March 2017

March 2017

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Champions Club at Busch Stadium

The Cardinals didn't win, but we had fun anyway at yesterday's game.  The Champions Club is a great way to watch a live game.  It's a large air-conditioned room with a buffet, three bars, several large screens, tables and chairs, and couches. Even the included outdoor reserved seat is comfy. It's padded and in a shaded area cooled with ceiling fans.  Tickets in the Champions Club turned out to be a great birthday gift for Jim, but now he's spoiled. It'll be tough to watch a live Cardinals game from anywhere else in the future.

Now I'm home alone with a long list of summer chores.  I completed some over the weekend, so I'm not feeling too overwhelmed this morning.  However, Emily needs to turn in grades today and take Elliott to see the doctor.  He had a fever last night and probably has a sinus infection.  So I suspect I'll be watching one or more grandsons for a few hours today. Grandma is never off duty for long.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pirates and Sno-Cones

Elliott has been wearing his pirate hat everywhere. Then, yesterday, we moved the "pirate ship" to his backyard.  He is now in full-blown pirate imagination mode.  Adding to the fun, papa dug up a toy car while leveling the area for the "pirate ship," which Elliott declared "buried treasure!"

While papa set up the "pirate ship," I made the first sno-cones of the season.  And to cap off the weekend, we're off to the Cardinals game this afternoon.  It's definitely feeling like summer.

Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Where's The Red (White and Blue)?

It's nearly impossible to find a red top this season.  I've been on the hunt all spring.  Red's not my color of choice for clothing, but I want to wear something red to the ball game tomorrow.  Of course, I could get a St. Louis Cardinals shirt, but I would prefer to spend money on something I might wear again.  I never wear crew neck t-shirts anymore, especially ones with huge advertising on the front.

Yesterday I went to Kohl's, continuing my hunt.  Again, my options were extremely limited. There were maybe three red women's tops in the entire store.  Isn't summer the season of the red, white, and blue holidays?  I finally settled for a sleeveless top because the others looked too matronly.

But now I have to "shop my closet" for a light-weight jacket or cardigan.  The Champions Club is air conditioned and I'm betting they keep it extremely cold for all the beer drinkers. But I'm not complaining.  The high temperature for Memorial Day is predicted to be in the 90s.  So instead of our reserved outdoor seats, we will definitely be taking full advantage of seating available in the A/C.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Throat Ulcer

Yesterday was the last day of school and Grandma Daycare for the summer.  It wasn't a normal day by any means.

Jonah woke with a 103-degree fever in the middle of the night.  By the time he got to grandma's house, he was ready to go back to bed.  He woke after a three-hour nap with no fever but definitely not feeling right.  He moved slower and smiled very little.  Emily ended her work day early and took Jonah to the doctor around noon.  He has a throat ulcer, which we're told is extremely painful.  However, Jonah never acted as if he was in any pain.  That's one tough kid!

After the doctor visit, Emily took Jonah home.  That gave Elliott an afternoon alone with grandma.  By the end of the day, Elliott wanted to "stay at grandma's forever because it's so much fun."  I have a strong feeling Elliott will be "spendin' over the night" a lot this summer.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Looking Forward to Hot and Humid

I'm not a fan of hot humid weather unless there's an ocean nearby.  However, temps in the upper 80s with high humidity are predicted for the next several days and I'm looking forward to it.

This is one year I will not be sad to say good-bye to spring.  The midwest has had enough tumultuous weather.  We also need a break from the downpours so everything can dry out a little.  Of course, within a few weeks, we'll probably be praying for rain as we do most summers.  I guess our extreme weather patterns are the price we pay for four seasons.  I honestly think I would miss it if I lived anywhere else.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer Fun

To get the fun started this summer, I bought a Margaritaville Bahamas Frozen-Concoction Maker. Elliott and I are fans of Taco Bells' Fruitista Freezes and Jim has always liked sno-cones.  Now we can make both of those treats whenever we want. Of course, we will also be able to create other frozen-concoctions such as ice coffee and frozen strawberry lemonade.  And we may even mix up some adult drinks.

But we'll start with sno-cones.  The cups, straws, and syrups I ordered through Amazon will be here Saturday, just in time for the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Weekend.  Hello summer!


*1 Grandma Day until End of School Year*

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm Not Lazy

Since this is the last full week of Grandma Daycare before summer break, I decided not to clean the house last weekend.  Instead, I'll tackle it this weekend and next week when there's a chance of the house staying clean longer.  However, the untidiness is starting to bother me.  Truth is, I feel the most content when my house is clean and free of clutter.  It's just who I am.

Yet I remember my mom saying I would never be a good homemaker because I didn't have enough energy.  Her belief was based solely on the fact that I needed 8-10 hours of sleep a day.  Back then, mom only needed five hours, so she decided there must be something wrong with me.  So strong was her belief, that my blood was tested several times.  When the results always showed no iron deficiency or disease, mom decided I was just lazy.

Looking back, that whole episode should have been a red flag to mom's peculiar way of thinking.  Or, at minimum, her misunderstanding of the word lazy.  I needed more sleep than her, but the side of the bedroom I shared with my sister was usually clean and tidy.  I was also a good student, decent softball player, and worked part-time.  Those traits are not indicative of a lazy person.

I still need 8-10 hours of sleep a day, but I now know I'm a good homemaker.  In fact, I take pride in my ability to keep the house clean, to stay on top of the laundry, and to manage everything associated with serving daily meals.  All the while also keeping the company books, providing full-time daycare, and managing our finances, healthcare, and travel.  I am not a lazy person.  I simply need the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep a day to function at full capacity.


*2 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Scary Storm

A severe thunderstorm swept through Ballwin early afternoon yesterday.  It scared me more than any of the many storms with tornado warnings we've had this season.  Maybe it's because I slept through most of the others.  But yesterday I ended up closing the drapes so I didn't see the trees bending at a 45 degree angle, or the blanket of rain beating against the windows.  It was frightening!

When it was all over, we had little damage.  Two panels of our bamboo fence were knocked down, and half of my tomato plant was snapped off.  We also had a yard full of sticks and tree branches.  But, luckily, our biggest inconvenience was just losing cable for about 10 hours, which means no television or internet.

We could still get online with our iPhones, but it's not nearly as much fun working with a tiny screen.  So I ended up welcoming the excuse to turn in early.  I'm now wondering if people were more rested before there was television or internet.  I might have read more books, but I know a lot of people who wouldn't have.  Something to ponder. . .


*3 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ahoy, Matey!

Skeletons plus Pirates of the Caribbean add up to Elliott's new obsession -- pirates.  And that means grandma has a new project.

When Elliott was two, I purchased this climber for our backyard.  Not being an outdoors person, Elliott never really use it.  But now he's keen on turning it into a pirate ship.  Since the climber has a helm, the transformation should be simple.  I already found a telescope and treasure chest online.  I'll make the pirate flag and, if possible, a mast.

By the end of the upcoming weekend, the "pirate ship" will be docked in the Jorgensens' backyard.  It should be fun for Jonah, too. Unlike his brother, he likes to be outside and loves to climb. Hopefully this added attraction will provide hours of entertainment.  For sure, Emily will need all the help she can get!


*4 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New iPhone Owners

We made the plunge and both got iPhones today.  It's not as foreign to me since I have an iPad.  But Jim will definitely be frustrated for awhile.  Nevertheless, I'm sure we'll quickly love always having access to the internet.  In fact, we already used that feature to check competitive pricing on a misting fan we found at Kohl's.

With each new purchase, I'm more amazed by today's technology.  It's kind of a shame that Elliott's generation takes it all for granted.  But, for sure, there's no sense in fighting it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Looking Forward to Sunday

My Saturday, as usual, was all about running errands.  But today was especially jammed.  I had eleven stops planned and completed ten.  It'll be so nice in the summer to be able to spread out errands throughout the week.  And next school year, I might consider a couple runs a week with Jonah since he'll be down to one nap a day instead of two.  When the time comes, I'll decide if freeing up some of my Saturday is worth hoisting a toddler in and out of a car seat and shopping cart.

Now I'm looking forward to Sunday.  Dad is visiting mom today with my brother instead of with me tomorrow.  They're going to my grandniece's birthday party afterward.  So I've decided to take a weekend off from visiting mom, and we have nothing else planned.  I'm actually giddy just thinking about a full day of no necessary chores, commitments, or appointments.  I honestly can't remember the last time that happened when I wasn't on vacation or sick in bed.  Finally, a lazy Sunday.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spendin' The Night at Grandma's House

Elliott called Wednesday night and asked if he could sleep over Friday night.  That's a request a grandma can't refuse no matter how badly she wanted to sleep late Saturday morning. We'll have Chinese takeout for dinner like we usually do when Elliott sleeps over on a Friday.  Then, per Elliott's plan, we'll watch the first Harry Potter movie.

I really enjoy being with Elliott without Jonah.  It's the only way I can give him my full attention.  And it's the only way we can have good conversations.  Elliott's a smart five-year-old with an amazing thought process.  I just want to soak it up.


*5 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dreaming of Paradise

Pest control is a crazy business.  It's feast or famine.  Last night Jim didn't get home until 8:00 P.M.  He always works six days a week, but this time of year even Saturdays are long days.  In fact, our full fleet of six technicians are all busy right now as are the two women in the office who do all the scheduling.

I manage the company books from the home office. When business is busy, my job also takes more time.  In addition to processing more receivables and payables, every spring I have two insurance audits to complete.

Then around July 4, business becomes a little less crazy.  That's when we treat ourselves to a tropical getaway.  We've been escaping mid summer for nearly ten years now. Dreaming of paradise gets us through the madness.  The smell of the ocean, sea breezes, warm sand. . .I know of no better therapy for weary bones.


*6 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's a Garden Miracle!

I've never been able to grow plants from seeds.  I don't know why because it's supposed to be easy.  But after several failed attempts, I gave up years ago and just buy annuals as small plants.

This year, however, I want to grow Jack Be Little pumpkins and seedlings are not available. So a couple weeks before Easter, I planted 12 seeds in a peat tray, carefully following the directions.  The seedlings were supposed to appear within 14 days. After several weeks, there wasn't a single sprout.

Last week I tossed the peat tray on our upper patio, planning to work it into the pumpkin patch.  Not ready to give up all together, I bought three more packets of seeds and asked Jim to help me grow them outside.  Today I uncovered the peat tray to take it to the patch and found a garden miracle.  A seed had sprouted!

But now I'm anxious for that little sprout.  I ordered a frame for critter netting a couple days ago.  I just hope it comes in time.


*7 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Technical Frustrations

For the last week, my phone has been shutting down on its own at least six times a day. It's done this in the past, but not as often.  A few months ago I had Verizon check it out.  They found nothing wrong.  Nevertheless, it's obvious to me I need a new phone.

In addition to my phone frustration, yesterday afternoon and evening I was in a fight with our internet connection.  It kept disconnecting and, when it did work, was extremely slow. Because I'm also having laptop issues, I kept restarting my computer and rebooting the modem.  When it continued this morning, I contacted Charter and found out there's a problem in the area that should be fixed in a couple of hours.

My plan was to purchase a new laptop this summer.  Mine is several years old and the keyboard plate is being held together with duct tape.  But now I'll also be buying a new phone.  At this stage of my life, fortunately the cost for these items is not my main concern. What's most frustrating is choosing the right product for my needs.  There just seems to be too many options.  And the technical descriptions make my head hurt.  For both purchases I'll, once again, be depending on the recommendation of a 20- or 30-year-old.  And that's the biggest frustration of all.


*8 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Monday, May 16, 2011

We've Come a Long Way!

We're now into single-digit countdown to the last day of school.  It's hard to believe.  The end of the year seemed so far away when it began.  I had a rough time going back to full-time Grandma Daycare and watching an infant again.  It didn't help that Jonah had acid reflux.  Between Jonah and the cat, it seemed like I was always cleaning up puke!

What a difference nine months makes.  I no longer have to carry Jonah everywhere and there are fewer diapers to change.  There are also no more bottles to clean or formula to prepare.  Jonah now hand feeds himself and drinks whole milk from a toddler cup.  He can also play alone for longer periods.  I still need to be in the same room, but I don't always have to be the entertainer.  But the biggest difference from the start of the year is that Jonah and I now have a nice rhythm of nap, eat, play.

I'm proud of us for having survived the year together.  We've earned our summer break. Jonah will have fun spending more time with mommy and Elliott.  And I'll enjoy several weeks of freedom.  Just nine more days. . .


*9 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rainy Weekend

Yesterday I had the carpet cleaned in several rooms.  It's hair-ball season and I was tired of being the only one dealing with it.  My plan was to do yard work while the carpet dried, but it was raining.  In fact, it rained nearly all day.  So, except for running a few errands, I spent most of the day on the couch, watching TV or movies while doing research on my laptop or playing Scrabble on the iPad.

Early this morning, I put the furniture back in place before visiting mom with dad and Jim. Then we went to mass and the grocery store.  Our afternoon plan was to plant the pumpkin patch and do more yard work, but it's still raining.  It looks like half of today will be spent on the couch, also.

With all the resting I've been doing the last couple of days, I should feel energized.  But it's just the opposite.  The longer this slower pace goes on, the sleepier I feel.  But I know Jonah will switch my adrenaline back on tomorrow.  So I'm just going to enjoy the rest of my rainy weekend.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Six Pounds Down

I'm now just two pounds away from reaching my goal weight by Memorial Day.  I have 16 more days, but this is the toughest stretch for several reasons.

First, my weight regularly fluctuates within a 2-3 pound range, depending on salt, fiber, and calorie intake.  So tomorrow I could be two pounds heavier or lighter.  Second, it's now clear that some pieces in my wardrobe will no longer fit even if I'm the same weight as when I bought them.  For most women my age, there's simply no avoiding the thickening of the mid section.  I hate shape wear, so my solution is knit bottoms with forgiving waistbands.  Third, I'm not motivated to alter my diet any further.  Until my doctor says I have to give up salt, fat, or sugar, I'm sticking with the "everything in moderation" plan.

I lost six pounds over the last couple of months mainly by further reducing portion sizes. I've also been more active with several Jillian Michaels' workouts per week as well as yard and garden work.  I'll do more of the same for the next two weeks.  In the summer, I plan to add another workout each week.  But, whether or not I lose two more pounds by Memorial Day, I'm happy with how well my weight-loss plan is working.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Emily's Summer "Vacation"

It's exhausting watching two boys.  I honestly feel if one of my grandchildren was a girl it would be easier.  I have a daughter and observe little girls when I'm out.  In general, they are less hyper than boys and enjoy quieter activities.  But when Jonah and Elliott are both awake, it's typically loud and crazy.  And I don't care how well they're getting along, eventually, someone gets hurt.

I have both boys on Fridays only.  Emily will have them every day during summer break. I'm afraid she might lose her mind.  Apparently, she has the same fear.  Elliott is already signed up for swim lessons and bible camp.  And Emily is keeping eyes and ears open for other organized activities.  I will also give her a break by having Elliott sleep over periodically. But, no matter, I suspect Emily will be happy to get back to work after this summer's "vacation" is over.


*10 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Stupid Wildlife!

After we had all new windows installed several years ago, cleaning became so much easier. The newer windows tilt in, so it's no longer necessary to go outside to get half the job done. The sunroom, however, is a different story.

The sunroom replaced our deck and is on the second level since we have a walkout basement.  The "windows" are a series of sliding glass doors except for the 20-foot peak, which contains stationary panes.  Just Windows cleans the sunroom glass twice a year, spring and fall.  They came yesterday, so today I began spring cleaning the rest of the room.  That's when I discovered several small holes in two screens, which I suspect were caused by birds.

So now I'm annoyed with the birds as well as the squirrels and mice.  Earlier in the season, I discovered that squirrels have been gnawing holes in our resin outdoor toy box.  I also found evidence of mice in one of the garage cabinets.  Woodland animals are just cute until they start damaging property.  For now, they just better stay clear!


*11 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Asphalt Bids

After spending more time than usual in the yard this spring, I decided to get bids to repave our driveway.  With the hall bathroom remodel already scheduled for July, however, the driveway may not work with the remaining 2011 home-repair budget.  But the only way to find out is to get bids.

It's times like these I really appreciate the internet.  In a matter of 20 minutes, I was able to find and contact seven asphalt companies.  From past experience with home-repair contractors, I know it will take at least that many to get three professional bids.  Then after the bids arrive, I'll use the internet, again, to quickly find feedback and references.

I honestly don't know how I ever got anything done before computers and the world wide web.  For sure, there are times when one or the other is frustrating.  But the benefits far out weigh any aggravation.


*12 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Scarlet Fever

Last Friday, during Grandma Day, I noticed Elliott was a little congested and periodically did some coughing.  Then Saturday morning he woke with a sore throat.  Within a few hours he had a temperature.  The sore throat and elevated temperatures continued all weekend.  But what Emily found most alarming was how red and puffy Elliott's face was.  A trip to the doctor on Monday confirmed scarlet fever.

When Jim and I first heard scarlet fever, we were immediately alarmed.  It sounds medieval! But, simplified, scarlet fever is strep throat with a red rash.  Untreated, it's contagious for approximately 20 days.  Treated, it's no longer contagious 24 hours after starting antibiotics.

Scarlet fever is transmitted through saliva.  Since Elliott still sucks his thumb when he's tired, it's a miracle Jonah isn't sick too.  It's probably just a matter of time.  So, in the meantime, I'm going to continue my compulsive use of soap and water and hand sanitizer.


*13 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Monday, May 9, 2011

Trader Joe's

I started shopping at Trader Joe's a couple years ago.  I don't go every week because it's not as close to home as Aldi, Schnucks, and Dierberg.   But every time I do go, I actually enjoy grocery shopping.

In my mind, Trader Joe's is a much cheaper and more intimate Whole Foods grocery store. They have a nice variety of foods from all over the world at reasonable prices.  It's allowed us to try new things, such as onion and gruyere flat bread from France.  But their own label foods are also good.  Right now I'm snacking on their sweet potato chips, which I find addictive.  A 7-oz bag is only $1.99 and one serving (17 chips) is just 160 calories.

Over the weekend, I began exploring Trader Joe's non-food items.  I picked up a two-month supply of their Ubiquinol CoQ10 supplement for $19.99.  Elsewhere, I've found the same quantity for nearly $90!  I also got their customer-recommended spray sunscreen for just $5.99.

For me, the only problem with Trader Joe's is how much time it takes to shop.  The store is small, but packed with treasures.  I find it impossible to just run through it.  Having more time to leisurely shop at Trader Joe's is another reason I'm looking forward to summer's break from Grandma Daycare.


*14 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Three Good Movies

It turned out to be a weekend of movies.  Friday night I watched The Queen while Jim was at the ball game.  I'm a Helen Mirren fan and found the movie about Queen Elizabeth just as good the third time around.  The portrayal of the monarchy's less than sympathetic perspective of Diana's royal life is refreshing.  And I suspect it's not far from the truth.  Diana was so loved worldwide it's easy to forget there are always at least two sides to every story.  Helen Mirren received an Academy Award; the film earned five other nominations.

Saturday night, using Roku, we finally saw The King's Speech.  Collin Firth plays King George IV, Queen Elizabeth's father.  We found the film well-deserving of its four Academy Awards and eight additional nominations.  Especially if you think the British monarchy is of no value, I recommend watching The King's Speech.

Then, today, we saw Water for Elephants. (Our original Mother's Day plans were cancelled when Elliott woke with a fever and sore throat at 4:00 A.M. this morning.)  I knew the film was about a circus and starred Reese Witherspoon, but nothing else. It surprised me how good it was.  I think it says something when an audience spontaneously applauds at the climactic scene.  I nominate Rosie, the elephant, for an Academy Award!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Have Children Won't Shop

My plan for today was to work on the company books, run several errands, grocery shop, and finish mulching and vacuuming.  It's mid-afternoon and I'm now thinking that plan was a bit too ambitious.

I did complete the bookkeeping and hit two grocery stores.  I also ran through two banks, bought stamps at the post office, and shopped at four stores.  I had hoped to get to two more stores, but "ran out of steam."  After my break, I'll now be happy to just get the groceries put away and finish the vacuuming.  The mulching will have to wait.

It'll be nice this summer to not feel as if I have to get so much done on the weekends.  I suppose I could run errands with Jonah, but it would be so much more work.  I hate the car seat because lifting Jonah in and out is such a workout.  And then there's the chore of hoisting 28 pounds into a shopping cart.  Plus there's always the fear of a tantrum at any moment.  No, at nearly 60 years old, one of my mottos is -- Have Children Won't Shop.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Henry!

Several significant events happened today.  The first one involves mom.

Because my stupid cell phone turned off on its own, again, I missed a call from my brother. He was trying to catch me out with Jonah, hoping we might come to Bethesda.  At the time, Kevin was sitting outside with mom who was having an exceptionally good day.  I'll say!

Mom had not been outside for over a year.  She has also been barely responsive for several weeks.  But today, mom also talked to dad on the phone with some coaching from Kevin.  Extreme ups and downs are not uncommon with Alzheimer's.  And that includes the emotional highs and lows the family must endure.  It's a cruel disease.

Then around 4:00 P.M., Kevin sent me a text message.  Matt and Allie were on their way to the hospital.  And, at 6:21 P.M., Henry Russell was born.

All of the above is amazing and exciting but, if you were to ask Elliott, the best thing that happened today was his trek through our woods with papa.  It was late afternoon and they saw two deer and found several rabbit holes.  It seldom gets better than that!


*15 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Progress On Two Fronts

I'd been so fixated on the plants that aren't growing that I didn't notice the ones that are.  But late afternoon yesterday, while I was fertilizing, I took a good look.  My Hosta has tripled it's original size and the Boston ferns are showing new growth.  The tomato and cauliflower plants are twice as big.  And the red pepper and strawberry plants have grown at least fifty percent. It's so encouraging to see progress especially with our weather challenges.

We've had weeks of pouring rain. Then Tuesday evening there was a frost warning.  Jim rolled the container gardens into the garage and covered the basil plants with buckets.  In the end, the frost never happened, and the cold temperatures didn't do any harm.  Even the plants that haven't grown much above ground seem to be surviving.

But the best progress of all is Elliott's growing interest in gardening.  He's the one that gave me the frost warning with a call Tuesday evening that began, "Grandma, we have an emergency!"  It was one of those moments a grandma won't soon forget.


*16 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Jim!

Today is Jim's birthday and Allie's due date.  Allie is married to Matt, my oldest nephew. Matt and Allie already have a daughter, Anna, who turned three April 30.  Now Henry will soon be joining the family.

My parents are truly blessed.  From three children, they have nine grandchildren and, so far, four great-grandchildren after Henry's arrival.  Of course, it's unfortunate that mom cannot appreciate the gifts God has given her.  Truth is, however, even before Alzheimer's took her memories, mom's depression never allowed her to simply enjoy life.

I used to waste a lot more time fretting.  But now I like to view life as a "glass half full." There will always be "things" to worry or be depressed about.  But I prefer to count my blessings, which includes a loving husband.  Happy birthday Jim!


*17 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cooking Fun

The sun is out!  It's still a little cool, but I plan to tackle some yard work as soon as Emily picks up Jonah.  With that in mind, I've been in the kitchen a lot today while Jonah's been taking good naps.

First I made asparagus pesto for a pasta dish later this week.  I then cooked and mashed sweet potatoes for tonight's meal.  The Meal Plan for the week changed slightly.  We're having pork tenderloin tonight instead of Wednesday.  I started marinating the pork yesterday afternoon.

I also made icing and decorated cupcakes (previously baked and frozen) for Jim's birthday tomorrow.  Tonight's dessert will be strawberry shortcake.  I began macerating the strawberries late Sunday and baked biscuits today.

I'm back in the (cooking) game!


*18 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meal Plan

It rained all night and there's no sun in sight this morning.  However, AccuWeather.com shows full sun icons for the entire week.  Clearly, weather forecasting is more a guessing game than science.

But since the sun isn't out and everything is soaked outside, I took time this morning to pull recipes for the week.  My cooking, for the most part, was pretty boring and repetitive in April while I spent more time outdoors.  Now I'm ready to be creative again.

Tonight or tomorrow we'll have steak and peppers.  It depends on when I decide to just make a salad to go with yesterday's leftovers from Chevy's.  Then, on Wednesday, dinner will be pork tenderloin.  Thursday's meal will be pasta, possibly with asparagus pesto.  And, on Friday, we'll have some type of chicken dish.  Typically on Saturdays and Sundays we eat out.

Of course, all planning can quickly "go out the window" if Jonah isn't consistent with his naps.  As a safeguard, I should probably consider cooking this evening for the entire week. Yes, that definitely sounds like the safest bet to -- bon appetit!


*19 Grandma Days until End of School Year*

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Finally Able To Vent

Jim turns 60 on May 4.  Since that's a weekday this year, we celebrated today with lunch at Chevy's.  It's one of Jim's preferred restaurants and a fun place for a party.  (Sadly, however, today's experience and service was not up to par.)  The guest list was intimate, the four Jorgensens and my dad, which is just the way we like it.  And now I can finally vent!

I wanted to do something special for Jim's birthday this year without spending too much money.  Since he's a Cardinals fan, I decided to purchase Inclusive Tickets to a game for us and Mike and Emily.  Inclusive Tickets include a buffet and bar in addition to reserved seats.  There are several options.  I chose the Champion Club for Memorial Day.  The Champion Club includes a large indoor room with comfy seats and several big-screen televisions, a full-service bar, a food buffet offering a large selection, and good outdoor seating.  Each ticket cost me $130.  But to get a decent seat, and also purchase several food and drink items, a person unfortunately could easily spend close to $100.  So an Inclusive Ticket can be a good option, and even better if the price drops to $85, which is exactly what happened a week after I made my purchase!

The Cardinals are doing what they call Dynamic Pricing this year.  That means different deals are offered frequently, but they're only good for a short period of time.  You have to react quickly.  When I got the email about the drop in price for the tickets I had just purchased, I was immediately angry.  But then I thought surely there weren't seats still available for Memorial Day.  Wrong!  I could have saved $180 if I had waited just one week! I did call the box office to see if anything could be done.  I got a rep who was clearly reading from a script.  However, he did finally admit that they had received a lot of calls from unhappy fans.

I've had the tickets for over a month now.  That's given me time to somewhat "get over it." By Memorial Day, I'm sure I'll just be ready for a fun day at the ball park.  But right now I am still one annoyed fan!