Thursday, August 28, 2014

Never the Bride, always the Flower Girl #TBT

While looking through old photos, I came across a lot of pictures of us being flower girls. It made me remember that when we were little everyone wanted me and my sister as flower girls in their wedding.

By the age of 7, I was a professional flower girl. I can't even imagine how many weddings we were in. We were super duper cute when we were little but I think it also had to do that my mom would always make kick ass dresses as well. So if you had us in your wedding, you always got professional flower girls who looked amazing.

I don't remember too much except that we always wore dresses that you would never ever wear again in your life. Those dresses were passed down through the years as well. I always remember that the night before the wedding, my mom would slather our hair with Dippity Doo and twist it with pieces of fabric. We would sleep like this so the next day our hair would be super curly. We always had the best hair.

I am not sure of the first time I was a flower girl. There were so many weddings. I do remember that sometimes it was just me and my sister. Other times, we had someone else join us. It was usually a family member of the bride or groom. We were never related to the bride or groom. That is how popular we were. We were in demand.

When we had other flower girls, it was hard. These girls had no clue how to be a flower girl. They were fidgety and undisciplined. We, on the other hand, had the routine down pat. You showed up on time, didn't complain and walked down that aisle like a boss. There was no time for shenanigans because you were the first ones down the aisle and had to set the tone.

The ring bearers were always a horror because, for some reason, they always found the littlest boys around. There was no wrangling them. They would do whatever they wanted. They would drag the pillow with the rings. They would lose the rings. They would run up the aisle. They would talk to people. And then they would fidget throughout the whole service. Since there was only one ring bearer, I didn't worry my pretty head over him. He would be judged and never asked to do it again.

Now, we tried to discipline the other flower girls but they were never up to our level. I don't want to brag, but I will. We were always perfect. Well, my sister sometimes would not be perfect but I always was. I knew how to walk down the aisle. If the bride required us to throw down petals, I did not toss them willy-nilly. There was a trick to tossing rose petals. You had to make them last up to the front of the church.

Being a flower girl was not for sissies. You had to be at the rehearsal, rehearsal dinners and you always had to help making paper flowers for the wedding cars. You had to get to the church early in full regalia with a damn smile on your face. You had to hold your bathroom needs. You could not be sick. You could not talk throughout the service. You could play with your hair. You had to be photo ready at any time. This was not a damn game.

Once up front, you also had to sit still, smile and remember when you needed to get up and down. You could not laugh. You had to keep your eye on the priest and bride and groom. You had to be ready to grab that stupid little ring bearer by the arm and throw him down, if necessary. You had to be ready to give the hairy eyeball to the bridesmaids who were always flirting with the groomsmen. Sometimes we sat through the whole service. Other times, we were required to get up and stand with the bridesmaids. We were, in essence, smaller bridesmaids.

This was serious stuff. And our professionalism and cuteness kept us being in demand for a long time. But once you are past a certain age, you basically cannot take on the role of a flower girl. You age out and have to wait a few years before you can even be a bridesmaid. The tween and teenage years are not a flower girl's best friends.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Getting used to City Living and a Welcome Wagon gone wrong

Okay, Wilmington is not a huge city. It is not Atlanta. It is not Los Angeles. It is more like an Asheville or Santa Fe. It is small and has everything we need. We love that.

The problem is that for 6 years we lived in a tiny town with nothing or no one. Okay, there were people and we lived in a residential part of town with neighbors but never encountered said neighbors. Well, there was the one time when our neighbor came to our door with some chewed up packages of bras I had ordered on the Internet. Some random dogs picked the packages up from our porch and dragged them next door. That was awkward.

Then one Halloween, I had a demented Jester, who turned out to be a neighbor, come to my door when I was NOT giving out candy. Some random kids came by and I had to school them on the rules of Halloween. We would see out next door neighbor on his riding mower almost every day during the summer but I never spoke to him.

Since our house was on a main street across from the river, people were always driving by and from the front yard you could see people on the river fishing. Sometimes they saw us and would wave. But, for the most part, I never had to interact with anyone except the UPS, FedEx and mail people.

Here in the city, there are people everywhere. Our neighborhood is very people friendly. Every day starting from super early in the morning to late at night, there are people walking, running, biking and just strolling. So at any given time there are people on the street.

In Sylva, I could get away with going to get the mail in my jammies. Here, no way. I would not even think of doing that. I have to actually put on big girl clothes because I might see the neighbors or just random people on the street.

I have run into the neighbors quite a few times. When I have gone out they are either in the front or back yard. I see them often. The other neighbors are never to be seen but there have been a few times when I have gone out to get the mail and there are people in their yard.

I am so not used to that. When I lived in Sylva, I could spend an hour in my garden and not see a soul. Cars would drive by but they were going fast so they never could see me looking like hell. Here, if I get the mail in the front yard, I will see lots of people. And the cars driving by go slow because there is a speed hump right in front of our house so they slow up.

On several occasions, especially while on my treadmill, I have had people wandering around our house. Luckily, they were okay to be there. If I go outside to the backyard, I will encounter our back door neighbors in the alley. I have had to talk to a few. I usually just wave then sneak into the garage until they are gone. Unlike Tom, I don't like speaking to everyone.

On Sunday, we were relaxing. I had just finished a 2 mile treadmill workout and showered and put on my jammies since it was around 3 pm and we were not going out. Tom had just showered as well after a day of working on our yard. We had settled in and I was watching "30 Days of Night" because if there is a vampire movie on TV, I will watch it.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spy a woman coming up our walkway. We can see everything from our living room. And I tell Tom, OMG someone is coming. He has no shirt on. I am in my jammie pants and my Obama shirt that has seen better days. She is dressed like she is going to Church.

She knocks and, of course, Tom opens the door. If he had not been here, I would have turned down the TV and run into the other room pretending I was not home. But not Tom. He opens that door and she is all perky and Hi There, I am here to welcome you to Wilmington. Then, Tom invites her in. WTF? In 50 years, I have learned to never invite vampires into your house and never invite random people who knock on your door inside your house.

At this point, because we live in the South, I am a little leery to stand up and show my ragtag Obama shirt to the nice lady in the nice suit but I had no choice because Tom LET HER IN! Now, luckily, my house is always pretty clean lately. For some reason, this house is easier to clean or maybe I just have not gotten over cleaning this house like I had our Sylva house. So the house looks nice but I am always interested in how strangers will take our decor.

We have skulls, a Grim Reaper, a painting of a green naked lady on a chaise lounge, crosses, and lots of day of the dead collectibles. It's not an ordinary house. She looked around and had the "What the hell are these people into" look! In any case, she is chatting about the goody bag and asking where we are from and blah blah blah. I just wanted her out. She was a nice lady but I don't like strangers seeing me in wet hair and my jammies except maybe for Colin Farrell. I wouldn't mind him seeing me in my jammies and vice versa. But this woman was no Colin Farrell.

Luckily, she cut her visit short and left us quickly. It was super duper nice there is a WIlmington Welcome Wagon but if you come to my house, bring a cake or wine. I don't want random people coming to my front door with goodie bags, unless it is Colin Farrell. The goody bag wasn't even that wonderful. We do get some freebies but was it worth giving up my dignity for a free sandwich? I think not. You know, she probably came on a Sunday expecting us to be in our Sunday best and got Obama and a shirtless Tom instead. I suspect, she will not be coming around anytime soon.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwback Thursday ~ Little Caro and Jackie

Okay, my sister's name is really Yvonne but my nickname for her is Jackie. Don't ask why. I have no idea.

That might be coffee in front of me. Who knows? I do remember one of the most delicious and weird things my mom gave us for breakfast was bread and Parmesan cheese. It had to be the Kraft cheese in the green container. We would dip our bread in cafe con leche then into the cheese. OMG, so yummy.

Sure, that's weird but it's good. If I have the Kraft Parmesan cheese, I sometimes eat that now. I rarely buy that cheese anymore. And you can't use the fresh Parmesan cheese. It has to be the Kraft Parmesan cheese. Don't ask me why, it's just what it is.

Anyway, here is another adorable picture of us!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Home Tour ~ Carolyn's Room (well, it was)

I took these pictures before, my friend and architect, Dion visited. This was my blog/office/treadmill room. This little room is off the hallway. It butts up to the living room as well. This used to be a bedroom but, through the years, it seems to have become just a room. The people who lived here before us used it as a little girl's room.

Technically, it is not a bedroom because it has no closet. It does have a stairway to our walk up attic, which is great. But no closet means it is just a room. When we saw it, we had no idea what to do with it. We decided it would house the treadmill since the treadmill is huge and does not fit anywhere else but the guest room. Since we had this weird space, we decided it would go here.

Then I figured that I could also use it to throw in my stuff. I have a lot of stuff that Tom does not want out in the public areas. Probably because my stuff consists of toys and stuffed animals. He thinks I have too many. I wish I had more. I also figured that I could use this to put my blog review stuff as well.

I get a lot of stuff and it used to live on the dining room table when we lived in Sylva. I figured that maybe it would be better to have a place where I could stash things and photograph them. It has worked because our dining room table is no longer a place to stack things up but it is now a proper dining room table.

But, things changed. When Dion came and gave us ideas for the house, he proposed making an arch in the living room wall to the weirdo room. We said it would open up the space and we could create a little library or sitting room off the living room that will become a formal living room once we create the den/family room he is creating for us in the back of the house.

It is a really good idea. We saw how wonderful that would be. We could add built-in bookcases thus giving us a place for our crap and books. It would be a little room where you could go read or relax. Plus, that will make our tiny living room look bigger.

I have resigned myself to give up my room and move all my stuff into the office. I am doing that because I am totally selfless and such a wonderful person. That's how I roll.

The room has been changed a little now because I moved some of my stuff into the office and we had a chair we had to move into my room before our party. But, for now, it almost has everything in these photos in the room. I just wanted to share my photos before my room turns into our sun room/library in the future.

The entrance.

The door to the left leads to the attic. 

Of course I have a Stevie Nicks poster. I worship her. 

This Winnie the Pooh pencil original pencil drawing was given to us by our friend, Pat. 

This is my "Life in Hell" poster. It now lives in the living room but it was in my room. "Life in Hell" was a comic strip by Simpsons creator, Matt Groening. He had am office on Wilshire Blvd. decades ago. I was looking for the "Life in Hell" Christmas cards and the only place to get them were at his office. I went in to buy them and bought this poster as well. He signed it for me. This was way back in 1987. I absolutely love it and will always be around. 

This is my signed M*A*S*H script. It is signed by Larry Gelbart. A long time ago when I worked a museum in Miami, I wrote him to get a signed item for our auction. He sent me a script and a hat and other stuff. I thanked him and wrote how excited I was to bid on the items since I was a fan. He, being a wonderful man, sent me this script back. He wanted me to have it. I was thrilled. He was such a nice man because a few years later, when I worked at the Second Mile in State College, I write again and asked for another auction item. He remembered me and sent me one. He also said if I ever needed anything else to write him. When he died, I was very sad. But I have this little reminder of him.

Under that is my framed Day of the Dead print from my friend, Lizzy Falcon. She is wicked talented and when I saw this print, I had to have it. I love it. 

Next up is my treadmill. On my treadmill live my froggie friends, Xander and Oz. They keep me motivated when I hop on. Get it? Hop on. Okay, bad pun. Also keeping me company is Bruce in a 1984 Rolling Stone cover. 

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. This is probably my favorite show ever! I found this poster and had to have it. 

This picture is of me and my sister, Yvonne, in Costa Rica. I love it so I decided to put it up in my room. 

The other musician I worship is Tori Amos. I love her music! So she had to be included in my room as well. 

This poster was given to us at the Disney Social Media Moms event. I absolutely loved it. It was perfect for any social media geek like me. And, there is my favorite switch plate in the house. I love the movie, Jaws. I swear I have seen it at least 300 times over my lifetime. Every time it is on TV, I watch it and this has happened for over 30 years. 

These are my little toys, I love. Grumpy Cat, Winnie, a plush Kewpie doll and my Darth Vader bear! 

More of my favorite stuffed toys. Monsters, minions, sheep, a raisin and a flying monkey! 

This is Iven, who came from China. Tom actually bought him in China and gave him to me. Then some of you will recognize the Killer Bunny from the Monty Python show. Tom bought him for me when we went to see Spamalot in Las Vegas. 

I also have a table I use to put my light box when I need to take nicer photos than usual.

Light box supplies. 

These are the stairs to the attic. It's not creepy at all. It actually is a great place for storage. But there could be bugs and stuff up there. The stairs are skinny and weird so, god knows, I never go up there. 

This was my room. Most of the stuff will go into the office. A lot of it will not. I am not sure all my posters will survive the purge. But if we do build a den/family room/media room, then I am definitely making sure the posters go in that room. My toys will be living in the office at some point or maybe the guest room. The treadmill will be going into our giant guest room. Great for me, bad for the guests. But I don't want them too comfortable anyway. Yes, that's mean but that is how I am. I already use that room as my aerobic workout and yoga room, so it will be a good thing. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Crazy Weekend!

Wow, these past few days were a whirlwind.

Last week, I had to start prepping for our party. I had big plans but to accomplish those plans I needed a staff of four so I had to cut back on the craziness. I realized that my dream of throwing a small plate cocktail party was not going to happen. It is a lot of work. So I cut back on the menu and it went well.

But my crazy weekend started on Friday. My dear friend Dion came to visit. Dion is an architect. We met in the early 90's when he moved in next door to my studio apartment. We were neighbors and in a very short time, we became really good friends. He is one of my best friends ever. I also think he is like the brother I never had. We are that close.

I hadn't seen him in ages. He is also super duper busy because he is married and has 2 kids. He also has some projects in the Bahamas he is working on. But he took some time off to help us with our new house. Only a dear friend would do that and I am so appreciative that he took time off to come help us. Sometimes, not even family would do that!

In any case, he came on Friday and we went out to dinner and talked about our plans and caught up. On Saturday, we walked around the house and brainstormed about what could be done. I slipped away for to prep for the party and when Tom and Dion came back in, they already had this plan to add a den in the back, a carport, a pavilion and some other stuff.

My main concern is the  Master Bath. When we moved in, we had already planned to renovate that space. That is the priority but the rest is like icing on the cake. I may lose my blog room because another plan was to open the wall from the living room to my room and create another space. It makes perfect sense. So I am already planning to take over the office as my room. Sorry Tom.

Again, all this will depend on the budget and what we can afford. But Dion is so brilliant that he created a plan that we had never really thought of. I will also give Tom credit because he sees the value in what might be done. Me, I am easy like Sunday morning, so I go along. I just want a new bathroom.

After they met with our contractor and hashed it out, we headed to dinner. We went to the Ruth Chris Steakhouse in downtown Wilmington. I love downtown Wilmington. Every time I go I get to see the Battleship North Carolina. I am obsessed with it and I am not sure why.

I am so glad I was able to see my dear friend, Dion, again. It's always iffy when we will meet again but who knows. It is always funny to me that my best friends are people I rarely see but when I do, it's like we have never been apart. I felt that way when I saw my friends, Norma and Sonia, in February. And I have known them longer!

Sunday was crazy. We finished cleaning the house and getting everything in order. I cooked and even though I had prepped and planned, I still ran out of time. Again, it's tough doing a party on your own. But Tom was a great help but I should have cut down the menu a little more.

I was so busy, that I only took two pictures of my food. Sigh. By the time I could grab the camera, people had already started eating. It was nuts. So I let it go and tried to enjoy the party. I had met almost everyone before so I felt a little more comfortable. Plus, we invited our realtor, who was so great to work with. And we had our neighbors and our contractor and his wife as well.

Tom's faculty members are super nice as well. I ended up giving mini house tours since I noticed people wanting to go see the house and wouldn't. I gave at least 7 tours with different people. I was surprised how many people loved our stuff. And many people actually knew about Day of the Dead and commented how cool our collection was. We had a good time and I think it was a good way for Tom to start out the new job.

By the time everyone left, I was pooped. After standing for almost 2 days, my back was a mess. But ti was worth it. But next time, I need to manage my time better and be more realistic about what I can an cannot make. It's fun entertaining once a year. I prefer smaller dinner parties. I also prefer making elaborate meals to smaller cocktail food.

In the end though, it was a great weekend. We got a lot done, the party was successful and I got to see Dion.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throwback Thursday ~ Steve Sax and the Los Angeles Dodgers

Way back when, when I lived in Los Angeles, I was a HUGE Dodger fan. I mean HUGE. I loved the Dodgers and lived at Dodger Stadium during baseball season. The Dodgers were my obsession.

I grew up in the time when we had some of the best players ever: Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Dusty Baker, Pedro Guerrero, Kirk Gibson, Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser, Mike Scioscia, Bill Russell, Rick Monday, Davey Lopes, Steve Yeager, Don Sutton and many more. This was the 80's. Now in 1988 the Dodgers did win the World Series and it was wild! I remember I worked in downtown L.A. And I was able to head down to where the festivities were. There were a zillion people and we celebrated! It was great.

One of my favorite players in the late 80's was second baseman, Steve Sax. I loved Steve Sax!! I had a huge crush on Steve Sax! As I was fixing up our office, I found this old picture and autograph from Steve Sax. I thought I would share it because why not. It brought back some great memories of my summers in Los Angeles. There are not too many things I miss about L.A. but going to Dodger Stadium is one of them.

I still bleed Dodger Blue!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Tom!

Today is Tom's birthday! I wanted to wish him a really special birthday. He is 55!

I could go on and on about what a wonderful husband he is but I won't because he already knows I feel that way. We are not sappy that way. But I am evil that way and am posting this baby picture of him without his knowledge. I am sure I will get in trouble but oh well!

Happy Birthday Tom!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Throwback Thursday with our grandparents!

These are my grandparents on my father's side. I can't even guess when this photo was taken but it had to be over 4+ years ago. I think we were in Santa Monica but I don't know. We always used to have to dress up when we went out. And, you will notice that my mom always dressed us alike. I think it was because she made the majority of our clothes.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Busy Week Ahead

I won't be posting much this week. On Sunday, we are hosting a housewarming party for ourselves. We are inviting Tom's faculty and some people we have met here in Wilmington. It should be fun. I have a menu of small plates planned. usually I make a lot of food but I decided to make some fancy appetizers in shot glasses and tiny plates and cups. Thank goodness for Pinterest and some great ideas.

So this week will involve me finalizing the menu and making a shopping list. I also have to completely clean the house. This weekend it rained all weekend long so we actually got some good work done on the house. We finally got our office in order. It is actually a proper office with a desk, chair and supplies. I cannot believe it. But this also involved my room getting switched around.

I got rid of one of my bookcases to put into the office and a huge chair we have went into my room. That changed the feel of my room. I had to move my photography table to the other side of the room and had to take down my light box. But all is good because I still have a place to take photos and a place for my toys and junk. So photos of my room and office are on hold for now.

Also this week, my dear friend and "little brother" Dion is coming to visit us this weekend. Dion is an architect and one day many many years ago he said if I ever needed design work to call him. So I did. When we bought this house, we knew we were going to renovate our Master Bathroom. We also wanted a covered outdoor space. Well, we also want a den so we were thinking of making an addition to the house.

It's crazy but Tom got crazy and is really considering it. So Dion is coming to take a look at the house and give us ideas on what we can or cannot do. It will be nice to see him since I think it has been ages since we have seen each other. I also hope he can give us some ideas on what we can do for the house.

That's it for now. The good thing is I will have recipes and pictures of my party for next week.