Monday, December 31, 2012

Friend Makin' Monday - 2013

OMG, I forgot it was Monday! We left Saturday 12/22 to drive to Arkansas to spend Christmas with the Mom-In-Law (details posted here: part 1 and part 2 ) and just got home yesterday. Home Sweet Home!

I made a serious attempt to be careful about what I ate and halfway succeeded in tracking everything. But I had 2 saboteurs (cough, cough, Randy & his mom, cough) who insisted on making it impossible. We did go grocery shopping so there was plenty of fruit and reasonable choices available, much to their dismay. I bought whole wheat bread & they asked if I was trying to kill them. WTF?!?! Seriously. They kept talking about going to this pizza place and getting a huge pizza called the Razorbaccio, which has basically 5 or 6 kinds of meat on it. Um, no. Pizza is one of my least favorite foods anyway. We went to a catfish place for dinner one night & I was good and ordered mine grilled with a side salad. I should have gotten the fried catfish, since mine came out swimming in a pond of butter. At least the fried variety wasn't dripping on the plate. And don't get me started on the Chinese buffet. My fingers were so swollen from the sodium, I couldn't get my rings off! Anyway, I feel gross.


If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!


1. Share one thing that you plan to do for yourself in 2013. I really need to get back on the WW bandwagon.  I felt so good after losing the first 60 lbs, but then I gained 15 back and now I'm back to feeling blah and gross.  I hate that feeling!

2. Share a good habit that you will continue doing into the new year.  Drinking my water.  I can really tell when I don't drink enough - like on this road trip we just finished.  I sort of did it on purpose, so we didn't have to stop every 100 miles so I could use the bathroom.  And I regretted it.

3. Do you make new year’s make resolutions? If so, do you typically stick to them?  Nope.  No particular reason why, we just don't. 

4. Do you have any health goals for the new year?  I'll shoot low.  I want to be in Onederland.  So a 24 lbs loss.  Totally do-able.

5. Share one thing that you plan to do in January.  Go watch the Monster trucks at Ford Field. We go every year.  It's fun.  Randy takes his radio and listens in on the production frequencies and Angel & I have a friendly rivalry over who we want to win the racing and freestyle.  She's got her favorites and I have mine.

6. Do you have any travel plans for the coming year?  Nothing as of yet.  We always take a week off work right before Miss Angela goes back to school in the fall and do something.  This past year it was Hell to Paradise.

7. What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?  Sitting at home in front of the TV, watching New Year's Rockin' Eve.  We are such party animals!

8. What are your resolutions for 2013?  Get moving more!

9. What are you looking forward to most over the next 12 months?  Hmm, I don't really know.  Just living each day to the fullest with the people that I love!

10. Share something unique that you hope to do in 2013.  I can't think of anything health related, but I do plan to add some cool stuff to my Halloween display.

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments, and say hi to someone new! Happy New Year!!!!!!!

Home Sweet Home, part 2

See part 1, here

Afterward we went back downtown to Josephine Taussaud's Wax Museum - I've been wanting to go there!  I have to admit - some (ok, most) of the figures did NOT look like who they were supposed to be.  I regret not getting pics of the "Stairway of Stars" as soon as we came in.  There were Mae West, Liz Taylor, Louis Armstrong and even the Pope!  At the top of the stairs was Jesus on the cross and the Last Supper behind him.  

 Carrie Nation and a random saloon girl

Alfred Hitchcock

Mom was so funny.  There is an option to go past the Chamber of Horrors.  Angel & I were going thru and when Randy asked Mom if she wanted to go thru, she did this little dance move, pointing with her head toward the bypass. It wasn't bad, but I can see where she wouldn't like it. 

 Mr & Mrs. Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth

 George Washington & Napoleon

 Teddy Roosevelt & his very surprised horse.  
He doesn't look comfortable on that saddle. 

 General Grant seems to have a problem with his leg. 

 Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin, Charles DeGualle & FDR. 

 De Soto discovering Hot Springs & his friend

 The Kennedy's with the Clinton's reflected on the left. 

 Prince Albert, The Queen, Princess Di, Prince Charles, Richard Nixon, Pat Nixon

 Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette

 Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn

 Queen Elizabeth I

 Martin Luther King, Jr. 

 The Wright Brothers & Charles Lindbergh

 Neil Armstrong

 Albert Einstein


 Rumpelstiltskin & the miller's daughter

 Wow!  The most realistic one yet!

 Mark Twain with Huck Finn & Tom Sawyer

 Captain Jack Sparrow

 Cinderella & her fairy Godmother

 Geppetto & Pinocchio

 The King & Queen of Hearts

 Alice in Wonderland

 Snow White & Creepy Dwarf

 Al Capone

There was a whole section devoted to gambling, since the building itself used to house the Southern Club Casino.  We couldn't figure out why there was a window in the back showing the side of the mountain.. Back in the early 60's a flood caused a landslide that took out the back of the casino.  If it had been daylight, we would have seen the safe that someone dug out of the rubble that supposedly had held over $5 million!  There was also an escape tunnel for the gangsters to use when the police raided.

 Another realistic dummy!

Friday is when I finally made my pilgrimage to the Buckstaff to "take the waters".  The only issue I had is that they had also lost power and just got it back Thursday, so it was fairly chilly in there on that marble floor. But of course the water was nice & hot!  As usual, my attendant was wonderful.  I think I've had her in the past, and she said she never forgets a face. And the masseuse was excellent.  Angel decided she wanted to go with me this time.  She enjoyed herself muchly, other than thinking the sitz bath is completely pointless and awkward.  I know she's never had a massage before, so I may have created a monster! 

We started home yesterday after one last breakfast at Cracker Barrel with Mom. Randy had been keeping an eye on the weather & road conditions, since a lot of them had been closed. 

Look at the trees bent over!  Crazy!

But otherwise, the roads all the way home were clear & dry.  There was no snow in northern Arkansas, but the rest of the way, there was plenty. 

But it is so nice to be home, even if we had to spend 2 hours shoveling the driveway.  We have to take the rental car back tomorrow and pick up the dog from the kennel, and all will be ready for New Year's Eve!

Home Sweet Home! part 1

I just realized I should make this into 2 posts, since I'm including a zillion pictures!

We just got home today from our bi-annual Christmas trip to Arkansas.  Why is it that your own bed and shower are the greatest blessings ever??  They just are. 

 Effingham, IL - the Cross at the CrossRoads

 Sunset in Illinois

 Mt. Vernon, IL
 This sculpture is near the Hampton Inn we always stay at. 

And we always stopped at the Love's truck stops for gas!

We left earlier than planned Saturday 12/22 and made it to Mom-In-Law's just before dark on the 23rd.  Monday was beautiful in Hot Springs.  Sunny & 65 degrees.   We took advantage of the nice weather to put up the LED solar powered Christmas lights we got for her.  I found them at the Salvation Army over the summer and thought they are pretty useless around here, but she could get use out of them.   They were very cool!  

We did random stuff like grocery shopping and such.  Ya know.  My MIL is the sweetest lady, but I forget how mildly annoying she can be. Simple.  I think that's a good description.  I know they were poor when Randy was a kid.  His dad did golf course landscaping and his mom worked here & there, making shoes or fishing lures, etc. I understand that they didn't waste and recycled before that was the IN thing to do.  But she will put some aluminum foil on a pan and leave it forever.  Gross!  Randy used a paper plate to cut up some summer sausage and she took that plate, wiped it off and put it back on the stack of plates.  Most of the cups in her cabinet are used ones from fast food places.  And since she somehow manages to suddenly be shy and can't read a menu when she goes some place (Randy read her the menu and ordered for her when we went anywhere), she obviously does not go out to eat often.  I'm not even sure what she eats.  Her cabinets were almost completely empty of food and same with the fridge.  She will eat leftovers for breakfast.  Sorry - warmed up fried catfish and fries is NOT my idea of breakfast.  She also manages to eat while hunched over with her elbows tights to her sides like she's afraid someone will see what she's doing.  Damn, stretch woman!!  And she will make a list for him to do while he's there.  Like change the batteries in her smoke detectors. Or change a light bulb on her patio.  What does she do in the months between his visits?  

But that's OK.  She obviously worships the ground Randy walks on and is very proud of him.  So I can deal with her quirks.  

We also went and walked the Promenade behind Bathhouse Row and looped around onto Central and walked back in front of the bathhouses. 

 Looking up the mountain at an overlook. 

 Army / Navy Rehab Hospital

 Angel's got this thing for big rocks. 

 Gates into the Army / Navy hospital.

 Mom & Randy

 The Arlington Hotel

 I love the colors in this spring!

The Superior

 The Hale

 The Maurice

 The Fordyce - Hot Springs Visitor Center

 The Quapaw

 The Ozark

 My favoritest place ever - the Buckstaff

 The Lamar

The Park Administration Building

 There are fountains available to fill jugs and there are always people there!

So Christmas Day rolled around.  Randy got his tool set and a firepit (that I did NOT lug down there), Miss Angela got her iPod Touch, an iTunes gift card and her One Direction calendar and ornament and toothbrush and I got a Kindle Fire HD and a Michael's gift card and a sewing machine. And a shawl!  I can't believe that I love this freakin' shawl!    It was a good day.  Randy's sister Regina stopped by for a few minutes.  Then his niece stopped in.  Then Winter Storm Euclid stopped by.  

The condo's courtyard went from this.....Monday afternoon   (look!  I'm a tree!)

To this......Wednesday morning

Mom had over 6 inches of snow on her deck!  It started out with freezing rain, which caused a LOT of tree damage in the area. Arkansas also issued it's very first ever blizzard warning!  191,000 people over 3 counties lost power.  We were among the lucky ones who kept it.  Luckily, since it had been so warm the ground wasn't frozen, which helped it to melt fairly quickly. 

Needless to say, since they don't have such things as snowplows or road salt in Arkansas, we didn't go anywhere until Thursday afternoon. We went to a Chinese buffet for dinner with Regina, which is the first time she's actually done anything with us.  

OK, the rest will be for part 2!