Don't throw that away - I might need it later!

Last night I did something I hardly do any more. I sat down to watch a TV show. I was actually trying to rest my leg because the sciatica that developed because I spend way too much time in a crappy computer chair started bothering me again, but since the book I'm wanting to read is on hold at the library I turned on the telly. Something called "Hoarders" was on, a show about people who have a severe form of OCD in which they have a compulsion to keep everything that's ever come into their possession. Everything, including old Styrofoam carry-out boxes from restaurants, every piece of junk mail they've ever received, even garbage is crammed into every corner of their homes. I guess we can thank them for keeping the landfills a little more empty, but it's really sad. Not only sad but unhealthy. I'm figuring all of them have infestations of some sort, be it bugs or rodents or both. The show sends in professional doctors, therapists and cleaners and helps these poor people out. My first thought while watching was, "Dang, what a mess!" Then I think, "Thank goodness I'm not that bad." Then I think, "But could I be?" I save stuff, not because I can't throw it away, but because I really can use it later. At the time I didn't think I'd ever need a vintage pink prom dress, but boy is it coming in handy now that I need a wedding dress. My grandmother was pretty frugal. She saved stuff most people threw out. Hell, she came up with liquid soap way before any soap company did. When the bar of soap got too small to use in the bathtub, she'd take the little broken pieces and put them in an old pump bottle with some water so it could dissolve, shaking it occasionally to help it along and tah-dah, liquid soap! Of course, there's a very thick line between being practical and saving useful things and being crazy and saving everything in sight, I hope.


Wait, what was I talking about?

I wonder if a person can develop attention deficit disorder later on in life. I definitely know I don't have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but I could sure use the energy. When I was little I could concentrate on something and totally block out the world around me. I was so good at focusing you'd have thought I was part camera lens. Now it seems I'm very easily distracted. I realize I've got a lot of stuff on my plate, but really, who doesn't? I got a nice email from Jerry's sister-in-law telling me they were planning on coming down for the wedding. That's wonderful! And the children can be in the wedding, which is fantastic. Okay, Coy's got his Spiderman suit all ready to go, but I need to find a dress for little Kendall. Of course, I got to etsy for ideas. Because she's tiny, I thought an adjustable dress like a pillowcase dress would work well. These dresses are so cute and versatile, they can be worn in the spring and summer, then in winter just throw them over a turtleneck and leggings, and when the girl outgrows them she can use it as a shirt. I think I need some of these in my wardrobe. Not that I'd expect to outgrow them. I was debating on whether to purchase one or make one myself and went over to youtube to see how hard it was to do, then from that posting decided she'd need a ribbon for her hair, of course, and browsed those. Then I found some hair bow instructions and that lead me to these! All the girls, Marilyn and Erin and their 2 cousins, although Erin is the youngest and the oldest is 19, love Disney princesses. Now I've decided to make them each one of these for Christmas. That is, if I don't get distracted.


Meats and cheeses, Mary, I feel awful!

Found the perfect way to wrap up a holiday weekend - food poisoning! Mom wanted to get out and do a little shopping, and she knew the girls were stir crazy, so we decided to head to Tallahassee. The mall was really crowded, but not uncomfortably so. I found one present there, for the boyfriend of the girl who lived with mom for a year while she finished high school (long story) and who still comes by and stays the night sometimes when she's back in town. She's very sweet, and her poor boyfriend was recently fired from Wal-Mart. Seems this has been happening quite a bit with their full time employees lately. They're still hiring, but only part time workers now. "We save money by not giving our employees benefits and pretend we pass those savings on to you!" That could be their next ad campaign! After mall shopping we were hungry and decided to head across town to a nice restaurant that made gourmet hamburgers. They were very good; I split one with mom and the girls split one. Afterwards we went to TJ Maxx where I was able to wrap up my Christmas shopping. I felt fine until we'd been home about an hour and a half. I was on the phone with Jerry when I asked him how long it takes to get food poisoning. I felt chills and feverish in turns and had waves of nausea. I took some Pepto but still felt bad. I talked to mom a bit later and she was feeling bad as well, so it had to be something we ate. Could have been the burger, but she likes it cooked to within an inch of it's life and the girls had theirs much more undercooked (my kids are vampires - they love blood). The only thing we had that was different was some avocado. It tasted fine, but you never know what kind of germs raw food is going to pick up in a restaurant kitchen. I brushed my teeth and hit the bed, and this morning seem to be alright. What a great way to start my work week!


Word Jumble

I work as a medical transcriptionist, typing out the mumbled words doctors half attempt to say or editing what the computer thinks they've said. I know lots of people that thought when the technology of speech recognition came out jobs like mine would be a thing of the past, but that just isn't true. The computers have a harder time understanding gibberish than humans do. Imagine the crazy things the computer attempts to "write" because the doctor talks with candy clicking against his teeth, or talks while yawning or burping, or just doesn't bother to open his mouth and form his words correctly while talking at a very high rate of speed. I have encountered all of these things, and it makes my work a stressful thing sometimes. It is funny to read what the computer "thought" these doctors said, though. When these move me to laughter, I take time out of my work to copy and paste them to a file so I can save them. For example, the computer program decided the doctor said, "Her sneeze has power of attorney," when in actuality he said, "Her niece has power of attorney". Or how about this for an allergy, "He is intolerant of legs." Really, the man was "intolerant of eggs." Now, I'll admit I'm not perfect, either. Just yesterday I was editing a report and was changing some words and instead of typing "deer hunting" I typed "dear hunting". I laughed as I caught my mistake. Then I started thinking this might be a good new phrase to start using. We've already got animal names for women who like dating younger men, "cougars". I told Jerry about it, and he liked the phrase. We decided it should be used to describe what a woman who's out looking for a husband is doing - she's dear hunting. Okay, you've heard it here first. If you see it anywhere besides Jerry or me writing about it, someone's lifted it. Maybe it can become a catch phrase. I've always wondered how those get started. Too bad I can't get a copyright and actually make a profit.



With the holiday season once again upon us, I've been thinking about traditions. My family has some, most notably the opening of presents on Christmas Eve night instead of Christmas Day. I don't know why that started - we've always done it since I can remember, and I think my Mom's family is the same way so that's probably where it came from. When I was younger I figured it was because we needed to clear space under the tree so Santa had room to deposit his loot. Another tradition, this one shared with most Americans, is trying to get the entire family together for Thanksgiving dinner. We've all at one time or another lived long distances away, but these last 2 years we've all been relatively close, within less than a 2 hour drive maximum. Mom always wears herself out making tons of food. This will be the first year Jerry joins my family for this holiday occasion. He's eaten with us as a group before, so I don't think it will be any different. It hasn't scared him off so far, so that's a good sign. I suppose once we're married we'll carry on this tradition of joining my family for Thanksgiving dinner. Nothing makes my mom happier than seeing all her kids and grand kids together, and she's such a wonderful person that it's nice to see her happy. Maybe Jerry and I will also start some traditions of our own. I'm sure we'll come up with some ideas. They don't even have to be associated with a holiday. Maybe we'll have a stay-in-bed-all-day-and-watch-movies tradition, or once a month ice cream for dinner. We already do have one tradition that we didn't even consciously come up with; it's just something we always do. Every time we leave one another's presence or even end a phone conversation with each other we say, "I love you".


No Pain, No Gain

I own a little machine that fits in the palm of my hand, and it's called an EpiSlim. It looks harmless enough until you start to notice the details. At the very top are these little metal butterfly shaped things. They look innocuous enough until you look closer. There must be at least 2 dozen pairs of them all around this little barrel, and this barrel spins around at a very high rate of speed when you turn the machine on. This makes the butterflies open and close, and when they reach the top of the barrel, they close together quickly, turning them into butterflies of pain. What this actually is is an epilator, or hair remover, and these butterflies are many, many pairs of fast-spinning tweezers. Yep, tweezers that spin around and rip the hair out as you glide the epilator over your skin. Just a run-of-the-mill beauty product that, had there been batteries invented back in medieval times, this would have been used as a torture device. "I don't know what I was thinking! Yes, yes, of course I'm a witch! Now will you please stop using that EpiSlim?!" If you can get past the pain, it really does work. And following the directions, if you pull your skin taut before ripping out the hair, it does hurt a bit less. I can't decide if it hurts worse or more than waxing does. It's supposed to, if you can bear to use it continually, make hair growth finer and in a less amount. So, for the sake of science I have decided to undergo an experiment. Instead of shaving under my arms I'm going to use the EpiSlim starting now and see if their claims are true. I'm thinking if I use this in combination with the new deodorant that touts "shave less often", I'll be looking smooth with no tell-tale signs of razor stubble or burn. I'll post an update if I can't tolerate the pain or all of the ad claims are bogus.


"If you want it, here it is. Come and get it."

In times likes these, it seems everybody wants something for nothing. I'll admit to being one of those people. If someone's got something just sitting around their house they don't want anymore and I need it or could use it, I'd be happy to take it off their hands for them. Likewise, if I've got something to get rid of, I'd like it if someone could come pick it up and find a use for it. It also helps cut down on using the landfill, this re-using of things. When I was young nobody my age would ever admit to stepping into a Wal-Mart, let alone saying their clothes came from there. And Goodwill?! Never in a million years could you get that kind of confession out of a teenager. Times have certainly changed, and thankfully for the better in this case. Some kids even blog about wardrobe finds from thrift stores. If you just change your word usage from "second-hand" and "used" to "vintage" and "up-cycled" your whole perspective can change. Even things you swear nobody in their right mind would want, like that sickly green 1970's leisure suit your dad (okay, my dad) used to wear, there is actually someone out there who is willing to take it off your hands or even pay you good money for it. Don't believe me? Check this out. If you don't want to make the effort to start a new etsy store and sell all your old, I mean retro, clothing, try this instead. Freecycle is the place where you really can get something for nothing. I tried and know it works. All you have to do is sign up for a group near you and log on. Then browse to see what's being given away, or make your own posting. If you're looking for something, just ask. You never know what someone is willing to get rid of. Just follow their instructions and safety precautions. This could be a great way to find wedding decorations, or even a dress.


It was either a very slow day at the makeup counter or I looked really, really bad.

I got accosted at the mall Saturday. The woman was very quick. Since the girls wanted to browse, I decided to stop in one of the large department stores and see if I could snag a sample of Dermablend. Apparently there's not a cosmetics lady for that little counter. The Lancome ladies, though, quickly assured me that wasn't what I wanted or needed, and before I could turn around the leader of the 2 had wiped half of my makeup off my face! I couldn't very well go running around the mall with half my makeup off, so I had to sit in the chair and get the rest of my face wiped clean and start from scratch. Thankfully we had plenty of time to kill. They had apparently gotten in some new type of makeup, but after she slathered 5 different shades on my face to no avail, she decided to go with what she always used for most people. "It's our best seller," she claimed. Well, I imagine it would be since it's the one you're always using on people when you throw them in your chair. She did have a good personality, though. She was pretty funny, talking to me about the wig she was wearing. "It's lace front, like Beyonce wears." I knew exactly what she was talking about, having had to wear a wig when I lost my hair. "Oh, those are high quality. Tyra wears them, too," I say. "Mmm, hmm! She's been wearing them for years and she wasn't gonna tell us that she wore them, either. Finally found out, though!" She got my foundation color on and decided she needed to finish my face. "Can't let you go out there looking like you ain't finished!" I'll say, that's why I sat down in the first place. Got powdered, blushed, then slightly freaked out when she started applying mascara. It wasn't just the "here comes something sharp directly aimed at your eyeballs" that usually freaks me out. The brush also vibrated! What the heck was that all about? Then she looked at my mouth. "You don't have much of a mouth, do you?" What? Where'd it go?! I told her I was a lipless wonder. She then decided I needed fuller lips and over-lined my mouth with a dark brownish pencil, then filled it in with something she called pomegranate gloss. Oh, it was scary looking! The girls were trying not to laugh, and I discretely wiped most of it away while she was busy writing out the list of products she had applied on me. When she looked back at me she said, "Now, that looks pretty." My reward for sitting there, though, were not 1 but 2 sample bottles of makeup. Afterwards we headed to the food court to grab a quick bite. As I was called next in line by the cheerful cashier at Chic-Fil-A, a little girl of about 3 stepped in front of me and put her arms up on the counter. I looked down at her and said, "Oh, are you going to order?" She smiled up at me and stepped to the side (she was waiting on her order with her mommy). I got my snack and met back up with the girls who, of course, had to have a snack from the other side of the court. As I sat down I realized that I was wearing quite a bit of makeup, and the girls concurred. Maybe that little girl smiled at me because she thought I was a clown. I took out my little mirror and realized it wasn't too bad in this lighting. Besides, Erin informed me, if the little girl thought I was a clown she would have screamed because kids hate clowns.


Something That Rings True

As the entire world knows by now, the future King of England now has an official future wife. This should be a nice distraction from all the war, bad economy and global warming that's been bothering us. I'm sure there are loads of people out there who are following every second of this event, and have already planned to Tivo the wedding so they can watch it over and over again. These are probable the same people and their children who went crazy over the wedding of Charles and Diana. If it keeps them happy and out of traffic, I'm fine with it. It is a bit everywhere at the moment, though, whenever I go to Yahoo. Prince William decided to use his mother's engagement ring so that, as he put it, she could be a part of this, too. I thought that was a lovely sentiment. It also seems like it would mean that Kate means quite a bit to him for him to want her to have his mother's ring. I told Jerry about that story, and he thought it was very sweet and sentimental. I know I'd be very flattered and touched. Seems like there's some crazies out there, though, those cynical people who can't find joy in anything. They said things like, "That's morbid" or "creepy". What?! They didn't open her grave and take the ring off her corpse, for crying out loud! This is a man who lost his mother when he was young and now is signifying that the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with is very important to him. If that's creepy, give me a creep any day.


Did a memo go out?

It seems like anyone who was some sort of celebrity chose last weekend to announce their engagement. I mean anyone - from the dude who was dumped by LeeAnn Rimes (see my last blog) to Prince William, everyone tried to grab their little bit of spotlight. I think first came the ex-Mr. Rimes. Headlines read sappy stuff like, "Hearts Can Heal". Then he was overshadowed by Nick Lachey, former husband of Jessica Simpson. He used to be the more famous one, and her father made him get a prenup when they got married. Turned out she became more rich and famous than he was and he got a nice bit of walking away money. Really, though, he does deserve it. How long can you be expected to stay with someone who doesn't know the difference between tuna and chicken and then sleeps with one of the guys from Jackass? Then his thunder was stolen by none other than his ex-wife, Jessica Simpson. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, they were all eclipsed in the happy announcements by the future King of England. Nobody even bothered trying to top that one.


Is the correct term man-stealer or home wrecker?

This has nothing to do with Jerry's and my relationship; I want to make that perfectly clear, so don't panic. This is just something I've noticed and is kinda on the subject of marriage and I thought would make a good post, maybe even start a debate or get you thinking. One day while I was reading some article about hairstyles, I somehow followed some links that ended up on a crazy article about a magazine that apologized for publishing a photo. No, it wasn't some celebrity caught without their underpants on. It was, I believe, Shape Magazine, and they said they were sorry to have offended readers by putting Leeann Rimes on their cover. Not because she wasn't in good shape, but because she is a man-stealer. I can understand if the title of their mag was Monogamous Mommas or something, but it's a magazine about exercising, and she was talking about how she used exercise to help her through a rough patch and get toned up. Apparently some people, mostly women, like to use the term home wrecker. I find it hard to see logic in their way of thinking, though. If a man leaves his wife for another woman, what kind of term do they have for him? Is he a wife-leaver? Seems like the "other woman" takes the brunt of it. Angelina Jolie has been dealing with this label for years now, but she isn't the one who was married, Brad Pitt was. And nobody knows what goes on in a relationship besides the 2 people who are in it - that marriage could have been headed in the wrong direction for ages. And the anger seems misplaced. Just catch a bit of "Maury Povich" or "Jerry Springer" and you'll see what I mean. The unsuspecting girlfriend gets told by her boyfriend that he's been seeing another woman, then this said woman comes out from backstage. The girlfriend jumps up and starts fighting the new girl! No, not the man she thought she had a commitment with, the man who betrayed her love and embarrassed her on national television, but this other person. It's so wrong. Good for ratings, I guess. Jerry and I have similar thoughts on the subject, but he also brought up a good point that sometimes people can be very manipulative and deceitful. So, for the 2 cents it's worth, here's what I think. You can't "steal" a person, they aren't personal property. I also don't think, if his relationship is sound to begin with, that a man would even consider leaving. That's my opinion, take it or leave it.



Savannah, Georgia is a coastal town full of history and ghosts. Neither Jerry or I have ever been there. I didn't even see the movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". I think it got bad reviews. I hope the actors' accents were true. One of my pet peeves is an actor that isn't from the south who tries to do a southern accent, even brags about having a diction coach, and then comes across sounding all wrong. It totally takes me out of a movie. Back to Savannah. There are a ton of B&B's there, which is something I discovered I liked on a trip Jerry and I took down to Monticello, Florida when we stayed at the John Denham House. Jerry and I are both interested in ghost stories, so we may even stay in a haunted inn. If we do research for Jerry's video, maybe we could even write the trip off. I know that Paula Deen lives there, and she's got a restaurant called The Lady and Sons. If you've ever spent any time watching the Food Network, you know it's all about southern cooking. What I didn't know is that it's also about very high prices. I never heard of chicken pot pie costing $18.99 before. Must be big enough to share. I used to watch her show all the time. I think butter flows through her veins. With fame she seems to have developed a heavier accent, as if she also hired one of those Hollywood diction coaches. She also smiles while holding her eyes wide open, giving her a slightly demented look. She's become a caricature of herself, hamming it up if you will, which is a shame. I doubt we'd run into her if we were there, anyway. Savannah has lots of tours to take, from walking tours to ghost tours. Jerry and I learned long ago while viewing the Ramses the Great exhibit in Dallas that group tours are not nearly as fun as going around by ourselves at our own pace and seeing just what we want to see.


Los Angeles

We've put Los Angeles on our list of places we'd like to take our honeymoon. Jerry lived there for quite a while and loves it. I wouldn't mind doing cheesy touristy stuff, like checking out the Walk of Fame, seeing Grauman's Theater, going to see the Hollywood sign. When I was a little kid I always wanted to go to the Brown Derby; I think I was intrigued by the look of a building shaped like a hat. Maybe we could do a studio tour and get on a game show. It'd be great to make enough winnings that our trip would be free! I think, though, that I'd rather get a tour of Jerry's LA, see where he used to live, enjoyed shopping, eating, or just hanging out, and meet any friends who didn't make it to the wedding. They should be warned, though, we will be expecting gifts from anyone who didn't come to the wedding but was invited. They can take us out to dinner if that'd be easier. If that's where we decide to go, I think we'll have to do some fast talking to keep the girls from throwing fits. They really want to go there, but I really don't want to take them on our honeymoon.


They're not all chick flicks

Jerry and I were discussing blog topics the other evening and he suggested I post some clips of movies that were about weddings or had weddings in them. We started naming off some films and I realized I haven't really seen a lot of wedding movies. No, they're out there, I just didn't see them. So, I'll try to do my best here to remember some of the ones we listed. Maybe it's something you've seen a long time ago and are reminded of how much you enjoyed it, or maybe it's something you'd like to see. Just because there's a wedding involved doesn't mean necessarily that the movie is a romantic comedy or is even pro-wedding. Something like "The Graduate", for example, has a wedding at the end but it wasn't something the not-even-out-of-college couple wanted. Hope I didn't spoil that for anyone, but seriously if you've watched any major movie awards show in the past 30 years you've seen the clip of Dustin Hoffman desperately trying to get into the church to stop the wedding.

There's also "Sixteen Candles", one of my favorites. It's about a girl whose family forgets her birthday because her sister's getting married the day after and the entire household in in chaos. You can scroll down a few blogs previously and watch that clip. "Four Weddings and a Funeral" is great British comedy.

Then there were those couple of movies where Julia Roberts got into a wedding thing and made "Runaway Bride" (which I never saw) and "
My Best Friend's Wedding
" (which I also never saw but Jerry says is very good).

I did see "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", which was good, as well as "The Wedding Singer" - typical Adam Sandler movie but set in the '80s. I just don't remember a single girl back in those days having that hairstyle Drew Barrymore was sporting. There's also "American Wedding", which is part of the "American Pie" collection of movies. If it's anything like the first movie, it'll be pretty raunchy, so just be warned. If you're looking for a musical, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" should fit the bill. I really liked "Kill Bill", although it's not a standard wedding movie. Uma Thurman's character is called "The Bride", though, and there is a wedding scene. How about "The Bride of Frankenstein"? Was there really a wedding in that movie? I think that's false advertising. "Wedding Crashers" is also funny. I think there's something in this collection for just about everyone. It is by no means a complete list, but maybe enough to get you in the wedding mood.


Turn of a Phrase

I started thinking about all the things people call their spouse. I guess they've been around forever. These are expressions people use when talking about the person they've married to another person. I remember being around 8 years old and my mom and dad were dressed up to go somewhere and one of my dad's friends said, "Your old lady looks nice." I got mad at the guy and said, "She's not old!" Really, she wasn't even 30, so I was right. I think that's a throw-back from the hippie days, if I'm not mistaken, to call someone your "old lady" or "old man". What a nice way to be described. Better than "ball and chain", though, as though you're shackled to this other person like a prisoner and they hold you down to keep you from escaping. I'm also guessing "main squeeze" came from around the same time as "old lady". But I think main implies there are other, minor squeezes, so that's not very good. Then there's "little woman". While it's true I'm smaller than Jerry, I just can't imagine him introducing me to anyone as "the little woman". I guess I'm linking the word little with small and insignificant instead of just a wee person (which, I'm not that small). Shortcut internet writing and texting has come up with a newer expression, "DH", which stands for darling husband. That's very sweet, as long as people know you mean your spouse and not a designated hitter. Texting shortcuts have also lead to "SO", meaning significant other. Again, if you've got a significant, are there others who aren't as significant? "My better half" is sweet, and I just read that expression has been around since the 1500's. That's nice to hear, especially since I imagine you didn't have a lot of say in who you married back then. What's wrong with "husband" or "wife"? I like it. Straight and to the point. I suppose I'll use it in a sentence when I introduce him, "This is my husband Jerry." That has a nice ring to it.


How To Make a Ribbon Heart

The first photo above is the finished product - A 3-layered heart made of strips of ribbons. Very easy and very inexpensive, which are 2 things I like!

Cut 6 pieces of ribbon, 2 each of the same length, short, medium and long, if you will. The longer they are, the bigger the heart will be. I'd say my shortest pieces were 2 inches, then 2-1/2 inches, then 3 inches long.

Next, line the bottoms of the ribbons up evenly, making sure the shiny sides (if there are any) are facing towards the center, putting the 2 longest pieces in the center, then the mid sized ones and then ending up with the shortest pieces on the outside.

Now just fold over the tops of the ribbon and line them up with the bottom you're already holding, as in this picture. Once all the ribbons are folded over, it'll look like a heart. You can staple it, as the person who made them out of paper did, or sew it together. Then just wrap floral wire around the end and twist (see my instructions for coffee filter flowers), making your heart flower! It may be kind of cute to have several of these sticking out above the rest of the bouquet so everyone can be sure and see them.

Hearts on a String

I had a very hectic day yesterday, and still feel a bit worn out because of it today. Therefore, not much to blog about I'm afraid. Jerry's feeling bad again, Marilyn isn't any better, Erin's having another one of her horrendous sinus headaches and I feel like I'm coming down with something myself. Hopefully we'll all be feeling better soon. I hate it when someone I love feels poorly and I'm helpless to do anything about it. It breaks my heart. Speaking of hearts, if I can get my butt in gear after work today, I plan on shooting some pictures for another how-to. This was was inspired by some decorations I saw on offbeatbride.com made of paper (which I'm thinking would be good for the wedding, too). They're paper hearts made out of strips of paper, bent and stapled then hung on a string and are really cute. I know it sounds stupid, but they look neat. I took that idea and made a heart out of ribbon. I'll confess at first I noticed I had the ribbon backwards, then I noticed I had them in the wrong order (they are of varying lengths). When I figured out the basics, it turned out really cute. Now I can have some hearts in my bouquet!


Any regrets?

Got an email from theknot.com, and their newsletter had a little article about wedding regrets - things that you did or didn't do that you wished you had. It was pretty short, and then at the bottom were about 3 dozen responses from readers telling what they would if given the chance do over. Amazingly, it really came down to 4 complaints: Trusting my vendors too much, not talking with the photographer about what kind of photos we wanted, dancing too much or not enough, and mingling with guests and not spending enough time with the new spouse. I can check the first item off the list as I don't have any vendors - no wedding planner, no caterer, no florist, no hired DJ. Whew, that's a load off! As for the photographer, I guess that's something we'll have to talk about. Surely someone in my family likes to take pictures (besides Erin). We could set up the video camera and record the actual ceremony. One of the brides said she regretted not recording the ceremony because the day was such a big blur to her. Maybe I could do a trade-off with Catina (remember, my sister's friend who's getting married June 11th). She's got a nice camera and probably would do a good job. Or we could ask everyone who's brought a camera to email us what they shot and we could put together an album that way. I'll talk with Jerry and see what he thinks and if he's got any ideas. As for dancing, we'll dance and try to make a good balance between the dancing and the visiting with people. Obviously, there will be people attending who have come a long way and it would be rude not to spend time with them. Finally, I feel like we won't be separated too much during this wonderful event; he's the man I want to spend all of my time with. There was one other thing a couple of ladies admitted to, and that was being unable to sleep the night before due to excitement and nerves. They both regreted not taking a sleeping tablet when they went to bed. I don't want to medicate - anyone who's seen "Sixteen Candles" knows how that turns out. http://artofjessica.blogspot.com/


San Francisco

It's where Tony Bennett left his heart, but if we go there I don't think I'd care to spend our precious time trying to find it for him. I'd rather do fun stuff like visit the Fisherman's Wharf, ride cable cars, maybe see the Painted Ladies (these are houses, not hookers), go to Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, and eat some fantastic food. I read once that if everyone who lived in San Fran decided to go out to eat at the same time on the same night, there are enough restaurants there that everyone could have a seat. Jerry used to live there, so I think it'd be fun to go walking around with him and see the sights, let him take me to his favorite places. I've never been there before. It would be a long plane ride, but once we got to the hotel, we wouldn't have to rent a car because they've got great public transportation. And, even though we'd be there at the end of May/beginning of June, Jerry says the weather is mild there and it won't be hot. Me being someone who starts to get a chill around 70 degrees will be sure to pack a sweater or 2 if that's our destination. Another plus is that San Francisco isn't one of the places my girls are dying to visit, so they wouldn't be begging to tag along. If we decided to go to the Harry Potter Theme Park at Universal we'd never hear the end of it.



Since we've yet to decide on a honeymoon destination, I thought I'd take time here occasionally to post about some of the places we've mulled over and put on our list, so if you see a city name for my title that's what I'll be doing. Perhaps you know something about the town to which I'm referring. Any tips or suggestions, or free places to eat or stay would be appreciated. I figured I'd start with Dallas, Texas.

Jerry lived in Dallas for a while. In fact, when I was young and he moved away, that's where he went. He enjoyed his time there and knows his way around, and although I'm sure some things have changed the major roads should all still be intact (although I distinctly remember going to Dallas as an 11-year-old and again as an 18-year-old and yet again as a 21-year-old and each time they were working on the same highway). The city is big and there's lots to do. Dallas is even known as the "Entertainment Capital of the Southwest". I'm sure they came up with that name when Jerry was living there and he's part of the reason for it's nickname. The nightclubs he took me to have probably changed hands and names several times over the years, but if we're up for it I'm sure there's plenty of night life around. If this is where we decide to go, it'd be about a 12 hour drive, and if we drive we could stop in Jackson, Mississippi and Shreveport, Louisiana, although why I'm not sure - maybe a potty break. According to Expedia.com, there are over 500 hotels in the Dallas area, and prices range from $38 up to well over $200 a night. If we stay 5 days, that'll add up quick, but that's going to be a concern wherever we decide to go. Maybe we could stay in the West End, which has lots of things to do and is close to a lot more other things to do. I'd love to go back to the Dallas Museum of Art, but I could skip Dealey Plaza and not miss it. Aside from that, I'm open to whatever strikes our mood at the moment. I even found this website which has a list of free things to do, http://www.visitdallas.com/visitors/online_toolkit/free_things_to_do/. Maybe Jerry'd even like to arrange to meet up with some old and dear friends one evening for a casual get-together or dinner somewhere. No matter where we decide to go, if it ends up being somewhere Jerry has lived before (because several of those places are on our list), I'd love to meet his friends. I know he's loved and adored, but not by anyone nearly as much as he is by me.


Proposal Perspectives

I just finished surfing around the internet, reading one story, then linking to another. Started out reading about different changes you can expect your first year of marriage. Pretty basic stuff - some of your friends will drift away, you won't feel like you've got any more money, you'll gain weight. The next story was called "What Makes a Man Propose". It was kinda unintentionally funny, because it started out talking about those Chilean miners who when they got freed from their underground prison finally decided to ask their girlfriends to marry them. It took a near death experience before they could commit, I guess. One of them had been dating his girlfriend for 10 years. I can just imagine if this girl had been waiting and waiting for him to ask her to marry him. "I'm glad he got stuck down there for a while. He finally came to his senses." Wonder if that's going to give girls desparate to marry the idea that if she locks her man up for a month or so in a dark cave he'll finally come around and propose. I hope not, although it may be better than the standard, "I'm pregnant, we have to get married" route. I've known several guys who told me they got engaged because the girl just happened to be around all the time and just wore them down, or she gave them an ultimatum. Sweet! Ladies, do you really want to marry some guy who doesn't want to ask you of his own free will? I much prefer the reason I've only heard from one man - he loves her more than anything and wants to spend the rest of his life with her. Who is this romantic angel? Jerry, of course!


Tuned Out

With work being slow lately, I'm thinking of embarking on a little something to make a bit of extra money. Here's how I got the idea. I had to spend most of yesterday with Marilyn making yet another trip to the doctor and then over to the hospital for an ultrasound. She's still in a lot of pain, and the medications they give her only make her sleepy and nauseous while the doctor refuses to do surgery and remove the problem. She's getting angrier and angrier. He wouldn't even see her again until she'd taken the medicine he prescribed for 3 months, so I took her to another doctor. Once his nurse called over there he moved her appointment with him up to next Tuesday. God forbid you listen to your patients when they tell you something's wrong, but when they spend money going to another doctor they'll listen to them. It's very frustrating. After spending most of the day waiting for things to be done, we were finally able to eat lunch at 4 in the afternoon. We went over to a place Jerry likes to frequent. As soon as Marilyn, Jerry and I sat down we noticed how loud the music was, and it wasn't even the usual tunes they played there. It was so loud it was almost hard to have a conversation. When the waitress came over and asked, "What do you want?" I said, "I want you to change that music." She just said, "Nope." Wouldn't even ask whoever was in charge if she could. What kind of tip is she expecting now? After she left with our order Jerry, my hero, decided to ask another waitress he knew if she could change it. "I'd have better luck turnin' it down," she said. He told her that would be great. I told Jerry she didn't listen to that kind of music, so you'd think she wouldn't have a problem with getting it changed at a customer's request. He asked me how I knew. Feeling like Sherlock Holmes, I told him to look at her belt. It was a rock and roll kind of belt, the black type with all the studs on it. So he asked her if she listened to rock. In her long southern drawl she says, "Nah, ah listen to 92.1. Ah like ray-up music." Okay, so I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but at least I guessed she didn't care for country music. Our food came and we noticed there hadn't even been a reduction in the music volume. The songs were invading my head, annoying me. I was even mis-hearing lyrics. The woman sang something but I wasn't sure exactly what. My mind heard "severed finger blues". And this is where my new career idea came in. I'm gonna write country songs! Here's what I've got so far. My song will be called "Severed Finger Blues" and the first line goes, "My daddy had a chainsaw". I think it's a good start.


"Of course I friggin' love you, you idiot!"

There's yet another oh-my-god-if-this-is-reality-please-let-me-live-in-a-fantasy-world shows now on TV called "My Big Friggin' Wedding". Lovely title, just lovely. I wasn't really paying attention to it, but Erin was. If it's something foreign to her, she's gonna watch. Here's her synopsis: These are some people from New Jersey who are getting married. Some of them are rich and most of the girls are pregnant. Wow, you mean you can have a wedding show and a baby show at the same time? Marketing genius! Any time I'd catch a glimpse of it there'd be a couple talking about how expensive their wedding was going to be and how annoyed their fiance made them. Who wouldn't want a lifetime in a relationship like that? One part I did catch was a couple going to get their wedding dates tattooed on their inner wrists. It was in roman numerals, so it was classy. Ladies first, so she's in the chair getting all inked up and the groom-to-be is bored, so he tells her he's going across the street for a beer. She's very upset, "I thought our wedding date tattoos were something we were gonna do together, and he's not even here. He makes me so mad, and if he thinks I'm gonna hang around while he gets his done he's wrong." So, not even married and he bails on her when he's bored. Then he comes back and it's his turn. She does hang around, but is pouty about it. She asks him if the tattoo hurts, sounding as if she'd like it to. "Nah, it's just annoying, like you," he says. What a keeper, honey! Don't let this guy get away! When he's cheating on her in a couple of years because he's bored, I'm sure she'll be totally surprised. All of these couples seemed to act about the same. They didn't seem like they liked, much less loved, each other. Seems to me they're signing up for a lifetime of arguing and despising someone. I can't imagine if Jerry and I had that kind of relationship. All we want is for the other to be happy. Neither one of us likes conflict. We're much more likely to sit down and discuss something than to almost come to blows with one another. That's why we'll probably never get a reality show of our own.


Snack Attack!

Discovered something about myself and got myself something new to worry about at the exact same time. It seems lately around 2:00 or so I start getting really sleepy. The kind of sleepy where your head nods forward and you jerk yourself awake. You know, like if you've been driving for hours on end and it's the middle of the night and you're out in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, if that's ever happened to you while driving, the adrenaline rush you get from realizing you almost passed out and wrecked is enough to keep you awake for quite a while. Not so while sitting at a computer staring at a monitor. I try and stand up once an hour to keep my circulation going, but that's not enough for the 2:00 doldrums. So, for the last week or so, I've been getting up and getting something to eat. Not that there's anything wrong with a snack in and of itself. It's a know fact that I have both an afternoon snack as well as an evening snack. The problem comes from how much of a snack this is. Not just a little nibble, because as soon as I'm done chewing I'm back to wanting to doze off so I just keep eating. Sad, I know. Here's where I worry. Now, I know I can stand to gain a few pounds. I've been thin all my life. And any other time this would be nothing to worry about. It's not like we'd be hearing someone sing that familiar childhood tune, "Here comes the bride - big, fat and wide!" But now I've taken the dress in and it fits just right, and if I undo the stitches, I'll have to redo all the flowers and the detailing. My only other alternative is to find another way to stay awake. I know that getting more sleep sounds like the obvious answer to my problem but it just isn't happening lately. Today I had a brainstorm and decided to chew a piece of gum instead of eating. It seems to have gotten me through the doldrums okay and I even blew a few bubbles. I'll just have my regular snack later.