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Friday, January 13, 2023

Tumblers and Birds

I ended my last post with a picture of Peter and my mom before he left to go back to Raleigh, so I thought I would start this post with a picture of Sarah and my mom before she left to go back to Charlotte.

Both kids started back to class on Monday and they seem to be settling in well.  I am praying they both have a great semester!

I have set a few goals for myself this year and one of them is to drink at least 90 ounces of water a day.  "They" say that in order to lose weight you need to be drinking a ton of water - roughly half your body weight in ounces.

I have a Built tumbler (that I believe is technically Sarah's but she's not here and I am so, I've been using it.)  

This cup is under $13 at Walmart and keeps ice frozen overnight and the water is nice and cold!   BUT - it doesn't have a handle and there isn't a straw so you actually have to take sips.  On a good day, I've been managing to drink about 45 ounces of water.  (I prefer coffee and Diet Dr. Pepper thank you very much.)

All during the Christmas season, I saw moms and teen-aged daughters going crazy for a Stanley tumbler.  This thing was selling out online and while it's pretty, I just didn't get the hype.

These things are $40 and were flying off the shelves.  I am not about to spend $40 on a tumbler when I have a daughter who has a collection of water bottles, tumblers, cups with straws, etc. all sitting in a closet here because she only has room for one water bottle at school. But when I was in Marshall's yesterday I saw this:

It has a handle and a straw and is very similar to the Stanley but was only $16.99, so I grabbed it on a whim.  It felt like an impulse purchase and a bad one at that because I have a perfectly good water tumbler at home. 

But y'all, just after owning this thing for 24 hours, I cannot sing it's praises enough!  I came home, washed it, filled it up and in less than 2 hours, I had consumed 40 ounces of water.  FORTY!!! With the Built cup, it would take me ALL AFTERNOON to drink a mere 30 ounces.  

It isn't even noon on day two of owning this thing and I am almost done with my second 40 ounces of the day!  That's 80 ounces BEFORE LUNCH!

What kind of magic is this?  I honestly think it's the straw.  The straw and the handle.  The straw makes drinking it so much easier than sipping from the opening in the lid.  And the handle makes toting it around from room to room so much easier.  It was definitely worth $16.99 and now that I am a water drinking fool, I expect the weight to slide off effortlessly!  insert laughing face emoji here

I don't think the ice lasts as long in this cup as it did in the Built tumbler but I'm drinking the water so fast that I don't think it's an issue. 

So, moral of the story:  if you are having trouble getting in your water for the day, use a straw!  

In other news, the cardinals have finally figured out how to use the bird feeder.  Several months ago, we had a male and female cardinal show up to the bird feeder.  They both just sat there looking at it and looking around.  Neither one of them seemed to figure out that they needed to perch on the edge and eat out of it.  They looked so forlorn and were looking around as if to say, "We heard there's free food here but WHERE IS IT????" 

Occasionally the female would come and sit underneath it and look around looking for the food but she could never figure out what to do.  It was so pathetic.  What was probably even more pathetic is that I was trying to tell her what to do from behind the kitchen sink.  "Hop up on the ledge.  Turn around and hop up on the ledge.  Watch the chickadee.  Do what she's doing!" Not only could she not hear me because I was inside and she was outside, she couldn't understand me because she's a bird and doesn't speak English. But when you are a crazy bird lady, none of this matters.

On Wednesday, I looked up and there was a male cardinal eating from the bird feeder.  I was elated!


After watching him eat for a few minutes, I determined that the feeder might be a little small for him and it's probably hard for him and his big self to eat easily from this particular feeder.  So now I am considering getting another larger feeder.  What is wrong with me?  

In other bird related news,  I started following the Audubon Society on Instagram. (It come up under Suggest For You. I guess even Instagram knows my love of birds.) They announced yesterday that the Audubon Photography Awards were officially open for entries so I was thinking about submitting the above photo.   Just kidding!

But seriously, though, if you like birds, you should give them a follow.  The images are spectacular and there are so many beautiful birds that I never knew existed.  

Since it's Friday, I'll leave you with this funny meme:

Why do I feel attacked?  :)



Thursday, January 5, 2023

What's been happening around here: December 26th until the present.

On the morning after Christmas, we were sitting around the breakfast table with Cathy and Eric trying to plan our day.  We thought that a trip to the Biltmore House would be a nice way to spend the day but due to my lack of poor planning, they were already sold out for tickets through the rest of the week.  It was a bummer because the Biltmore House is especially beautiful during Christmas but I wasn't too bummed because basic tickets at Christmas are $124 PER PERSON.  YIKES!

So we decided to head to Greensboro to tour  The International Civil Rights Museum. Our tour guide was excellent (and extremely passionate about civil rights) and it was so neat to see the actual lunch counter in it's spot where the sit-in took place in 1960 in the actual Woolworth's store.  They did not allow pictures inside the exhibits but here's a few I pulled online.

After the tour, we went to lunch at Mac's Speedshop and then we went to LeBauer Park where they had an outdoor skating rink set up. The rink was pretty tiny and it was packed.  I opted to watch since I really don't need any broken extremities and Peter (who like me, doesn't really care for ice skating) took a drive through Greensboro while the other's "skated". And I use that term loosely since it seemed for the most part, they were just trying not to fall!  But Cathy and Eric were good sports about it and I *think* they enjoyed themselves.

Later that night, we all settled around the television and watched Shutter Island.  We all really enjoyed it.

The next morning, Sarah had a dentist appointment. When she got back from that we headed to The Porch for a late lunch and then we went bowling.  It's been a while since I bowled and even though I was horrible at it, it was still a lot of fun.

On our way home, we swung by the Shell Service Station.  There were 8 of these built in the Winston-Salem, NC area in 1930 and this is the only one surviving.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.  It is considered "novel architecture" and was built when the new owner of the local Shell distributor decided he needed to bring brand awareness to the area. It actually used to be a working service station. It's so cute!


After dinner we watched Point Break.  Everyone really enjoyed it (it was such a blast from the past). Even Peter enjoyed it.  He said it started off slow but then picked up and was very enjoyable.

On Wednesday morning, Eric and Cathy headed back to Washington and we attempted to get things in order.  I was behind on laundry, there were lots of gifts that needed to be put in their proper place, the floors needed to be swept, we needed some groceries, the whole nine yards. Later that night we had a fire in the fire pit and then watched Knives Out.  It was an excellent movie!On the night of the 23rd, we watched Snatch which was also enjoyable.  


I'm so out of the loop but apparently there's an app called Letterboxd, It's a social app where you can record all the movies you've seen and share your opinion on them.  Peter uses it and came up with these movies because they were recommended by his friends.  (With the exception of Point Break.  Eric had read that it was about to leave Netflix so we wanted to see it before it was too late.)

Peter had plans on New Year's Eve, so he headed back to Raleigh and we enjoyed our traditional New Year's Eve meal with Jennifer and her family at Tokyo Japanese Steak House. 

Our dinner reservation was at 8:15.  We were home by 9:45 and I was in bed by 11:00.  I know some will think that's lame but I'm an old lady who needs her sleep.  

Peter came home the next day and we watched the Panthers blow their last chance to make it to the playoffs. On Monday, we took down all the Christmas decorations and ran some errands and not much else.  Then on Tuesday, Dan was back to work and Sarah spent the day with Joe and Peter hung out here around the house.  Then yesterday, he headed back to school but I snapped this cute picture of him with mom right before he left:

And Sarah headed to Oak Ridge to hang out with the Basement and she's currently still there which is affording me time to catch up on blogging, paying bills, laundry, etc. 

And that my friends is what we've been up to since Christmas day! Happy New Year!


Christmas 2022

Merry Christmas!   We had a wonderful holiday season around here and I hope you all did as well.

Dan made it home from his trip to Ireland late on December 22nd.  And then he and Sarah were up early to drop her car off at the dealership for some diagnostics to determine the cause of a problem she is having.  (This situation is still not resolved and will be an entirely too-long and probably too-boring post at some point in the future so stay tuned for that.) 

They spent the morning shopping for my stockingitems (because everyone knows that the oldest daughter in the family is responsible for Mom's happiness on Christmas morning.)  But to be fair, at least Dan knows he has a better chance of getting items that will make me happy if Sarah helps him out. Later that afternoon they made cookies as is their tradition:

Then before we knew it Christmas Eve had arrived!  We went to the Christmas Eve Candlelight and Lovefeast Service at the Moravian Church I grew up attending with my mom and brother and Jennifer's family and then came back to our house for snacks.  I made a delicious mixed drink and it was a hit!

 And sadly, this is the only photo I got but we had a great time!

On Sunday morning, Dan and I got up around 8:00 and put all the presents out and then had to force the kids out of bed to unwrap gifts.  If we weren't trying to make the 11:00 Christmas Mass, they probably would have slept until Noon!

Every year, I choose a wrapping paper for Peter and a different one for Sarah. Since their school colors are Christmas appropriate I opted for that this year.  Sarah's pile was UNCC green and white and gold and Peter's pile was NC State red, white and black.

Family selfie in our Christmas PJs!


After the gift unwrapping, we got dressed and headed to Mass. When we got back from Mass, Cathy and Eric had arrived from D.C. and we all headed next door to eat lunch with mom and Brad. After a delicious lunch of steak and twice baked potatoes and salad and chocolate cake, we unwrapped more gifts and took our annual family photo.

And then Peter played guitar and sang for us.  He's been adding more songs to his repertoire and in my opinion is sounding better and better! And then we went back to our house and exchanged a few more presents.

 And just like that - Christmas day was over!