started looking into supplements, and started taking a few things.  The one that sounded the least like it would help came from a helpful neighbor.  He suggested I drink Tart Cherry Juice.  It had helped him considerably a few years ago, when he thought he was in line for a knee replacement.  I’ll be damned!  Of all the things I tried (and I’ll share what they were), this is the one that I felt had the greatest impact.  Within about 4 days I saw CONSIDERABLE improvement!  The Cherry Juice helps with inflammation.  It tastes great, and it’s fairly inexpensive, so there is no down side that I can see! (An interesting side effect, is that I was experiencing TMJ symptoms, and realized a week or so after starting on the Cherry Juice, that my TMJ had also diminished to almost nothing.

I also started taking Hyaluronic Acid in a gummy form.  I don’t know if that has had any impact, but for about $30.00 per month, I’m not taking the chance of stopping it!  Besides that, the brand I take tastes really good, and looks pretty cute, so it’s like a free “treat” every day, that I can totally justify!

Pain Free Knees are Happy Knees!

Look Into “Alternative” Solutions! They Just Might Work!

I have two other, slightly pricier things which I tried, and, and believe helped to get me beyond my pain.  I was recommended  a “sports medicine” guy, Ryu Kawajiri at Body Craft in San Diego, and he gave me a combination of exercises, manipulation and a machine he used on me.  The machine is an acuscope. The theory behind the acuscope is that it applies low voltage micro-currents to reduce pain by stimulating the nervous system of the body. It detects the abnormal electrical tissue responses and adjust its own response to produce a balancing effect.  You don’t feel anything  when you are hooked up to the machine, you just lay on the massage type table, and relax.  Some of the manipulation of the muscles that he did was a little uncomfortable, but not too much.

The most interesting thing about this treatment, is that Ryu had informed me my biggest issue, and why my knees were hurting is that I breathe wrong, have too tight of muscles in part of my legs, and not enough in others (hello high heels) and my core was too weak. The exercises he has me do build up my weak areas, and the core, so that I am walking correctly.  Who knew you could breath wrong?  You are supposed to breath in through and out with your stomach, and your shoulders shouldn’t move at all…….. go figure!  So, I am now lying around in strange positions, breathing in and out through a balloon……. And feeling SO much better!  My treatments started out as once a week, but very quickly were spread out to a few weeks apart.  After only a handful of treatments, Ryu informed me that I didn’t need to come back, unless I started experiencing some discomfort again. Was it  worth it?  Damn right it was!  I can see the difference! I am still doing my breathing and stretching exercises, because I never want to go back to the pain I had.

The last major part of my therapy has been Bowen work with another amazing healer, Sharon Edmiston. How or why this therapy works is beyond me, but, once again, it DOES work and that is all I care about.  After discussing what is going on with your body and your life, fully clothed you get on a massage table.  My practitioner comes in and touches you very lightly in a few places, walks out for a few minutes, and then repeats the same process on a different part of your body.  I can’t figure it out, but then, do I really need to?  All I know is that it is helping, and for the little it costs it is well worth the expense.

I’ve done a few other minimal things, such as making bone broth and drinking it occasionally.  But just occasionally, like when I have a chicken in the house to do so!

Real Time Pain Relief has been the best product I could imagine finding for my knee pain!

Pain Relief in A Cream!

I went to a health fair and went by a booth with some “pain creme.” I stopped to talk to the woman at the booth, she asked if I had any pain, and I mentioned my knee problem.  She sat me right down, began to rub the pain creme in, and I walked away a few minutes later.  Believe me, I returned about 10 minutes later and bought the largest bottle of it she had!  I couldn’t believe how much better my knees felt, almost immediately.  I am still using Real Time Pain Relief daily!  It relieves pain, not only in my knees, but in my feet and legs when I need to stand for long periods of time.  I like it SO much, and turned so many of my friends on to it, that I actually became a vendor for it. I’ve tried other topical cremes, but none can TOUCH this stuff!  It’s effective, it’s made from natural ingredients, and you don’t smell like your grandmother when you use it!

My Arthritic Knees Are Restored!

I don’t believe it’s been any one thing that has turned my knees around, but in about 3 months I was back to about 90% normal in one knee, 95% normal In the other.  I have actually, almost completely, had my Arthritic Knees Restored! It certainly beats the alternative, I have to say that!  I know that if my knees had continued along the path they were taking, I’d probably already have had at least one knee replacement by now..  No doubt in my mind!  I’d have had months more of pain, and then the surgery and recovery period.

My dancing would have stopped completely months ago, and it would be many more months before I could have looked forward to dancing again.  I’m not so sure my personal psyche could have dealt with that outcome!

Instead, by taking my own destiny in my hands, exploring alternative procedures, and being willing to put a little of my own money on the line, I am almost completely “back to normal.”  OK, that’s a lie.  I’ll never be normal, but the use of my knees is back to where almost where they were last fall when this started!  I have a bit of stiffness in my left knee some days, but that is it!

You CAN Take Control of Your Health!

You CAN take control of your health, I have no doubt about it.  I’m not some sort of crazy over-the-top health fiend.  My diet is fair to good, on a good day.  I enjoy my foo-foo martinis whenever I entertain, I have my fair share of desserts.  BUT, by doing a few special exercises and drinking my Tart Cherry Juice, my life has been given back to me.

Research  your alternatives before simply taking the word of Western medicine doctors!  Take a few minutes on Google to see if there is an alternative to the medications, surgeries and  the extremes  the Western doctors want to give you!  You may find a natural way around your problem.

If your insurance doesn’t pay for a procedure, consider what the “cost” really is to you.  One of my procedures is about $100.00 each time I go.  Another $50.00.  However, I can cut back on a few frivolities to make it affordable. AND, I had to look at what the cost was if I went the other way?  Unproductivity due to pain.  The inability to do what I love in life.  The time that I would have been out of work if I had a surgery and needed to recover…………..  A bit of money out of my pocket FAR outweighed the alternative.

Put Yourself First!

Put yourself first when t comes to your health.  DON’T just take the word of the first professional who tells you what is going to happen with your health. Talk to people who might know alternative methods, and be open and willing to try something new.  After all, do you really want to be put on medications, and have your body cut open?  Do you really want fake body parts, which are going to eventually wear out again, put inside of you?  Aren’t you worth taking the time to find the very BEST FOR YOU?  I am, and I did!

A great example of WHY taking the time, putting out the money and making the effort to get my knees better happened about a week ago.  My grand daughter Nell was in town, and we did a “girls day” at the water park.  I wasn’t sure how many of the big water slides I’d be able to do.  If you’ve ever been to one of those water parks, you know, the water slides entail, literally, hundreds of stairs to get up to them.  Stairs seem to aggravate my knees more than ANYTHING!  If I’m going to feel pain, it’s on stairs.  Guess what?  We were there from 10 AM until they closed at 6, and I conquered every slide in the place, WITHOUT A TWITCH OF PAIN!  I couldn’t stand the 3 stairs into my house over Christmas, without almost crying, or literally having to have help into and out of the house!

This is where you play the old Frank Sinatra song…….. “I Did It My Way!”

 

Ta Ta for the Titties, Too Much for Me!

Comedy, Fabulous After 50, My Humble Opinion, Raves & Rotten Reviews, styles, Uncategorized, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

TaDa for the TaTa’s…..

I don’t care what kind of sweat be a drippin’ down your boobs. No one needs to look like this!

So here I am, just strolling through Facebook. The first “down time” I’ve had in almost 2 weeks, and I thought I’d check out what is going on in the world of my Facebook friends, when suddenly I come across this ad for the Ta Ta Towel.  I had to stop, take a gander, then look into this further.

Uh, no. Not for me. So sorry!

If you aren’t yet familiar with the Ta Ta Towel, it is basically a hammock, made out of a towel to hang your titties in. In other words, an “Over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.”  (That’s what I would have called this invention, if, indeed, I had invented it….. which I didn’t, because I didn’t know there was even a need for it.)  Evidently, a number of big breasted women seem to sweat under their boobs while getting themselves ready to go out into the world for the day.  Hence, the “Ta Ta Towel” was invented. It is described on their sites as “The perfect accessory to any set of boobs.” I prefer a diamond necklace as my boobs perfect little accessory.  Call me a snob.

No one should be going out in public like this. Sorry! If you wonder why you can’t get a date, maybe it’s because you are out in clothing that just wouldn’t flatter ANYONE! Not to mention, those titties are gonna go a floppin’ out, you can just about count on that!

Solutions for Sweaty Boobs

Perhaps I’m a skeptic, and perhaps it’s because my rather ample boobs don’t seem to have this weeping sweatage problem…….. but did anyone ever think of a simple little robe?  I have a cute little leopard number, which is nice and cool in our oh-so-hot summer weather, and I throw that on when I’m getting ready for the day. (Unless the weather is cool, then I throw on a warmer robe. But in either case, I don’t need a special over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.)  My simple little robe seems to do the trick for me.

I did a little further research on the Ta Ta, and found they have a facebook page, a number of “reviews” on the item, and, evidently, some different colors and patterns that the Ta Ta might be ordered in.

I’m a Sucker, I’ll Admit It!

I’ll admit, I’m usually a sucker for everything that comes my way, and promises to solve a problem.  I’ve tried the “Skinny Coffee.”  About $30.00 later, and a few weeks of coffee that had some suspect white specs in it later…… not an ounce was lost. I also fell prey to the curlers that promised to give me ringlet type of curls fast and easy……. wait for the video on this one folks.  You’ll be glad you did. (As soon as I figure out how the hell to make said video).  The black mud looking mask……… don’t ask.

This time, however, I did not fall prey to ordering the Over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.  Why you may ask?  When even the model looks frumpy and dumpy in it, I know that no one in my house, including me, needs to see this shit.  In addition, they retail for $45.00!  Are they kidding me?  Come on. REALLY Ta Ta?  Had this thing been $10.00, maybe even $15.00, I would have been tempted to buy one, just for shits and giggles, and to share with the likes of you who read this blog.  But seriously?  $45.00?  Holy crap!  I am in itinerant “second hand” shopper.  My nicest dresses and evening gowns don’t even cost me $45.00!  Am I going to buy a boob sweat sopper and spend that much?  Not on your life Sam! No way!  I could buy at least 4 or 5 new dresses for that amount of money, and they are going to be one HELL of a lot more fun and flattering than this gizmo!

I suppose I could do a “Go Fund Me” page, so that people could contribute to me purchasing the Ta Ta, but I’m saving that route for something really big and important, like a face lift or tummy tuck sometime down the line.  You’ve got to plan these things out to get the most “bang for your buck” you know!

Ta Ta Towel s just not me!

I have to say, the Ta Ta Towel just doesn’t speak to me! Just give me a little “seasonal” robe! Cozy in the winter, cool in the summer! Is it too much work to try to look a bit reasonable, even at home?

Meanwhile, I’ll just use one of my cute little robes to hold the boulders while I’m getting ready for the day. And thank my lucky little stars that my boobs don’t sweat.  Life is good here at the Queen’s castle!

If you think that you just can’t live without a Ta Ta Towel, here is a bit more information on this nifty invention!

Black & White Bathroom on a Budget!

Household DIY, The Queen's Castle- DIY, Uncategorized

Do you have a floor you hate, but can’t afford new flooring? Maybe tile or a counter-top that just doesn’t work for you? Just paint it! I have painted just about every type of flooring you can think of in my day, and it has always worked out beautifully! I’ve painted counter-tops, tile, furniture, glass! My feeling is that if it doesn’t work out as planned, or doesn’t hold up as planned, I can then go ahead and invest the big bucks in new flooring, but so far, it’s always worked out for the best.

My first flooring experience was a home with my ex. Filthy drug dealers had lived in the home we were buying through a lease-to-own contract. The carpets looked like they had poured used motor oil on them, they were so filthy. We couldn’t afford to redo the flooring throughout the whole house. What to do? We decided to carpet the upper floor of the house, and I decided to paint the foundation of the main floor. I had just seen it done in some Hoity-toity homes in Fairbanks Ranch, so I figured, if it was good enough for the millionaires, it was good enough for me. This was a few years back, before you really had you-tube to tell you how to do things. So, I just winged it, and made it up as I went. I used Home Depot’s “oops paint” because I really couldn’t afford to do the whole thing with floor paint. I made the floor look like it was 24″ travertine tile. I guess it worked pretty damned well, because when we had the house appraised a few years later, the appraiser described the flooring as “beautiful 24” travertine marble. Damned good for my first attempt! Was it perfect? No. The paint in the kitchen would show wear occasionally, so I’d just go in and repaint a few of the “tiles” as needed to freshen it up. It lasted us for the 5 years or so we were in the house!

Long before it was fashionable, I painted the counter-tops in that same house. They were original Formica 30+ year old counter-tops, which the drug dealers had burned with cigarettes here and there. Again, I didn’t know if it would hold up, and no one I knew had ever heard of painting your bathroom counters, but I figured, why not? When I drip paint on the suckers it doesn’t want to come off, so why not try? I “marbled” the counter-tops, again, using leftover and “oops” paint, and they lasted the whole time we lived there!

So- hence, upon moving into my current home, the kitchen and baths had linoleum which I HATE, but I didn’t want to invest in new flooring in those rooms until I could afford to redo the whole kit-and-kibootle, so I decided to just go ahead and paint them to tide me over.

This shows the bathroom when I bought the house. The tile trim and the linoleum were both the only color. Both looked like crap! The linoleum seemed to have no “finish” to it, and the dirt just stuck to it like crazy!

As you’ll see from the “before” pictures of my bathroom, it was pretty boring. The only hint of color when I purchased the house was the dated trim around the tub, which was kind of “mauvy”…… not what I wanted. Therefore, I decided to paint the tile and trim around the tub at the same time, giving my whole bathroom a black and white “marble” theme. I didn’t take time to read or research anything, figuring it would probably work out. And again, if it didn’t, worse case scenario, I’d have to redo the bathroom sooner than originally planned. A few years later, it’s still all working out!

This shows the bathroom as it was when I purchased my home…… the kind of “mauve” trim on the tile, and the ugly, worn out linoleum.

Here’s what I did- For the floor I gave it a REALLY good cleaning, making sure to really get down and scrub it, and get all of the corners uber clean. Then I gave the whole floor a really good base of two coats of floor paint. I used white, since that was one of my 2 main colors. Once I gave the floor the base coat, I let it dry for about a day, so it had time to really “set” before I started the design process.

In the past when I painted my other floor in a travertine pattern I had used pinstriping tape to make my “grout lines.” This time, since my linoleum had previously had a tile pattern, and you could still see the shape of the “tile”, I just free handed my painting, and didn’t actually even leave a “grout line” of paint. My “tile squares just butt right up to one another.

I went from the back of the bathroom, to the front, adding a bit of marbling to every other tile, to become my “carerra marble”. You’ll see it in the following picture. Please excuse that the photo is blurry. When I took the picture, I had no idea I’d be doing a blog- I just took the photo to show a friend what I was doing!

Sorry about the blurry-ness! I didn’t know I’d be doing a blog when I snapped this picture!

Then, once that all had time to dry, I went back and filled in the remaining squares with solid black, to look like black marble. I had thought I might add a bit of white marbling to those when I was finished, but decided I really liked the solid black, so I just left it at that point.

This shows the floor right after I finished it. Everything was still piled in the tub at that point! You can see that I even “marbled” my plastic trash can to match the bathroom!

After doing a bit of touch up here and there, adding a bit more marbling on the white spaces where I thought it might need it, I then went over the floor with a few coats of Polycrylic by Minwax, in a semi-gloss. It runs about $17.00 for a quart. It gave the floor a nice gloss finish. The floor also cleans up REALLY well with just a quick mopping. I’ve had the floor done now just exactly 2 years and it has held up really well! My one tip for using the Polycrylic is make sure not to glob it on, or allow drips to dry. You will end up with a yellowed area when that happens. Better to do a few thinner coats!


This shows the bathroom after it was finished. You can see the vanity, which I repainted, and the tile and marbling around the tub. I stenciled some of the tiles, so it gave a bit more “interest” than just plain white tiles. It has all held up really well, using the same gloss finish on all surfaces! With this little project, you’ll see that, as I mentioned, I also painted the tile trim, the bathtub surround, my little vanity table and my mirror which I brought over from another house. It pulled the whole bathroom together for a dramatic look.

My vanity table was a table I picked up from a store going out of business about 12 years ago or so. Remember Bombay Company? This was supposed to be a little hall table, and was marked down to $15.00 at the very end of the store’s run. It has been my vanity in a number of homes over those years. Since it was cherry, I decided to paint it black with a marble top, and changed out the handle. Turned out pretty well, and again, is still holding up FABULOUSLY! I also painted the natural finished wood chair black to go with the theme. Thank God for paint!

You can also see in the back of the room, next to the toilet a “towel holder” I created. This was originally supposed to be a planter I got at Home Goods about 3 houses ago. I never seem to have a bathroom with adequate storage for towels, so I use this. It was a green for my original home, so I painted it black, with the silver “wash”, and added the crystals on the front to go with my last black and white bathroom. It fit right in here when I did this bathroom! I love it when you can re-purpose items for various homes!

This bathroom “make-over”, including the new blinds I put up, the new handle for my vanity and the paint was all done for under $175.00.  Looks pretty good, all things considered, huh?

If you have something in your home you really don’t care for, why not try and give it a coat of paint? After all, what’s the worst that can happen? Paint is so inexpensive and it’s easy to use to switch things up! It’s worth a try, rather than having to put out the big bucks for a complete replacement, right?

Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini

Cocktail Time, Entertaining, Fabulous After 50, Uncategorized
Blueberry Lemondrop Martinis

Delicious & refreshing Blueberry Lemon Drop Martinis are perfect for summer! (I’m pretty sure we could claim some healthy “antioxidant” benefits here as well, if it makes you feel better!

Blueberry Lemon Drop Martinis

As many of you know, I’m known for my signature martinis at each event I hold.  I am always trying to come up with something new and different.  I created this one a few months ago for my bunko girls, and believe me- the Blueberry Lemon Drop was a definite hit!

I came up with the idea when I came across Blueberry Puree at Bev-Mo.  I thought it could create a delicious drink, easily, and I was right!  (Of course, I’m right most of the time, after all!  I AM the Queen!)

Martini Drinking in Lake Geneva, Wis.!

This was a great little martini I discovered in Lake Geneva, Wis. on our trip there earlier this summer. Check out the Maxwell Mansion if you need a fabulous little place to stay sometime! BTW- Isn’t my man just the cutest thing in the world?

 DIRECTIONS:

In a small sandwich sized zip-lock bag Mix superfine sugar with a few drops of yellow food coloring, and a few drops of Orange or lemon flavoring- until sugar is a consistent color and flavoring is mixed in. Pour into a plate.  You may skip this step if desired, and just use plain sugar.

Slice lemons  into wedges, to run around the rims of your glasses.  Use Lemon wedges to moisten edge of glasses, and dip into your colored sugar mixture.  This can be done before your event, so you don’t have to take time once your guests arrive.

I garnish these martinis by simply putting 3 blueberries in the bottom of each martini glass.  You could also put the blueberries on drink toothpicks if you want to fancy it up a bit.  I personally like the blueberries floating in the glass.

 

2 parts vodka (put in freezer for a day or two before event to get as cold as possible)

1 part lemonade

½ part sweet & sour bar mix (pre-chill)

½ part blueberry puree (you can find in stores such as Bev-mo pre made, or puree your own blueberries with simple syrup)

¼ part simple syrup

Put all ingredients into a shaker, pour into sugared martini glasses and garnish with the blueberries.