Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Advantage Takers

Warning:  Woman on a Rant

We went to Olive Garden for dinner this evening.  (disclaimer:  this isn't my favorite restaurant, but in our little corner of the world, we don't have many Italian restaurants from which to choose, so OG it is!)

Now, to be fair, the last time we were there, I had a very tasty ravioli dish. As it turns out, that was a short term item.  We placed our order with the waitress who was wearing the same foundation they put on corpses, and settled in to wait for those yummy breadsticks and salad.

It was at this point that I noticed two women next to us.  They seemed to be consuming a lot of food.  I figured out that they were eating the "Endless Pasta Bowl."   Between them they consumed A LOT of food.  I didn't know how they were going to digest it all, but that's none of my beeswax.

But then, they ordered more.  And when the waiter brought the food they asked for to-go boxes.  The proceeded to box up their latest order, along with eight breadsticks.  (Yes, I counted)  They also took to-go drinks, and I'm guessing there was to-go salad in that big Olive Garden shopping bag.  They paid for one meal, and ate enough/took out enough to feed a small country.

I understand the concept of the doggy bag.  I get the carry out or the take out option.  But, I feel what these gals did bordered on gluttony, and just down right selfishness.  It really bugged me.  I felt they really pushed the limits.  I started thinking they must do this everywhere they go.  They probably put IHOP out of business on the all-you-can-eat-pancake nights.  Golden Corral must lock their doors when they come into view.  Argh!

Eight Breadsticks People.  EIGHT.

Rant Ended.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Creative Genius

Yeah, not so much.

But, I DID do something  yesterday that I've never done in all my 47 (real close to 48) years.  I created my own dish!!

We were going over to a friend's house for brats and dogs, and I was feeling too lazy to go to the store.  So, I decided to try to make something from what we had in the house.

Now, many of you are probably screwing up your eyebrows and wondering what the big deal is here.  Well, I'll tell you--I'm not real creative in the kitchen.  Oh, I'm getting braver, and I'm enjoying it much more, so that's all well and good.  (By the way, I have to thank Pioneer Woman for that--her blog and recipes helped me find the courage to cook!)  So, the fact that I even thought to do this, rather than pick up a bag of chips, is HUGE!

I decided to throw together a few of my favorite things:  bacon, pasta, cheese, red onion and ranch dressing.  Then, I basically just went to chopping and cleaned out my pantry.  (this is the part Steven liked)  I figured it needed a spot of color, so on the way to M and T's, I picked up some tomatoes and peas.  And, the final result:

Best part of the whole deal?  It didn't suck!
I think this now qualifies me as a grown up.  My grandma would be proud.

P.S. Thanks to everyone for the concern you showed with Irene approaching us.  We were lucky to just get some wind and rain and an early out from work on Friday.

P.S.S.  Nothing to really add here, but I do love the "P.S.S."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


This is my 500th Post.

Let's all take a minute.  (I don't know what we're doing, but let's just take it)

Two years, and nine months ago, to the day, I started blogging.  I can't remember why I even started.  I do know I loved reading The Pioneer Woman daily, and she kind of inspired me.  Of course, I don't have a cattle ranch, four kids or a Marlboro Man, so my blog is completely different.

I tried to think of something special to write today.  I mean, after all, this is number 500!! I went to read my first ever post, and noticed that not a lot has changed.  I mentioned that I'm lazy, and what do you know, I'm still pretty lazy.  I mentioned not getting a lot done on Sundays, and that still rings true. I still have that blonde chunk at the front of my head.  I still have an insatiable need for cheese.    (I've also included pictures of myself, one from each year I've been blogging.  Yes, they are in chronological order.  It's a plethora of JuJu.)

Much has stayed the same.  I'm still confused.  I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.  I still love America's Next Top Model. (All Stars in September!)  But, as the world turns, so does change occur!

For one thing, my kids have grown.  Taylor has gone from being a blonde to a redhead to a darker redhead.  She's graduated high school, started college, took time off from college and returned to college.  She and her first love broke up, and we've seen her go through a few more boys in these years.  Her skin has gone from totally plain to quite tatted.  She's on the cusp of moving out of the house.  Jake has graduated from college, taken the LSAT, and finished his first year of law school.

We've traveled to Portugal, Florida, St. Louis, Arizona, New York City, North Carolina, Indiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Myrtle Beach.  We've seen Dave Matthews and Jonny Lang a few times.  We went to the Moog Fest in Asheville.  We attended many parties, oyster roasts and sporting events.  We spent a lot of time at the beach, and each year finds us spending more time with family members.

I returned to watching American Idol.  I started watching, and now adore, Project Runway.  I'm still watching All My Children, although, not for much longer.  I'm on my third laptop and my second couch.  I've seen four Harry Potters in this time frame.

Many of our friends have married and are now having children. Heck, I got married!!   My nest is emptying, and theirs are growing!  We had the best World Cup party.  Friends moved back from far away.  Friends moved too far away.  We lost our Bailey Boy.

The best change?  Meeting all the wonderful people I've met through this blog.  I sincerely feel that you are my friends, and I care deeply about you.  I've been lucky enough to actually meet one blogger friend, in person.  Twice.  Cheers to you Mel, Sandie, Catherine, Angie, Grandma K, Sherri and Tallulah Mae.  To anyone who takes the time to read this blog, thank you. It means the world to me that you take the time to read all  my blatherings!

I never thought I'd stick with this for as long as I have. (Heck, this blog has lasted longer than my first marriage!)   But, I think I'm in it for the long haul.  Here's to the next 500!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's Gonna Be a Crazy Week

Living in coastal South Carolina has its many perks. 

But, I don't count hurricanes as one of them.

September is the busiest month of hurricane season.  And, it's starting up early.  We woke up this morning to word that "Irene" was tracking for us.  I'm sure this will change 873 times before the hurricane either makes landfall or goes out to sea.  But, until we're in the clear, my little town will go crazy making preparations, predicting outcomes, and barraging the grocery store for supplies.

My boss is already annoyed that this will distract everyone in our industry, and we'll lose time from work.

People are starting to speak with a tinge of worry in their voices.

Facebook is filled with local folks asking Irene to stay away.

Like I said, it's going to be a crazy week!  Oh Irene!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Randomness

I did a whole lot of nothing today, and I did it well.

I went out for dinner last night.  I'm getting to a point in my life that I enjoy eating in so much more than I do eating out.  I find that so interesting.  I think that last night, the waitress annoyed me.  She was just too, "involved" with us.

Am I crazy, or is it starting to cool down just a bit? 

I do love Pringles chips.

Who am I kidding, I love ALL chips.

I must have this hat . 

I'm also going through a "Lemonhead" phase. 

Taylor is talking about moving out and into an apartment with a friend.  I'm excited for her, but feeling my nest grow smaller and a bit sadder.

I hate it when a mystery goes unsolved.

Only five more weeks of All My Children.  I still can't believe it.

I am married to a really good guy.

I have fallen in love with a pair of shoes and must have them. 

Is anyone in Blogger world watching, "The Big C?"  If not, check it out.  It's a great show.

What can I wear with these shoes?

Has Liza Minelli always had that lisp?

I wonder if they did the chicken dance at Kim Kardashian's wedding.

Ten years since 9/11.  Wow.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

When Taylor Met Harry

Well, I finally saw it. 

After work this evening, Taylor, Steven and I went to see the final Harry Potter.  I'm like every other HP fan--I didn't want to see it come to an end. 

This is what Taylor looked like when we started reading the books:

(no, this wasn't 1972, we were attending a 70's themed wedding!)
(super stud, Kathleen, Taylor and disco mama)

Notice how she's still standing close to me.  She has braces.  She seems happy to be in my company!  No hips or chest.   She's still a little girl.

We started out the series by reading Book One out loud.  That will always live as the most magical (!) book for me.  Then the movie was released and I was so excited to find out that the castle, Hagrid, the train, Dumbledore, etc, all looked as I had imagined.  And the kids!    Remember when the kids looked like this?

Little kids.  Still needed their parents. 

Through the years, we anticipated, waited for,  and read all the books.  Taylor would read them cover to cover the day they were available.  Steven and I would listen to them in the car.  We would discuss them, laugh over them, and then complain that it was too long before the next one was going to be released!  We followed this routine for years.

Our "family" tradition was to go see the movie on the day it was released, together, and just after work so as to miss the big crowds.  It was our "thing."  As the kids in HP grew up, so did Taylor.  As they faced more adult situations and bad guys, so did she.  They all grew up together.

I'm thinking that might be why I delayed seeing this one so much.  Not only did I not want the HP series to end, I didn't want our HP Time Together to end.  Harry, Ron and Hermione are adults now and have moved on with the next part of their lives.  And, Taylor isn't far behind them.

I kinda wish we could go back to Book One and do it all over again.  

Kathleen, Kristina and Taylor

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back To School!

Well, my kids are grown, so it's not nearly the emotional roller coaster that I know others are riding today.  I have enjoyed pictures on Facebook of kids starting school with their brand new backpacks, cute clothes and fancy clean shoes!!  It seems like just yesterday that my kids were doing the very same thing, and I was the mommy crying as they went to their classroom.

Well, for that matter, it seems not all that long ago that I was the one having that first day excitement!  I can remember the excitement the night before (would I ever fall asleep?), wondering who was in my class, who my teacher was, where I would sit!  I loved elementary school. 

I loved my brand new school supplies and took great pride putting them all in my desk.  Of course, this was back in the day when desks were all one piece.  Remember those?  The chair was connected to the desk.  No WAY would I fit in one those nowadays.  Those desks had the little indentation for your pencil.  Many had graffiti from previous kids from previous years.  I think those special desks were my first experience at having my "own place." 

Did you have the cafeteria tables that would fold up at the end of the day, and create room for assemblies?  I think they have tables and chairs at schools now.  I took my lunch to school (in the brown paper bag, never really had a lunch box) and would buy lunch on the chili/peanut butter sandwich day.  That was my favorite!

I loved spelling tests.  I've always had a natural "feeling" for spelling, so it came easy to me.  (this is probably why I loved it.  And, I sure hope I don't misspell anything now that I've bragged on myself)  I loved the idea of numbering my paper and spelling the word, and getting a nice big fat 100 written in red ink.  Sometimes, I'd even get a smiley face or a star on there.  THAT was a good day.

Of course, the magic of elementary school changed as we moved on to junior high and high school, but still that excitement remained.  Only then it seemed the more important thing was which boys were in my class, and which boys were on my lunch.  (also, which boys passed me in the hall, and had lockers near me...)  Supplies weren't nearly as important, and the backpack was replaced by a purse.  I didn't have my own desk, it was shared with other people.  Those days of school felt like constant movement; one classroom to another.  Different teachers, different classmates, bells ringing.

Yeah, no tears for me on the first day of school this year, but certainly a bit of longing for those wonderful school days of yore and the magic of that first golden day.  I miss that chance to start over every September.  I miss being read to.  And, I miss that red 100, concrete approval that I had done something good.  Ah, those were the days!

(These pictures are three of the schools I attended in my youth)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Happy Day Today!

Today is the start of the English Premier Football League Season.

Folks, it's a very happy day in our house.  For the next nine months, we will watch as many games as humanly possible.  We will work our Fantasy Teams in hopes of winning money at the end of the season.  And, we will (hopefully!) watch Manchester United win their 20th League Title.

I've had many people ask  me how I can stand watching so much football.  Well, you know I'm a sports nut. That goes without saying.  But, honestly, how bad can this be?

Or this?

Or This?

Or maybe this?

And, hello!!!  How about some of THIS?  


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Food, Glorious Food!

I was hungry on my drive home from Columbia today.  So, I started thinking about food.  I love food.  I love all kinds of  food.  We all have our favorites, eh?  Here are some opinions you never asked for, but will get anyway.

My (current) list of the BEST in Food:

Taco:  Jack in the Box. They deep fry these suckers. The cheese is a slab of American cheese, and the grease is evident on the taco shell.  Yum.

Chili Dog:  AMF Bowling Lanes on Highway 17.  Chili, cheese and perfectly diced red onion.  Burp. And, they're really tasty with a good cold draft beer.

Breakfast Sandwich:  Sonic's Toaster Sandwich.  (#13)  I get mine with bacon and cheese only, no egg.  I can't stand the fake egg thing.  They use REAL bacon, and I'm pretty sure they fry it rather than nuke it.  Sonic also wins the award for the best unsweet iced tea and ties with Zaxby's for best ice!

Curly Fries:  This is Taylor's submission, as I don't really care for curly fries.  She says Arby's.  Then we realized not many places even HAVE curly fries anymore.  What's with that?

Chicken Strips:   Bojangles Baby!  I love getting that box with my biscuit, chicken strips and the best honey mustard.  Yep, that's right, Bojangles gets two Besties!

French Fries:  Steak n Shake.  They are skinny and salty and delish!  It is important that they be eaten in house, as they are at their best when hot!  Plus, S&S has the really nifty ketchup dispenser squeeze bottle.

Crunchy Bits:    Long John Silver's has those crunchy bits of deep fried batter that fell off the fish.  Did you know you can order those things for about 50 cents? I always end up enjoying those more than the fish itself.

Hash Browns:  Chick FilA.  They are perfect!  Crunchy, salty, bite size and potato-y!

Tuna Sub:  Subway!  I get mine with red onion, cheese, mayo and salt and pepper.  It's my favorite sandwich! And, I love how they put the tuna on the bread with an ice cream scooper.

Best Cheeseburger:  Village Bar, Des Peres, Missouri. Skinny patty, greasy, onions and cheese, little bitty pickles.

Best Chicken Wing Flavor:  Wild West from Wild Wing Cafe.  It's great on everything.

Pizza:  Shakespeare's in Columbia, Missouri.  They use pepper jack cheese for heaven's sake! Why doesn't everyone?

Salad:  Grilled Chicken Salad from Tbonz.  The lettuce is great, perfect cheese ratio, delicious chicken and tasty blue cheese dressing!  I would like it if they would hold the carrots, but I understand that others may enjoy the orange things.

And for dessert?

Ice Cream:  OMG.  The dip cone from Dairy Queen is the perfect dessert.  Hands Down.

What are some of your faves?  And, are you hungry now?

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Layout

Well, it's  just tweaked a bit--

I figure I talk about the folks in my life so much that you might enjoy/need/want visual aids?  So, voila!  Look over there  ------------------------------------->

That's my immediate family folks.  Warts, fur and all.  I loves em to pieces.

Are you okay with this three column layout?  Is it too busy?  Any feedback is appreciated!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

God Bless Bunny

I've done this before, and I'm sure I'll do it again.  When I find one that intrigues me, I must share.  God Bless this gentleman and his family.  He inspires ME to be a better person.

Brunson W. "Bunny" Bolin TYRONE, GA - Brunson W. "Bunny" Bolin, 87, husband of Hazel Stroud Bolin of Tyrone, Georgia, passed away on August 3, 2011 at his residence. Mr. Bolin was born in Greenville, South Carolina on February 15, 1924. The relatives and friends of Brunson "Bunny" Bolin are invited to attend his committal service on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm at the VA Georgia National Cemetery, 1080 Veterans Cemetery Road, Canton, Georgia.Mr. Bolin was preceded in death by his parents, James W. D. Bolin and Addie McWhirter Bolin; grandson Timothy Bolin and daughter-in-law Sandy Wilson Bolin.He is survived by his wife of sixty-three years, Hazel Stroud Bolin of Tyrone, GA; sister Lucille "Billie" Starnes, of Memphis, TN; brother Eugene Bolin and his wife Bodil, of Tacoma, WA; brother Louie Bolin and his wife Doris, of Greenville, SC; son Tony Bolin and his wife, Britton, of Fayetteville, GA; son Timothy Bolin, of Mt. Pleasant, SC; daughter Anne Bolin Culver and her husband, Rick, of Roswell, GA; granddaughter Catherine Bolin Kohler and her husband Michael, of Marietta, GA; granddaughter Elizabeth Bolin of Newnan, GA; granddaughter Heather Bolin Savage of Chatsworth, GA; grandson Brock Bolin of Mt. Pleasant, SC; grandson Corey Culver of Roswell, GA; granddaughter Carson Culver of Roswell, GA; grandson Casey Culver of Roswell, GA; great-granddaughter Avery Kohler of Marietta, GA; great-grandson Cody Savage of Chatsworth, GA; great-grandson Connor Savage of Chatsworth, GA and great-granddaughter Melody Savage of Chatsworth, GA.He enjoyed a long and productive career at Delta Air Lines, starting in 1946 as a station agent in Greenville, SC. In 1956 he transferred to Delta's headquarters in Atlanta, GA, and was soon promoted to Flight Control Operations where he remained until his retirement after more than forty years of continuous service. Like so many of America's Greatest Generation, Mr. Bolin rarely spoke of his participation in World War II. He felt his war experiences were unremarkable and no more or less than many others in similar circumstances. His humility was a constant, but family and friends marveled at the hardships he endured and the courage he displayed. Mr. Bolin enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps at the age of eighteen and received his officer's commission and pilot's wings on May 23, 1943, at the Air Corps Advanced Flying School, Lubbock, TX. He was assigned to the 364th Squadron, 305th Bombardment Group, Eighth Air Force, based in Chelveston, England. On October 14, 1943, he took off on his eighth and final mission, a daylight bombing raid over Schweinfurt, Germany, later referred to as "Black Thursday" due to the heavy losses sustained by the Allied forces. His B-17 "Flying Fortress", (the "Lazy Baby") was heavily damaged by German anti-aircraft artillery, ("flak"), and a direct hit to the bombardier's compartment from a Focke-Wulf fighter plane. The crew was ordered to bail out. While making his way to the escape hatch, his parachute D-ring snagged and his chute opened while still inside the plane. His only option was to gather the parachute canopy in his arms, jump from the plane and hope for the best. He landed roughly, but in one piece and was quickly captured by German forces. He was held as a prisoner-of-war at Stalag Luft III, made famous as the site of The Great Escape, conducted by British airmen. While there, he participated in many escape activities such as surreptitiously spreading dirt from tunnel excavations by walking around the camp and dropping the dirt from long cloth bags concealed beneath his long coat. During his captivity the Germans moved the location of the POW camp several times in response to the advancing Russian Army, including a forced march in brutal winter conditions. He was held captive as a POW for more than eighteen months before being liberated by Gen. George Patton's Third Army as they swept across Germany on their way to Berlin. For his air combat activities Mr. Bolin was awarded the Bronze Air Medal and a Purple Heart.The family requests that donations be made to the not-for-profit Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; Children's Foundation, 1687 Tullie Circle NE, Atlanta, GA, 30329 Parrott Funeral Home and Crematory, Fairburn, GA 30213. Visit our guestbook at deaths

Published in Charleston Post & Courier on August 7, 2011

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Friday, August 5, 2011


As you know, I'm at the beach with my brother and his family this week.  It's hot as all get up, but we're enjoying the beach, the house and being together.

My sister in law loves to buy a good beach towel.  Each year, they usually buy some while down here, always the nicest quality, and cutest designs.    For years, they have enjoyed the Sea Dog/Salty Dog brand of towels.  It's kind of a family tradition that they pick up a new one of these while down here in South Carolina. 

This year's model:

I've been looking at this towel for a few days now, and realized that there's something a little extra that I don't think Cindy bargained for.  It's a little something that I now cannot stop staring at.  I'm starting to feel like a pervert. 

Really?  Did they have to make an anatomically correct beach towel? 
At least there's no red rocket...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


This is how I'm feeling of late:

Pulled in a few directions.