Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Even from 1,000 miles away, my husband can show me how GREAT he can be!

Lucky me!!!!!

I'm in love......okay, so maybe it's the NyQuil talking, but still ! ! ! !

Or is it the DayQuil ??

Either one, thanks, Daddy !
OKAY, so it's day TWO of the great movie watch of 2012.....

The Big Year with Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson.
The art of Birding is incredibly underrated!

And, Real Steel with handsome Hugh Jackman!
OK, so what if it was a kid movie about robots and all!
It was Hugh Jackman!!!!!

Then, Contagion adapted from the book by Robin Cook.
Hmmmmm.......think I'm going to become a germaphob!

The finale of TOP CHEF is tonight, so it's going to be the highlight of my miserable day!!!
The thermometer registered that it was 60 degrees outside today!!!!!
Missed it!

I'm finally catching up on my post about the cruise.


What a wonderfully relaxing time we had on our cruise a couple weekends back. It was a LONG time in the planning and although not everything was ideal, I think we can thank our lucky stars. We considered going super bowl weekend....but Denver airport shut down, we'd have been sailings without our Denver contingency. Then, we considered the weekend AFTER we actually went, and well, turns out there were hurricanes and bad storms in the gulf! So, we hit it just right.

We've got good KARMA.

There were a bunch of different LITTLE things about this trip that made it not our favorite cruise, but it was all about the company that made it THE BEST!!!!

Aunt Maureen & Uncle Bernie, Cheryl & Rick, Mary Ellen and Lude and I sailed out of Galveston Texas for four days in the sun. We had two days at sea and one day in Cozumel, Mexico.

Getting ready to leave Cleveland....
Meeting Mary Ellen's plane in Houston...

We had fun times together. Played some games, ate great food, ate some not-so-great food, drank FABULOUS drinks, took pictures, mourned the passing of Whitney Houston, relaxed with some rocking yoga, shopped, saw some fun shows and saw a LOT of children.

"Elegant" night...

Joining in with the singing waiters....

Getting ready for the show...

Playing a game in the big lounge before a show.

So, for the "bunch of different LITTLE things" about the trip that made it not our fav? Why can a travel agent NOT tell you something like this: "oh, by the way, the 2012 National Spirit Cheerleading Championships are ON YOUR BOAT!" Are you kidding me?

Yes, it was like a FEIS.....we were getting pay back for every fire alarm we pulled, every piece of pizza we pitched out an open window at some unsuspecting passerby, every child we let run screaming in the hallways, every one we let push ALL the floor buttons on the elevators! It WAS payback time!

ACTUALLY.....not really. (I'm really just going on here about it!) Although there were LOTS of them, they were relatively quiet, well-behaved, in bed pretty early, at the pool and NOT in the halls, dining room and bars! And generally just great. So, I'm just kidding. BUT, the thing that I noticed was that the activities onboard were a little curtailed and maybe because of so many children! I wouldn't base my decision to never cruise again just because there were 1000 beautifully tanned, toned, glitter-skinned, hairbowed-up kids on the ship. I mean really, come on!

What does it spell? You got it!
(It's CHEER in case you didn't get it!)

The sailing.....this is our first of 14 cruises where we sailed in the Gulf of Mexico. It was very rough sailing until we hit open waters where it was just fine. Then, same on our return trip. It's winter there, too and, the south is experiencing unseasonably cold weather, so. I hate to base my decision to not sail in the gulf again on that one trip. But, I will think twice about doing it again in winter. I've become a huge fan of driving to a cruise port.....Texas is a long way!

Relaxing on our deck after our failed attempt to register for Yoga.....but we got in the next day.

The dining room food was, as always, wonderful. Great portions (the Cheesecake Factory could take lessons from them!) The Lido deck breakfasts aren't my favorite, but everything else from the buffet was good. I know there are issues about buffet food, but I think that the cruise ships go ABOVE AND BEYOND to keep every bit of bacteria away from us. Nothing worse than CNN reporting horrible food handling onboard the Fun Ships! That's no fun! Besides, have you ever taken a backstage tour of the kitchens of ANY retaurant you've eaten n? But, I've become a not so much fan of the lines and the shoving. When you don't want to go to the trouble to change out of shorts to go to the dining room for lunch, the Lido buffet works great.

Most of us tried the new DIDJAs (as in, DID YOU EVER TRY THIS) from the dinner. So, we had alligator, sushi, escargo and cured salmon....all very good.

It was nice that our boat, the Triumph had a Lido aft pool with a retractable roof. We could still enjoy the Lido deck atmosphere while out of the wind. And it WAS windy while we sailed.

Dancing the night away....

Chillaxin in the morning with my Mimosa.....

Cozumel was great....not warm enough that we wanted to spend four hours on the beach, but you can see by our pictures below, that it was pleasant enough. We took a cab to town and did some shopping.

I was very excited to finally take my shoes off and dig my Carnival toes into the sands of Mexico!!
Getting off the ship in Cozumel

Cozumel was a lot of fun!
Shopping in Cozumel....

YUM....Mexican food and Margaritas!
NO....you can't take him home! Uncle Bernie and Aunt Maureen with the natives!

The night before we arrived back in Texas, we gathered in Cheryl & Rick's room to catch a little of the Grammy's....

The trip was capped off by Rick, Cheryl, Maureen and Bernie getting on an early standby flight to Cleveland.

Fun times....aboard the fun ships. (Carnival paid me to say that!)

The most memorable people in your life
will be the people who loved you
when you weren't very lovable.

How true is that?

It's only day 2 and already I've watched four movies!

CONSPIRATORS....the historic story of Mary Surratt who was accused of taking part in the assassination of President Lincoln. I knew the story of Mary Surratt and her son, but I didn't know that in the finish, when her son was finally found and tried, that HE was found not guilty and let go. That's real motherly love, to die for your son! Hmmmmm, good movie after all for the season of Lent!

Then, MR. POPPERS PENGUINS.....I'll watch just about anything Jim Carrey's in. Cute, predictable.

TOWER HEIST.....was pretty good. Most of those movies are very predictable, but they threw in some interesting twists. Good performance by Alan Alda.....and Matthew Broderick needs Weight Watchers, I mean really, you're married to Sarah Jessica Parker for crying out loud. Ben Stiler and Eddie Murphy are always a lot of fun.

And finally a KING HENRY THE 8th DOCUMENTARY....all any government needs to do is look back at the ruling of King Henry and see where they have evolved from. Gross misuse of power.

Lude left me with a nasty cold.....so, I think it will be hot tea, Zycam and more movies for me today!

Monday, February 27, 2012

It's okay to let your mind go blank,
But can you please turn off the sound??

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dear IRS....I would like to cancel my subscription.
Please remove me from your mailing list.

Friday, February 24, 2012

One of the bad things about Lent....opening tuna cans!!!

One of the good things about LENT.....Tuna Noodle Casserole!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jessica's new commercial is running on TV now. She said she saw it on Bravo Friday afternoon.....she's a "Housewives" watcher, I think they're all on Bravo.

Commercial starts with...."We always make magic together!".

Watch for it!

Having a great year kid! Congratulations!


A full weekend of cutting papers up and gluing them back together! And we pay money to do that!

If the picture's worth taking, it's worth preserving!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dinner with the Neighbors.....

...is always a fun treat. We miss our summer dinners out to Razzles....which, is more about sitting out back on the upper deck watching the volley ball and having wings. So, we tried Lonetree which was a lot of fun. We had a good sized group and it's always an enjoyable evening out!

Visiting the Windy City.....again!

There have been lots of recent visits to Chicago with the girls' announcement of engagement. The most recent was in late January. It was a very pivotal weekend, lots of things were settled and the girls had a good opportunity to reveal all their plans for their wedding day.

Three cast members from Jessica's Second City Show have left. Two have joined another main stage show and one has moved to California. So, they have three new members. I got to see that show on Thursday and as always, was delighted and proud as can be!

Friday, I got a chance to go down to Navy Pier to see where kClare is working. Navy Pier has an all season theatrical production and right now, it's greeters on the pier introducing people to the different events. Here she is in the costume shop that she painstakingly organized for them. They are amazed, as well they should be!!!!

This is a sight you will never see at any other time of year.....an empty Navy Pier.

But, as in late October when I visited, the weather this time was unseasonably warm for us, so my visit to Chicago was quite pleasant. The skyline was just as beautiful as it is in summer:

They are in the midst of SNOW DAYS 2012. There were ice sculptures in the park and the penguins are arriving tomorrow! Boo, missed them by a day!

kClare and I had lunch with Louisa and her Mom, Cynthia Hallas. I am so glad that the girls have such a great person in their lives! Cynthia is a blessing. It's been wonderful to get to know her.

On Saturday, the girls took us to see several reception venues.....all of them great, some more than others. Can you say "upgrades???" again and again and again!?
Kath and I actually got a rare opportunity to go to a bridal fair...although these girls don't need it! They have all this stuff under control!

This is a picture of the girls in Louisa's office.
It was a great visit. I feel much better about where they are going. They're doing all the right things in preparation for this big step and we are very proud of them....everyday!

Love is Love in all it's form...........

Our biggest news....and not really NEW news, is that our baby is getting married!

We are so delighted to welcome Louisa to our family and we feel blessed that kClare has found someone that she wishes to spend her life with.

I've watched my girls with the different loves in their lives, and I can honestly say that I do see the difference. I see a respectful and deep love.

They have been together for awhile and while Louisa has been home here several times, kClare introduced her formally to the family at Christmas time.

A December 29th wedding is planned.....welcome to the family, Louisa!

Well, let's see.....what can I blame it on?

I've been away on safari for about a month.....not so much!

I just am working so much.....20 hours a week; so, that's no excuse!

I've spent all my time shoveling snow......WOW, we all know that's not true!

My computer's dead.....I'd like it to be, but it's not!

Let's face it. I have no real excuse for not blogging! I guess if I needed to blame it on anything it would be the iPad. The portable-ness of the iPad has kept me out of the basement and lazily on the couch instead of at the computer blogging. It's one thing I can't do on the iPad is type a post.

Whatever the reason, I'm here....but, in my defense, I HAVE been busy....we HAVE been away....but I have NOT been shoveling snow! Thank the Lord!

So, we'll start with THAT.....

What is up with the lack of snow in the Midwest this winter? Last year at this time, Cleveland was named "Worst winter city EVER!" This year, I think we'd rate a tad better! Not as good as Florida maybe, although last week, the Keys experienced some 50 degree weather!

When we had 55 degrees a couple weeks ago, it made you stop and ponder. What's REALLY happening? We've had so many different freaky weather issues in the past 10 years, that it makes you wonder what's happening and where are we going next? In January of this year, the low one day was 39 degrees! Most winters, we would be singing the praises if that were the HIGH!

This was taken on February 2, 2011

I'm not usually one to take advantage of the silver lining, but I've removed the lining on my winter coat!

Spring is 32 days away!

Bring it!