Saturday, March 29, 2008

Another busy weekend, a/k/a five hours to kill.....

Isn't it amazing that our weekends -- the time we are supposed to relax from the toils of work and do nearly nothing -- have become the times that we run all our errands that we can't fit in during the workweek? I'm no exception.......

Yesterday was beautiful -- nice and warm, a pretty spring day. I knew today was going to be a little different. What started as a cool, partly sunny morning quickly becoming cloudy and blustery. Later, it devolved into downright chilly and rainy. Now, I will not complain about the rain. We were in desperate need of it all last year, and it did not come. So it can rain all it wishes this spring.

The problem with today? I'd already made an appointment for Maddox to be groomed. He hadn't been trimmed since November, and believe me, my boy was shaggy!!! He really needed the bath and the pampering, so I took him to the pet store. The groomers told me that with the larger dogs, it would be around 5 hours. YIKES! I was thinking maybe 4 hours tops. So there I was. I had the option of going back home (30 minutes away), or fooling around and trying hard not to spend too much money.

Of course, I went shopping -- DUH! I hit Big Lots, which I hadn't been to in ages. They had all their summer goods out, and I swear, if I'd had a little more fundage, OH! I would have bought them out of stuff in the Tiki aisle. You just don't know how much I love beach/island/Tiki/luau themes. As it was, I got one item as an addition to a gift I recently purchased.

I wandered over a bit further to the grocery aisles. I found some spices that I wanted, at a very good price. For everyday average cooking, I admit that I am not terribly snobby about spices. For special dishes, it's a different story -- or if there's a particular herb or spice I need. But for the basics (garlic powder, meat tenderizer, ginger, cinnamon, etc.) then I would be stupid to pay $2.50 for the same thing when I could pay $1.00. I also discovered something highly unusual there -- NutriSystem food. What the holy heck is that? Well, I know they've recently revamped their program as "NutriSystem Advanced 2008." All this stuff was still well within the expiration date (the earliest I saw was this summer), but I guess since it's no longer part of the new program, they let it go to Big Lots. I didn't buy any -- but it was just odd to see it there. Very odd.

I wandered over a little further -- and found something even odder: double-DVD sets of Lifetime movies! My mother loves those things; I enjoy them only in an MST3K sort of way, as pure camp. Even as much as I would love to have been able to poke fun at them, I wasn't going to spend money on them.

After leaving Big Lots, I found a place called "Giant Book Sale" -- another complete weakness of mine. These are pretty heavily discounted, and mostly hardcover. After perusing the store for about 45 minutes, I walked out with just two books: "The Why Cafe" (it looked interesting), and a "Trim & Terrific" cookbook. That one was the especially sweet find: the nutrition information provided will help me with Points, and has diabetic exchanges (what my mother's nutrition plan is based on). And even though it seems I have a thousand cookbooks, recipes, etc. that I never use (it's the truth), this one appealed because of the variety of veggie recipes. I need ways to make veggies a little differently and a little more appealing.

After leaving the bookstore, I had a quick lunch, and back into the pouring cold rain, with two hours left until Maddox would be ready. Oh boy...... So I went into TJ Maxx. The last time I was at the one across town from this one, I was disappointed. I was here too, at least as far as clothing. But I don't really need any for a while anyway. People have been more than generous to me with clothes, and I've picked up a few more staple pieces recently. I'm good to go for a while. The purses --- DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!!! Now, I am not a purse ho per se. I definitely don't gravitate toward the high-end bags and save my money for them. But I do like a well-constructed bag, with a name I recognize, and for a decent price. But I have enough purses for a while, and I'm good with them.

I also looked at luggage while I was there. For about 10 years, I have used my little 21" weekender. It has served incredibly well, and is just as sturdy as ever -- okay, the expandable handle part came out years ago, but other than that. However, the time has come for a new suitcase -- and I'm thinking one between 24"-26". The 28" and up almost seem too large. The prices were okay, but I will check a couple of other places -- including Tarjay and Le Wally. I don't need a "designer" bag -- just one that is well-constructed and will last for years to come. Believe me, I don't care how well known the names are on some of those luggage pieces, I will be damned if I pay some of those prices! I ended up buying only a book that was on clearance (yes, another book), and that was just sort of to thank them for allowing me to waste some time in there.

While I was in there, I came this-close to calling my friend Stacey to see what was wrong with me; I was in the shoe section, and was going to call her to talk me out of buying a pair of shoes. Now, I am not much of a shoe hound (clothes are another story entirely!), but I've bought four pairs in the last week, all dress shoes. I needed an intervention. However, I was afraid Stacey would come over with the girl-card police and they would revoke my card!!! As it was, I talked myself out of the shoes. I don't care that they were CUTE pink Keds slip-ons. And only $10. I just wasn't feeling them.

It was about 40 minutes to go when I left TJ Maxx, and went down to Goody's (passing a shoe store -- can you believe it?). This particular Goody's and one other in town is serving as a "clearance center." Apparently, according to the signs, everything must go to the bare walls!!!! NOW!!! Believe me, I have hit their stores quite often in the last couple of weeks. I got some sweet deals there last week -- 3 pants, 3 "schweaters" (sweaters with the faux blouses underneath), a cute A-line skirt, a pair of shorts, and a straw tote all for about $70 (most was on clearance, but darn that one pair of pants for $20! Wink wink). Well, anyway, as I was walking up there, I realized it was getting even colder -- and all I had on was my spring sweater. So I went to see if they had a jacket.

A few days ago, I noticed they had "athletic sets" on sale. The jackets I love, but I do not want the pants. I'm sorry but there's no way in hell I am going to wear pants made of parachute-like material, and start a fire by my thighs rubbing together. Lucky for me, I found ONE solo jacket with no pants, and in a pretty light kiwi-green color. YAHOO! I can wear it with the yoga pants I already have, or a nice pair of shorts on a cooler summer or fall day. And with the clearance discount -- just under $6.

Then it was time to get in line to pay. Sweet Fancy Moses, everybody and their damn brother was in line, and they only had every other register open. There were people with buggies full of things. The people in front of me -- $115 dollars, and they walked out with BAGS of stuff. But while I was in line, the groomers rang, and Buddy Boy was done (right at the 5-hour mark!). Once I paid and got the hell out of there, I picked him up and he looked absolutely adorable (and about 10 pounds thinner)! Just in time, too -- the rain started in again.

And next Saturday, it's another busy morning on tap: vet visit for Maddox, church directory pictures for me, and God knows what else........ Some Saturday soon, I fully intend to do absolutely nothing of any import. Won't that be odd?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I am still here, I promise...

It's just nothing has gone on that merits a blog post here at good ol' M&M. Okay, maybe a few things but nothing I want to put on a blog that everybody and their brother can read!

I'm alive. I'm happy. And all is well, mostly. Not boring, but just ordinary.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

All quiet on the southern front

There really hasn't been enough going on right now to post anything. But I haven't died. Promise.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Gleckfest 2008

This weekend, I took a much-needed break to go visit friends, chill out, and forget about everything. And it was lovely!!

Friday, I awoke to a lovely beautiful bright morning! The weather was just right for a late winter morning -- a little crisp, bright and lovely. I packed my bags and headed out around 12:00. Lunch was at a local Cracker Barrel, which was packed as usual but without the expected wait for a table. I had two waitresses, apparently -- the first of whom took my order and brought it out, and the other who followed up on me and filled my drink. Okay..... so I left a tip for both of them.

Then down the road to Savannah I went. It was a fairly uneventful drive, I must say, with one delightful exception...... For weeks now, I have been teased with ads for Diet Dr. Pepper in Cherry Chocolate, only to be sorely disappointed whenever I would try to find it in the stores. I shouldn't be surprised. After all, I've run into the same thing with Diet Pepsi's Jazz: Caramel Cream. But at the Pilot Travel Center in Clinton SC, while filling my tank, I found the Cherry Chocolate DDP. Two words: Oh. My. It was very good. And while I know I can get the same thing at Sonic anytime, it's just nice to have it already prepared so that all you have to do is open the can or bottle.

So delightful drink in hand, down the road I continued. I had just one quick RA stop in Orangeburg, and the time was getting pretty good. I had planned to arrive between 5:30 and 6:00, only I forgot about my congenital defect coming into play .... darn that weighty right foot! No, I didn't get a ticket but I did go faster than I figured I would.

While on the final leg of the journey (down I-95), I noticed a large number of snowbird vehicles -- I counted 9 from Quebec, 5 from Ontario, 1 from Nova Scotia, and several from Pennsylvania and Illinois. I had to laugh. I know it's been a butt-cold winter, and I know that the weather was exceptionally nice this particular weekend. But not warm enough for the beach or the ocean. Trust us on this. April - now that's a different story!

As it was, I crossed into Georgia around 5:00 PM..... only to find that the Welcome Center's restrooms were closed!!! ARRRRGH! I also knew I'd be making a stop at the WallyCenter near the Gleck home, but c'mon...... Alas, the WallyStalls would have to do (and may I congratulate the Middle Effingham WallyCenter on their clean restroom!)

Anyhow, after visiting the Wally and picking up a few items (like toothpaste!), I met up with the Glecks and K/S & The General for a wonderful evening meal. We laughed about the little newspaper and the crime reports -- I swear, I want a subscription to this newspaper JUST for the crime reports.

Saturday was touristy day --- WOO HOO!!!!!! I really do enjoy doing the touristy stuff, and I loved the trolley ride. We ate at Sixpence Pub for lunch, toured the Juliette Gordon Low house, and had a great time. And I screwed up royally ..... yep. I got brave and said I could sit in the back seat on the way to dinner. I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And I have kicked myself for it, because dinner was at Johnny Harris.

Johnny Harris' Restaurant is legendary, and with good reason. Oh my God. This is one of my favorite places in the whole world. The food is good (not rah-rah great, but good), but it's the ambience and atmosphere that make the experience. It is a time warp, all to itself. I swear, every time I am there, I fully expect Frankie, Dino, and Sammy to come in and request their usual table. At any rate, the Glecks and the K's (God bless them!) salvaged dinner for me (and to whomever I owe, LET ME KNOW!), and I enjoyed it later, once the swimmy-heads had gone away.

Sunday was a lazy day, in which we treated the K's to the delights of Zaxby's -- the General was most definitely pleased! General, keep coming, and we will treat you to Zaxby's delights over and over again. (Hey, WW or not, sometimes, you just gotta have Zaxby's!) Then we went back to stately Gleck Manor and watched "Kingpin" -- a film I could watch over and over and over. Later on, we went to Carey Hilliard's for dinner. Carey Hilliard's is another Savannah legendary place (okay, chain, as the case is). It's good seafood and barbecue. Hey, you're in the South, barbecue is an art form. The K's left Sunday evening in order to get a headstart on the trip back, and I stayed over one extra night.

Come Monday, sadly, the time drew to an end.......

Hey, remember the excitement I felt about the Diet Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper? Guess what I discovered Friday in the Middle Effingham Wally World? Yep -- not only DCCDP, but the awesome Caramel Cream Jazz Diet Pepsi. So Monday morning, on the way back home, I stopped and got myself some. Yum, yum, yum!!!! The road beckoned, and I made it home in really good time (including an unplanned breakfast stop). Note: Cracker Barrel's oatmeal is a good, filling breakfast, and low in points if you get it with the fruit toppings (or the sugar-free syrup).

I arrived home around 12:30, relaxed and happy, and so glad for the wonderful friendship and times we shared! I can't wait for more good times to come!