My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

What I Ate Wednesday - Six Feet Under

Today's blog is part one of a two part special (it's honestly not THAT special) on mine and Marvin's big adventure today. Part one is a restaurant review of a place called Six Feet Under that - no lie - is right beside one of Atlanta's biggest and most historical cemeteries, Oakland Cemetery. Part two will be more about Oakland. I want to do it in two parts because 1. I am sleepy/not feeling great and I know if I try to blog too much right now it will be lousy content and 2. I want to give you a little extra background on Oakland Cemetery and I don't have time/energy/brain space for it tonight.

Sidebar - I don't discuss this part of my multiple diagnosis' much but one illness I deal with is fibromyalgia which gives you horrible brain fog at times. I also have an unspecified autoimmune disorder that does a number on me when I'm out in the heat and will make me feel run down / really tired at times. I'm also still struggling to adjust to the new muscle relaxer which makes a huge difference for me pain wise but makes me terribly loopy when it peaks in my system. I'm feeling all three hitting me at the moment and it's draining me to where I'm worried today's blog will be more of a blahg. That's just sort of where I am today... very happy/peaceful/content but in such a fog of exhaustion that it's hard to function.

BUT LUNCH... was AMAZING! We went to a place in Atlanta called, Six Feet Under (check the link if you'd like to see their entire menu, etc) which is - like I said previously - RIGHT beside the most historic cemetery in Atlanta. I am Old Atlanta. By that I mean... my family has been here - in Atlanta and surrounding areas - for several generations. Our roots are deep in this city.  I have such an immense love for the history of this city, even the ugly bits, because it gives us our character. Atlanta is a city that does a horrible job of preserving it's landmarks. So many of our cities treasures have been bulldozed in the name of progress but Oakland Cemetery stands proud, dotted with the names of city founders and famous folks. So eating lunch right across from this iconic part of Old Atlanta was truly, an amazing surprise for me.

Six Feet Under is sort of a fish/pub type place. They had a pretty extensive menu that was sort of a Southern food / fish / pub fusion with the undertones of the graveyard theme but not so much that it was Halloweenish. Marvin had a taco combo platter that came with a  their catfish taco, fried calamari taco and blackened shrimp taco with hush puppies as his side. I tasted his blackened shrimp taco and it was good but... the blackening spices were a little spicy for me. I had a fish and chips basket that came with the US version of chips... you know, round thin slices of fried potatoes... and mine also came with hush puppies. My chips were... crispy and fried exactly as I would have liked but the oil seemed a bit old. It was a little off. The fish, however, was perfect, browned and crispy and not the least bit greasy (which can be hard to do with fish, I think). I loved the hushpuppies but they did have bits of jalapeno and my tongue is still sore from that encounter. We drank iced tea with our meal... we're fancy that way... and we skipped dessert because we were both stuffed.

Service wise - it was fast, attentive enough and we avoided the usual jinx of if I'm blogging about it, our glasses never get refilled. We got refills. Everyone was friendly without hovering. My big beef with this place is that they've gone straw free which makes me 1. Roll my eyes really hard and 2. Want to buy myself metal straws to tote around. I'm not anti-environment at all but I read some stat that said our straw usage makes up like such a ridiculously small percentage of the entire trash in the world - something really small and seemingly inconsequential - that we're wasting more resources by the effort to be straw free than using straws would make. Marvin says I wouldn't care if I wasn't such a big straw user - and he's true. I prefer to drink through a straw, even at home. It didn't make a huge difference to me, honestly, but it was the first time I had encountered this so... buying metal straws now.

Price wise - it was Marvin's turn to pay so I didn't actually see the bill but I think it's reasonable for lunch, especially inside the Perimeter (inside I-285 - the highway that circles Atlanta). My fish basket was around $14. It was two large pieces of fish, a lot of chips and two hushpuppies.

Free parking is available with a short walk. We walked around the cemetery for just a tiny bit after lunch which made the walk back to the car seem really, really long.

I would ... maybe take little kids here. We were there for a weekday lunch so we mostly saw blue collar type workers... a lot of Atlanta Police officers (including one who accidentally whacked Marvin on the head- it was a lady - she got very embarrassed but I told her I do that to him all the time... which he was claiming as police brutality... tee hee).

In other news... I won on HQ - the trivia game that Marvin and I play on our phones. It was my third win and this time I earned $6.05! I would NEVER have won if Marvin hadn't been playing with me because there were 4, maybe 5 answers out of the 12 questions that he had to answer for me. He got out earlier in the game on a question about the Real Housewives franchise. I didn't know the answer but I guessed correctly. And I just lucked out and knew the ones he didn't know!

Cosy's mama posted some really cute pictures of our sweet girl out at Dairy Queen today. I love that she will let her mama put her hair in "dog ears" because she sure as heck won't let me do it!

And... that's about it for today. I'm going to have a bit of dinner then soak in the tub before Marvin gets home from work. I'll do the blog post about Oakland Cemetery some time in the next few days. Tomorrow we're having a Cosy day!


Monday, August 6, 2018

Things I Did Today

Because making lists makes sense to me right now. These are in no particular or chronological order. My brain no longer works that way.

1. Wore an orange maxi skirt with a purple t-shirt that says, "my greatest blessings call me Nana"
2. Convinced my 3 year old granddaughter that my bun (in my hair) wasn't so ugly that it must be immediately taken down. She also likes to take out braids or anything I do to my hair that involves elastic bands. She has issues.
3. Allowed my 3 year old granddaughter to clean my dentures AND put my dentures in my mouth for me. We live large here, people.
4. Sat on the floor and played with playdoh.
5. Washed a load of laundry.
6. Took all the clean laundry out of the porta-crib in the guest room (currently my nest) where it has accumulated and folded it and put it in dresser drawers. Except for hanging things which I then draped back over the side of the porta-crib.
7. Listened to several podcasts. Listening to podcasts makes me feel trendy.
8. Picked my granddaughter up from her mom's house at 8am. I will now begin referring to my granddaughter by her name because describing her as my granddaughter has become tedious to type and I imagine it has become tedious to read.
9. Watched half a season of Bones. It's very good. Don't give me spoilers as I'm only on season 5.
10. Video chatted with my boyfriend who agreed with Cosy's decision to take down the horrific bun. For the record, I did not take it out.
11. Dried and folded another load of clothes except for the one pair or panties that somehow managed to stay wadded up and wet in the load of clothes in the dryer. It is now hanging on my closet door.
12. Ate salted caramel flavored yogurt for breakfast.
13. Drank a medium iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts.
14. Drank about half of a powerade. I'm still working on it.
15. Ate popcorn for lunch.
16. Realized that I need to scrounge up something relatively healthy for dinner.
17. Took my a$$-kicking muscle relaxers and managed to not fall asleep.
18. This happened yesterday but I consider it relevant - talked to my boyfriend 13 times on the phone. This is not an exaggeration. I do, sometimes, tend to "round up" numbers for dramatic effect but this is a literal count of the times we talked on the phone yesterday. This was a total of 129 minutes.
19. Back to today. I picked up all the change off of my floor and determined it to be enough for a pack of cigarettes, even though I don't smoke.
20. Sent my son to Walmart to buy playdoh. Playdoh is essential.
21. Gathered up four little grocery sack sized bags of trash and consolidated them into one large trash bag.
22. Carried down the dishes that have been sitting beside my bathroom sink for at least two weeks.
23. Taught Cosy how to load the dishwasher. Lord, please let her stay at the age where she loves to wash dishes FOREVER!
24. Argued with Cosy that it really is ok for her to wear a shirt that says, "My daddy is my super hero". She thinks it's for her dad to wear. It is a size 3T and lavender.
25. Settled on another tshirt for her to wear. Meh. Obviously today we weren't making our mark on fashion in our town.
26. Did not leave the house except to pick up Cosy.
27. Played about fifty-eleven rounds of free cell on my phone.
28. Watched a ridiculous number of Insta-stories.
29. Debated whether or not my day was interesting enough to warrant a blog. The jury is still out.
30. Forgot to wear deodorant.
31. Helped Cosy work on her new bullet journal. She learned that if you use waaaaay too much chalk marker and close pages together, the ink will transfer to the other page. We did this a lot.
32. Cleaned up playdoh
33. Found a place to store my winter scarf that has been traveling from one piece of furniture to another in this room since February.
34. Decided that it is ok to store my chunky sweatshirts in the unused bathroom cabinets. I mean... why not?
35. Cleaned up Cosy's beads. Cleaned them up again after she and her dad had a bead fight. I know you're going to say that I should have made them clean them up but honestly, I decided I would rather pick them up myself quickly than go through the effort of getting them to do it.
36. Realized why my back always hurts.
37. Programmed a "Cosy Channel" on my Spotify on my phone and played it through the bluetooth in my car. I felt like a real technological genius for doing this and she was so happy to have her own music that it was totally worth the effort. I even made sure to listen to commercials this morning before I picked her up to try to keep her from having to listen to commercial interruptions. Her music is currently things like "the itsy bitsy spider" and "Mary Has A Little Lamb". She loves these songs and I get tired of singing them in the car without accompaniment.
38. Also yesterday but I FaceTimed Oliver while he skateboarded with his dad.
39. Showed Cosy how to FaceTime her dad. She loves video chat... which is why Marvin videochatted with me this morning, so Cosy could see him but... she was at Dunkin Donuts with her dad buying her favorite - pink donut with sprinkles. And Nana's coffee.

AND... this concludes today's list of things I've done. Not because I haven't done anything else but because that's all I can remember. Hope your Monday has been memorable! Love and hugs!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Waffle House and Other Things

I'm so drained, y'all. I don't even know where to start. I thought that my big emotional mom moment for the week would be something dramatic happening when Austin went to the Warped Tour music festival on Tuesday. I just knew something awful was going to happen on his first drive on the interstate and first journey that far on his own. Truthfully, the worst damage was to my bank balance, since he ended up going without enough money and I had to transfer some money into his bank account to get him through the day. Times like that I want to just let consequences happen as they will so that he will learn and becomes a self-sufficient adult but there is just too much of my mama in my for that. Mawmaw would have sent him money.

But he had a great time and I know what awesome memories those kind of events make for us in our lives. I missed out on a lot by marrying and having kids young and then by being a single mom working all the time and by not having two nickels to rub together half the time. By the time I had the resources (time, money, freedom) to do things, my back was too messed up for me to do things. That's what makes my adventures with Marvin so precious to me... he makes it happen, gets me down front at concerts and drives me to New Orleans and... orders the good stuff off the menu at awesome restaurants. I want everyone I love to have those kind of special times. Cody is with Marquee today seeing some guys from YouTube that she enjoys. It's good stuff and we all deserve to make those kind of memories (just sometimes we need to budget more carefully for them, that's all I'm saying.)

Our Thursday culinary adventure was rolling out of bed at noon and going to Waffle House with no makeup, looking like a hot mess in the pouring rain and it was PERFECT! The meal, I mean, and the experience. Not how I looked. It was exactly what I wanted at the moment and just as special of a memory for me as anything else we do. He put some of our favorite songs on the juke box and kissed me on the lips right there in the middle of Waffle House. Then he played "Mandy" by Barry Manilow five times in a row... for the listening pleasure of those who came after us. Tee hee.

You know, it's been a year for us. It's been a year since Marvin sent me the text to let me know that his son had died the day before... and I told him that my mom was not expected to live but a few more hours. She died the next day. We kept texting and texting and talking and seeing each other and then Tuesday became date night and... well, I think I've shared the story already, for the most part and I've been oversharing it here on the blog since May. His sweet boy passed on the 16th of August and my precious mama passed on the 18th and it's been nearly a year. Sometimes I still don't know how we made it. It seems like the worst possible time to start a new relationship but honestly, it was just two very sad people talking to each other and laughing together and a lot of times crying together and just doing things that helped us keep living.

There's been a lot of anger between Austin and Tasha this week. Those two... I just don't know. It breaks my heart for Cosy because now she is beginning to understand that mama and daddy are angry at each other. They bickered back and forth all day on Thursday and I just couldn't wait until Friday morning to pick up my sweet girl and spend a few hours with her, giving her my undivided love and attention and making sure she knew how precious she is to me. I could explain the problem but the he said / she said, he did/ she did would make your head spin. Ultimately it's just another verse of the same song we've been singing for the past two years. They both need to treat each other with more kindness and respect and I'm not saying anything here that I haven't said to them both a thousand times already. We're so foolish when we think that if we can't get along well enough to stay in a relationship with someone that will we somehow magically get along well enough to co-parent after the relationship ends. It takes a lot of work. But that's what has to happen. Cosy didn't pick them as parents. She didn't ask to be born into a volatile relationship. She deserves mom and dad living together and loving each other and the white picket fence and all the happiness and peace of a perfect childhood but she will never have that. So instead we just have to all do our best to communicate kindly and appropriately with each other, to respect each other, to let her know that we're all a team, even if we're in different households. We need to make sure that we don't let our feelings for each other interfere with the time we spend with Cosy. We need to let the people who love her be a part of her life in whatever way is healthy for her. We need to support each other as role models and caregivers in her life and only say positive and appropriate things about each other in front of her. It's so confusing for her when she hears ugly things about the other parent or other caregivers. I try to make a point of listing for her all the people who love her and celebrate each and every person in her little village. She really is worth whatever pride and hurt feelings we have to put aside to give her an opportunity at a happy, healthy childhood.

Having a moment in Walmart
Ok, end of sermon.

I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday where I really needed a creative outlet... so I tried to restart my bullet journal and I couldn't find any of the things I bought to use with it. I have so many markers and stencils and rolls of washi tape to fancy it up and ... most of them were gone. It's all part and parcel of the fact that I'm living in the guest room and not in the basement because of the water damage. Things are all turned upside down down there and when I went searching on my own I got really upset and discouraged. But more than that... it's just another reminder that my mom isn't here any more. She'd have never let things be like they are. So many of the pens and markers I used were hers and I can't find a lot of them and it just makes me miss her even more. And of course, because I am my mother's daughter, I tried to tidy things up downstairs and hurt my back even more... it's just so frustrating to not be able to do what needs to be done. I physically can't do it myself and I never seem to find the right words to motivate others to do what needs doing without having a total emotional breakdown. So I screamed and hollered like a lunatic and then came back up here to the guest room and sobbed and boohoo'ed on the phone with Marvin for hours.

Anyways... I'm feeling like having a nap so I'll wrap this is. Hope your weekend is going well and I will blog again... soon. Maybe not tomorrow but soon. My blood pressure was perfectly normal today but I forgot to take a picture.... and there are spiders on the front porch. And now you know everything. Love and hugs!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

What I Ate Wednesday - Rico's World Kitchen

A little bit of housekeeping before I tell you about the amazing lunch we had today...

1. Austin survived Warped Tour '18. He made it there and back alive. I did have to wire him money for parking. So... there's that... but he didn't wreck or get lost or get run over on the interstate so... I'm relieved that is over.
2. My doctor's office got the stronger muscle relaxers approved by my insurance (Medicare, in case you're wondering). They are 2mg stronger per pill but SO MUCH STRONGER. I'm really having an adjustment period with this medicine. It does what I need it to do, it's longer lasting because it's a capsule instead of a tablet but it packs a punch. My head is spinning and I took it... four hours ago...
3. Marvin's blood pressure is great! If they could just get mine sorted out...

chicharrones - you must try them!
Now on to what I ate today! As I've previously mentioned, Marvin has taken a Tuesday night trivia show (Mellow Mushroom in Sandy Springs, go see him! He's so much fun!) which means we've changed "date night" (which truly consists of about a 48 hour time period) from Tuesday night to Wednesday lunch. In making that change we decided we wanted to have some culinary adventures in this thriving metropolis that he calls home (I'm too far North to truly be considered an Atlantan myself). Last week we went to The Vortex in the quirky Little Five Points neighborhood in Atlanta and I had a plain burger. I'm fun like that. This week he tasked me with planning our adventure and we went to... a place we go to a lot, Rico's World Kitchen

Here's the process.  Bear with me.

  • I wanted to do something REALLY different, like a cuisine I've never had before like... Korean or.. Bangladeshi. (for real, there's a Bangladeshi restaurant not too far). I've done a ridiculous amount of research on restaurants in reasonable driving distance with a reasonably priced menu where we could experiment a bit. 
  • New adventures are fun and exciting and good blog fodder but the bottom line is that we're just two fat kids who like to eat. 
  • We really, REALLY love Rico's World Kitchen in Buford, Georgia. It is always, consistently, no matter what we order, a great meal. 
  • Rico's offers some very creative lunch specials which you can find on their Facebook page every day. 
  • It's standard practice for us to check Rico's specials before committing to any other restaurant. They're our first choice, every time. 
  • Today Rico's had a Surf and Turf Benedict with English Muffins topped with Caper Horseradish Mayo, Sliced Beef Tenderloin, Smoked Salmon, Poached Eggs and Hollandaise Sauce for $12 on their lunch specials. We had to try it. 
  • Because Rico's other two specials today were... ok, decent, better than what you'd probably get anywhere else for the price but not something we HAD to have - we decided to split the special and add three appetizers. We're crazy like that. Correction - Marvin's crazy like that. Heather would have ordered the burger, which was one of the specials today. In my defense, though, it was their house ground brisket, chuck and pork belly burger - not just a burger- but we had burgers last week. 

Surf and Turf Benedict
And ultimately, today's lunch would rate among the best we've had together. Here's why (another list)

  • Claire, the waitress has a cute butt. Just kidding. I mean, she does have a cute butt but the main thing is that she's one that remembers your drink orders and keeps your glass refilled and waves at you when you walk in. It's the attitude and friendliness of the place. We didn't get Claire today and, true to form, whenever I'm reviewing a place for my blog, the drink refills are slower than we'd like. It's the blog curse. However, by and large, the staff is friendly and attentive and welcoming. We've never had to wait long to be seated but that is probably more about our sense of timing. It's not a huge place but the food comes quickly when you order. You can linger (as we sometimes do) or get in and out quickly, if you need to.
  • It was pouring rain but I have a handicapped tag and that was the ONLY parking place left open on the lot. There is nearby (free) parking a short walk away - the same block, essentially - but it was raining so getting the parking spot was a good omen. 
  • I've been meaning to try their chicharrones (pork rinds) for awhile and today I finally did. I'm obsessed. We got a generous cone of them for $4.50. They were served with a clear dipping sauce that looked like water but guess what? It was vinegar and it was amazing. I will never eat pork rinds without vinegar again. It made them crackle and crunch like pop rocks or rice crispies! They're seasoned with the blackening seasoning which was not too spicy for me and I'm a wimp so, you can handle it, I'm sure.
  • The chicharrones were so good that, as I previously mentioned, Marvin suggested a three appetizer + one entree meal and it was perfect for us! Our other two apps were fried green tomatoes - among the best I've had anywhere and I'm sort of an expert on these things - and lumpia - Filipino egg rolls. I don't remember the price of the lumpia but I know the fried green tomatoes are $4.50. You can't even get them that cheap at Captain D's. 
  • The food is always consistently amazing at Rico's but one of Marvin's favorite things about them is that they carry Cheerwine. It's a North Carolina thing. It's a soda that tastes like somewhere between cherry coke and dr. pepper. I like Cheerwine just fine but carbonation gives me gas so I usually stick with my sweet tea - and their's is solid. 
  • Rico's can be pricey for dinner but their lunch specials, especially when shared, are reasonable. I think our total bill today, even with the three appetizers and two drinks was around $30 (it wasn't my turn to pay so I'm not certain). It's a really good, filling meal with quality ingredients that feels like a real treat for a decent price. 
  • We ate until we were both full and then rolled out of there fat and happy. 

fried green tomatoes
The only thing I could say negative about Rico's is that the noise level is higher than I like. It's an open space, a converted service station and there isn't much to muffle the sound - no carpeting, booths, etc. Today we were seated in sort of a middle table and it was louder than I like but... still a great choice for lunch!

I made the link really big earlier in this post so you can see it and click it and see what I'm talking about. Rico's is definitely worth the drive if you're in the Atlanta area and if you can get away during lunch, it's a great, affordable, culinary adventure!

We eat out at least once, usually twice a week so we are still planning to try Korean soon. Any suggestions on what to order that is good but not too spicy? Any restaurant recommendations - either actual restaurant or just cuisine in general? Let me know and I'll blog about it when we go!

It's storming badly so I need to get disconnected from this electrical device in my lap. Thanks for stopping by! Love and hugs, y'all!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Two Bad Things, One Great Thing

Happy Monday, Friends! I know you all look forward to an exciting list of Reasons To Love Monday from me every week but this week I'm just not feeling it. That doesn't mean there won't be exciting things happening this week... no, not at all. It just means there's more floating around in my head than a simple list of pleasures for the week.

First... and I know you're sick to death of hearing it... but I'm just in too much freaking pain to focus on frivolity. It stinks. It's not getting better. Changing my muscle relaxer prescription amped up my pain number (although I consider the whole concept of assigning a random numerical value to pain absolutely ridiculous... how bad does it hurt? Bad enough that I want to rip down your stupid little chart with faces varying from smiling to crying and throw it in the trash... Bad enough that I want to break into a pharmacy and steal every single pain medication they have... you want a number? The number is 2 million, seven hundred and eighty three thousand, nine hundred and seventeen. It's bullsh*t. That's my pain number.) ... and then you add that to the blood pressure that seems to defy gravity and anything else meant to bring it down... and I just don't feel like looking on the bright side at the moment. That doesn't mean that I'm suicidal... or homicidal... or truly considering armed robbery. I'm just saying that it's impossible for me to articulate how frustrating it is to go through a few consecutive weeks of unrelenting pain and feeling yucky. Usually it eases up from time to time. Lately, it's not easing up. I'm tired of hearing myself say that I'm tired. I know that everyone who comes in contact with me knows I'm in pain. I'm becoming redundant. I'm tired of hurting, I'm tired of being hot, I'm tired of a blood pressure that will not go down even when I make a concerted effort to eat responsibly and rest. Right now, it sucks to be in this body. And as much as I'm looking forward to my spa night this week... and whatever culinary adventure Marvin and I have coming up this week... it doesn't make feeling this crappy feel any less crappy. In fact, I feel horrible for not being able to be more excited about the things coming up this week because I do have a lot of good in my life.

Next... and I realize that I'm unintentionally making a list... Austin is sowing some wild oats this week and heading into civilization for a music thing... concert/festival of some sort and I'm not happy with it. I know that he's 24 and an adult and responsible for himself but he's biting off more than he can chew in driving places he's never been and I've worried myself so sick about all the things that can possibly go wrong. He won't listen to me. He thinks I'm underestimating his driving abilities but truly, I'm just far more aware of the hazards of driving in Atlanta than he is. Honestly, I want him to be independent. I'm tired of raising him. I'm happy that he's happy and in a solid, mature, loving relationship. I don't begrudge him going off to enjoy the music that he enjoys. I just know what he doesn't know and as far as I'm concerned, him driving down to the Lakewood Ampitheater tomorrow equals me not ever seeing him again. I'm that concerned about it. The thing is... my friend Susie failed her drivers license exam on her sixteenth birthday and the very next day when she retook it and passed, we all piled into her car and drove around I-285 to Six Flags and if my parents were concerned about our safety, I certainly don't remember it being an issue. I KNOW we DID IT and survived. Austin is a country kid and has learned to drive on two lane country roads. Things like merging and bumper to bumper traffic and being passed by a tractor trailer doing 80 miles an hour two inches away from you are absolutely foreign to him. He says he's going back roads. I picture him running out of gas or getting lost. I picture him doing something stupid and mouthing off to the wrong person and winding up on the news. I imagine him as a statistic. I imagine Cosy without a dad. I imagine me driving all over Atlanta trying to find him when we lose contact with him because his phone goes dead and he forgets his charger and gets lost and can't use his GPS and... see where I'm going with this? Maybe I'm overreacting, maybe I need to do a better job of letting go. Ryan was driving a truck pulling a trailer in rush hour traffic in Dallas when he was 17 and it didn't phase me. Austin just doesn't have the same skill set. And the more I try to talk him out of it, the more determined he is to go. Not helping the blood pressure.

Other than those two items... I'm excited about the week ahead. Last week my time with Marvin was cut short and I'm bound and determined to be his Siamese twin this week. (I can picture his face as he reads this... cringing at the thought of me being all up in his business! He's all for quality time together but also, a fan of person space.) He just put in for vacation time for next year for Mardi Gras and I'm so freaking exciting that I could dance a jig... if I could dance a jig. We've been dreaming about Mardi Gras since the day we left New Orleans in January and for him to have actually taken those days off makes it REAL! We're planning ahead, picking out which parades we want to attend, doing our research... saving money (or trying to). We had about two and a half months worth of planning that went into our last trip to New Orleans but this gives us about seven months to really sort out all the details. I'm ... insert all the words that mean excited ... to plan our costumes, places we want to eat, things we want to do, parades to attend... gotta make sure our room at Purple Michael's is reserved... Laissez le bon temps rouler! I knew nothing about New Orleans before the first trip but now... I'm obsessed with the culture and the food and the history and all that is involved in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Purple Michael being there is just the baby in the king cake, so to speak... you know, like the cherry on the sundae? I'm just delighted to have this to look forward to. I feel like planning for our first trip to New Orleans really got Marvin and I through the worst of our grief over losing my mom and his son. We're approaching the one year anniversary of those events and I am happy to have this distraction... but even more... just happy that he and I have this bond together, that we have a joint love for this city. It's just good stuff.

I'm hoping to have some time with my favorite little girl tomorrow. I'm not going to push myself. If the bp is high, I'm just going to rest. I've been resting all day today. I don't go to Marvin's until Wednesday morning so tomorrow could be another solid day of chill for me. It really depends on how I feel tomorrow, how well I sleep tonight, etc. She really brings me so much joy but... she's three. It's a toss up on whether I'm going to get a sweet, cuddly, adorable little princess or Emo Cosy who cries over whether or not I made her chocolate milk in the right cup and stirred it with the right spoon and carried it properly and ... you know, three.

And I guess that tells you how my Monday is going. Two frustrating things, one really good thing. Lots of reasons to keep moving forward, even when it hurts. I hope your week is off to a great start and I hope your good news outweighs your bad and that there are lots of wonderful things to help you face whatever is getting you down today. Love and hugs, y'all!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

All The Things You Missed / Photo Dump

When we last left this story, I was tucked away at Marvin's enjoying our time together and planning another luxurious day with him including spa night and then... Tasha had to have an emergency appendectomy. Here's how my Nana brain works: Mama is in the hospital, Grandma and Papa are with Mama that leaves Daddy and ... Daddy's team to take care of baby girl. While I know that Austin is a good dad, I know his patience has a limit and I knew that when they dropped Cosy off, she was a little out of sorts about what was going on with mommy. So I cut my time with Marvin short and went back to help with Cosy. It ended up being a good thing because she got really emotional at bedtime and needed lots of Nana cuddles to settle down.

Have you slept with a three year old? I can't understand how someone so small can take up so much space! She did finally go to sleep and I finally got some sleep but it wasn't my normal rest and it certainly wasn't a night at Marvin's. Then Friday morning I had a doctor's appointment in Gainesville and of course, everyone else has to work so it was just me and my chickadee (gosh, she really hates it when I call her that... I can call her anything else - Princess, Monkey, etc... but if I call her "chickadee" she says, "I'm called Cosy"). My back is still not good and I'm trying so hard not to pick her up but sometimes when she's doing things in her own time, it's easier to just pick her up and move her rather than trying to convince her to move herself. I had several errands to run Friday and eventually mom was released from the hospital (she's fine) and Grandma came to pick up Cosy. I was absolutely wiped out and just rested the rest of Friday.

Then Saturday Oliver and Cody were coming up so I wanted to have Cosy come over. It's a lot of work, especially when I'm tired, to wrangle two three year olds. I mean, Cody is always there but I'm not a sit in a rocking chair and observe kind of Nana. I'm down on the floor with them, up and down the stairs with them, jumping on the bed... ok, I don't really jump on the bed. It is really important to me that Oliver and Cosy have a close bond. They may very well both end up as only children so it's important to me that they have each other. They definitely are thick as thieves when they're together... it requires a little refereeing with them from time to time but they definitely love each other.

at the dr with Nana
feeling artistic
 Backing up a bit in time... on Thursday night Oliver Facetimed while Cosy was with me and she just took over my phone and carried on her own little conversation with him, showing him the dog and the cat and toys and chatting away to him... giggling at how silly he is... it was the most complete conversation the two of them have ever had and it just melted my Nana heart into a little puddle. This is what I'm after with them! So although I was way too tired Saturday, I wanted Cosy and Oliver to be able to spend time together so I rallied. Tasha's parents had a church thing to do that was easier to do without Cosy anyways so it just made sense for her to hang out with me. BUT MAN... when everyone went home, I crashed so hard! Austin's girlfriend Jessi hung out with me for a little while and then I said, "I'm really going to need a nap... " and she went and took one too, I think.

2018 is the summer of swimming in buckets

So basically what I'm saying is that I've just been either ON DUTY or RECOVERING continuously since my last blog post. I'm also on a new kind of muscle relaxer and it's making me feel really doped up. The other one made me sleepy but I was used to it and at the very least, it worked great. They just needed to increase the dosage of the one I was on and it requires a lot of documentation because it's strong stuff - usually given with things like muscular dystrophy and other muscle wasting kind of disorders. That's how bad my muscle spasms are... anyways... we needed more documentation for the insurance to cover it so they have me on a different kind in the meantime and... I just don't know that it's going to work. I feel drugged up and it doesn't work as well.

Saturday Morning BP
And my blood pressure is still high. Today it's 165/105 and I feel horrible from it. I have an appointment for a follow up in three weeks. I can call in the meantime and they'll probably do what they did when I called a few weeks ago - adjust medication - but I really just need a good sit down with the doctor and a discussion on the next level of intervention because what we're doing isn't working. The thing is... as long as it's hot outside, I don't care to do anything that involves leaving my air-conditioned space.

Marvin and I did have a nice lunch date on Thursday before I came back home. We went out for Italian at this place called Biba's near his house. I had the chicken parmesan... he had some kind of chicken pasta special and we had fried calamari. Other than that I'm eating healthy (ha!). It was enough food that it fed me for lunch that day, Austin and Jessi for dinner that night and me for dinner the next night. I'm picking our big adventure lunch date for next week and I have NO IDEA what I want to do. So Atlanta area folks, give me some suggestions for a fun lunch date restaurant that you might like to have me review for you next week.

fried calamari
chicken parmesan

In other news... Pop is doing the show Sweet Charity in Habersham County and I think he's having fun. He's had a bad cough/cold over the past week that has really sidelined him. I've been trying to get him to go get an antibiotic and he's been... totally ignoring me. Even Cosy, when she heard him coughing early on Friday morning said, "Awww... Pop will be ok...". Bless her sweet little heart... when the nurse at my doctor's office told her Friday morning, "I hope your mommy feels better soon... " Cosy just looked at her and shook her head and said, "Poor Mommy...." she's such a little mother.

Hugging/Wrestling... who knows?
He has a mouthful of popcorn

And... I think that's it. I'm going to include some photos and leave it here for now. I'm not trying to be a bad blogger... I'm just too tired for intelligent thought. Hope you've had a great weekend! Love and hugs!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

What I Ate Wednesday - The Vortex

Man... I can't even begin to tell you what a disappointment I have been to myself today. I went to the coolest burger restaurant in Atlanta and ordered a plain burger. Then I wrote this awesome blog post telling you all about it and it didn't save so I lost it. I am just not as funny on the second take. It's improv or nothing here. So... *deep sigh* let me tell you all about where we went for our lunch date today and I'll pretend like it's the first time I've told you ... and you pretend like this is an interesting blog post, ok?

TODAY we went to the coolest little bar (restaurant but... really it's a bar, you can't get in if you're under 21), The Vortex, in the coolest part of Atlanta, Little Five Points. You can learn more about Little Five Points by checking out their website at and you can drool over the Vortex menu here - 

Here's the thing... my memory is not good lately. I don't know if it's age, or high blood pressure, or grief (because hey... still going through that,  ya know) or the multitude of medications I'm on... whatever... the truth is that I can't remember anything from one day to another. And although Marvin and I had planned this little adventure today, I had zero recollection of it. I knew we talked about going somewhere but I didn't have a clue where it was. So... instead of sliding into our seats all studied up on the menu, I was completely blank. No idea. Then Marvin throws a curve ball at me, "you have to order a burger because that's what they do here..." and I was all deer in the headlights, the menu you might as well have been in Korean. He suggested an appetizer and I looked at it and... all the words with all the ingredients and...OMG! So I missed out on the mac and cheesy changa because this menu description...

We fill a flour tortilla with macaroni ‘n’ cheese and barbecued pulled pork, and wrap it up like a burrito. Then we deep-fry it, slice it into four pieces, top it with a drizzle of our famous cheesy-cheese goo, and serve it with a side of spicy honey BBQ sauce. It’s like a whole damn barbecue is happening inside your mouth. 

freaked me out. Then every burger I thought about getting involved mushrooms, which I love but Marvin is allergic to so I thought... geez... if I eat mushrooms he won't be able to kiss me until I go home and brush my teeth but... as he pointed out later, it's not like we randomly make out in the middle of a restaurant in the middle of the day. We're not huge pda people. I mean, yeah, he'll randomly stop short (Seinfeld reference) but... I could  have had the burgers with the mushrooms and been ok without making out until we got back to his house. Instead, I looked at that fabulous menu and said, "I'll have the plain burger, please". *eyeroll*

Now to be fair, it was a great burger and I doctored it up just like I like it with the onion (obviously, no kissing after that, right?) and A-1 and mayo and mustard. The fries were ok. I wish we had ordered different side dishes just for a little mix and match. They had fried plantains and I'm a fan, that would have given me a little something extra to talk about with you today but, plain Jane, it was.

Marvin did a lot better. He ordered the Pickle Rick burger which came with fried pickle spears, pimento cheese, bacon... he had a lot going on. My picture isn't great because I turned off the flash... Heather and Technology - a great team today, I'm tellin' ya! So really, this What I Ate Wednesday inaugural post is more about what I would order the NEXT TIME we go to The Vortex instead of what I ate today. Next time, I'm thinking about the nachos. They have a lot of options. If I went for another burger, I'm thinking the Alpine Steakhouse burger.

I did really enjoy my burger, despite being disappointed in my inability to make decisions. I loved going down to the city. Little Five Points is just past the area of Atlanta where my parents grew up - Briarcliff Rd for my mom, Druid Hills for my dad, if you're wondering. My dad will correct me on this I'm pretty sure. But we definitely were right there near where their life together started and I caught myself thinking, "I need to call my mom and ask her exactly where Merry Lane is..." because
after a year, I still sometimes forget I can't just call her. That took a turn.

At any rate... good news! Cosy was wearing my Cosette ring in the car when we left Oliver's house on Saturday. She loves it and knows it says her name but she also knows she can't have it until she's big enough to not lose it. And of course, she fell asleep with it on and it fell off and we picked the car apart on Saturday in the god-awful heat trying to find that ring and could not find it. I told Marvin not to take anything out of the back seat before I could go through it again myself and then today, right there on the hump behind the console, under a water bottle that was... don't ask me how... laying right there without moving even after all the driving he's done since Saturday... under that water bottle was my little Cosette ring and now my finger doesn't feel naked.

This time around isn't as good as the first time I wrote this post but... as I tell my grandkids, you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. I'm sure we'll eat again tomorrow and I'll try again. Love and hugs and thanks for stopping by!