My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

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!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Adventures with Cosy and Oliver


Back update: no improvement. I see the doctor on Friday. I am having a hard time sleeping even while taking ambien. The pain breaks through. I haven't checked my bp today.

Next order of business: the beginning of "date night" (and day and night and day) has been moved from Tuesday evening to Wednesday lunch date (and night and day and night). Don't want y'all to be disappointed when I don't check in from some place fabulous tonight... just know that I'll check in from some place fabulous tomorrow and then tomorrow night I'll have a fabulous What I Ate Wednesday post telling you ALL about it! (Well, all about the food anyways... *wink*)

I picked Cosy up this morning about 8:30 (in the car, I don't mean that I physically lifted her) and brought her to my house. She stayed and played a bit. She and her dad made a donut run... and then they took Jessi to work... and in between we played with beads and bubbles and used the bug zapper. She is addicted to these moronic toy opening videos on YouTube and I had reached saturation point today so I changed it to the Wizard of Oz in hopes of creating a new, much better obsession. Cosy loves to sing. She will sing "the itsy bitsy spider" with me as many times as I will. I'm out of breath and sweating and having a full on cardio workout from helping that spider crawl up the water spout a gazillion times and she's clapping her hands and saying, "AGAIN! AGAIN!!!". SOOOO... I thought, as long as I'm singing along and being animated, she might just be ready for the Wizard and YES, it worked! She did ask a few times to change it to her thing but I said, "let's just see if that Wicked Witch comes back...." and I did the evil laugh with her and... I'm not saying she's asking to be Dorothy for Halloween but she's definitely following the yellow brick road.

I have so much work to do with this one to fully indoctrinate her into loving musical theater. There are so many alternatives out there. She is a country girl, after all... but her name is Cosette and it would be a shame for that name to never been listed in a Playbill somewhere... is there any better name for a musical theater geek?

I digress. Austin carried down the laundry for me and Cosy helped me load the washer. This is one of her favorite things... watching my clothes take a bubble bath... see how even laundry becomes fun when you're looking through the eyes of a child?


I took a lot of pictures of Oliver when we FaceTimed last night. They were outside on his new trampoline so the light was good. He was tired and not Tigger bouncing all over the place like he normally does when we FaceTime, ironically, since he was literally ON A trampoline.... so I was able to get some photos that weren't just blurs. I just can't get over how beautiful he is... that gorgeous curly hair, his big brown eyes... he's so articulate and witty and smart. I had heard that kids who are bi-lingual sometimes have delayed speech but that's not at all the case with Oliver. I also wondered if he would realize that some words are English and some are Spanish because to him, they're all words, right? But we've noticed that he uses the same phrases with the the people he heard them from... and he ends up speaking Spanish with Marquee's family and pretty much just English with me, except for the Spanish phrases I use with him. It's fascinating to watch a little one grow up with two languages from birth.

What else can I tell you about Oliver? He's pretty much potty trained (still working on the poo... he tends to do that when he has his pullup on at night). He loves sports, just like his dad. He loves music and animated stuff and... really, all kinds of things on tv. He loves his cousin Cosy and has endless patience with her when she won't hug him or share toys with him. He will sometimes be an instigator, especially if he thinks he'll get a laugh like when he is persistent with trying to hug her and she is shrieking and pushing him away. We shouldn't laugh but it's just so stinking funny!  I won't make Cosy hug back though because I think it's important to let her know she has ownership of her body and doesn't have to share affection with anyone unless she wants to. (these are things I didn't think about as a parent but I think about now that I'm a Nana and have a lot more time and experience). (also, these are things I think about when raising a girl that never occurred to me when raising boys, which is sad, because boys get abused just as much, if not more than girls).

Oliver is outgoing and friendly and loving and smart... he will have the occasional meltdown as all three year olds do. He is constantly in motion, he mind works overtime. When we FaceTime he always has to know where Cosy is... where is Uncle "Hoggie"?... where is Pop?... where is the cat?... what are you doing? And when we start to say goodbye he will kiss the phone and tell me he loves me. He can show you how many fingers old he is and he can also make the sign for "I love you" in sign language. He is honestly, the most perfect little boy that I could ever imagine and I consider myself an expert on little boys. It's hard not living closer to him because I don't get the one on one time with him that I have with Cosy but we talk on Facetime a couple of times a week and I feel very bonded and connected to him. He has so many people in his life that truly cherish him and I know that he's growing up feeling loved and supported and will be able to do great things because he is loved.

And now... please, God, I'm going to try to catch up on a little sleep because my body needs rest, deep sleep rest, in the worst way. Hope you have a great day and I'll be back again tomorrow night with a restaurant review for What I Ate Wednesday!


Monday, July 23, 2018

Reasons To Love Monday - Oliver's Birthday Party

I couldn't get them both still long enough for a picture... close enough
Happy start of a new week, friends! On Saturday morning I stopped by the Dunkin Donuts to buy a pink donut with sprinkles for my sweet Cosy and an iced coffee with hazelnut flavoring for me... picked up baby girl and headed South to Marvin's. Then we switched Cosy's car seat to his car and loaded up all the things and drove down to Oliver's house in Riverdale for his third birthday party.

Last year due to my mom's illness, I wasn't able to go "down south" for Oliver's party. We held a small one here for him but it's not the same. If I had to drive me and Cosy down... we probably wouldn't have made it this year either. My back is just not good right now. But Marvin was a champ and took the day off so that he could go... and of course, he drove. It was Cosy's longest trip away from home... just 100 miles... she really is a little country girl.

It was hot and humid. We had heavy rain in the morning so the moisture was thick in the air. If you've never been to the Southern United States, you can't really appreciate how thick and heavy the air feels in the Summer. It's pure misery. As usual, I wanted to be where the babies were so I spent a lot of time outside with them. Cody set up the little bounce house that I bought for Oliver's first birthday and the kids jumped until their little heads were soaked with sweat. They played on the swingset, they filled up watering cans with water and poured the water out on ... everything. Although Cosy STILL won't let Oliver hug her, she had a really good time.

I think one of the best things for her on the trip was when Marvin took us to a parking lot near the airport where we could see the planes landing. Cosy was absolutely spellbound by the sight of those huge planes coming down so close. It's just the absolute best to be able to see things through the eyes of a child, isn't it? It doesn't take much to entertain them... bubbles, sidewalk chalk, a watering can with water... I love every minute with them.

Marvin was really good to help me remember not to pick the babies up. He even helped me with a poop situation (Cosy, not mine) by picking her up and laying her on the bed so that I wouldn't have to... and so that the poop wouldn't get everywhere by her climbing up on her own. (Side note - Cosy, if you're a teenager reading this, please don't be mad that I talked about your little poop accident - everyone goes through it when they're just learning to go potty and you did a great job staying dry all day and using a strange potty!) I didn't lift babies but I did stand a lot and ride in the car a lot and carry other - less heavy - things. Honestly, it's so frustrating because it's nearly impossible to not aggravate my back at the moment. Any little movement and I'm just done. Yesterday I did a small little Walmart run and just carrying that little bit up the stairs, etc, had me wrecked. So yesterday and today I'm resting and binge watching the tv series Bones. It's so good! Tomorrow I'll have Cosy for a little while but I'll also be doing a lot of resting. I'm not going to Marvin's until Wednesday morning because he starts his new Tuesday night trivia show this week.


I shared a ton of pictures from Saturday on Facebook but I have probably another couple dozen that I haven't shared. I took a TON of pictures! I wanted to share a few here for those who don't do Facebook or Instagram and also, I wanted to have a few posted here for posterity.

My Reasons To Love Monday this week:
Having two amazing, healthy, beautiful, loving three year old grandchildren who make everything better...
Having a great partner who makes every special occasion so much better
Knowing that we're past the halfway mark on Summer
Being able to take days like yesterday and today to rest. Even though my back hurts, it would be absolutely unbearable if I had to try to work while I'm in so much pain. There's just no way.

I hope your weekend was magical... and that your week is starting off well. Love and hugs, y'all!



Friday, July 20, 2018

Food Friday - The Red Snapper

bread - Red Snapper
I don't know about y'all but Food Friday is one of my favorite features of my blog... but next week it's going away. From Friday. It's going to change from Friday to Wednesday, I mean. Marvin has taken on a new trivia show on Tuesday nights so our Tuesday night date night (and day and night and day) is changing to Wednesday Lunch date day (and night and day and night). We are planning lots of meals around Atlanta and I'm going to be blogging about them on Wednesday night so you get a same day review! And because we're two fat kids who love to eat, there will also be other posts of the places we eat for Thursday lunch... if we go out or cook something at home or whatever. Hopefully... writing the restaurant reviews while I'm still with Marvin, I can get his input on the place so you can get more than just my perspective. I'm really excited that our big date of the week is changing from Tuesday night to Wednesday lunch because I'm always just completely worn out by Tuesday night.

Changing the restaurant review to Wednesday means I'm going to have to come up with a new alliteration for the blog title. That was really my only hesitation with changing it... maybe, What I Ate Wednesday? I don't know. Make suggestions. I'm not as creative as I used to be. I'm over fifty now, you know.

seafood gumbo - Red Snapper
Side note/plug: If you want to check out Marvin's  new trivia show, he is going to be at the Mellow Mushroom in Sandy Springs (I think, if that's not right, I'll let you know before Tuesday) every Tuesday night at 7:30. Marvin will now be doing 4 shows a week. He's at El Real on Wednesday night and two different Johnny's Pizza locations on Thursday and Saturday. I think. If you're interested in going, let me know and I'll get the exact location and times for you. OR, if you want me to tag along, let me know. I mostly don't go because of my back. It's a long night. But also because he's working so I'd be playing alone and it's just not as much fun by yourself. There are a ton of  Team Trivia shows all over the country. Go to to find a location near you. If you go to one of Marvin's shows,  be sure to tell him you read the blog! He also reads here... mostly to see what I say about him (just kidding) (not kidding). Purple Michael does the same thing so if I want to make sure he is reading my blog I need to put Purple Michael in the blog title. I should do that every day for a week... tee hee. Just kidding. Not really.

crab en coquille - Red Snapper
Alright... my Food Friday post this week is kind of special because this was a restaurant that Marvin drives by every week on his way to his Saturday trivia show that he's always wanted to try. He read an article about how certain neighborhoods in Atlanta are changing and how so many special places get phased out by construction. Ever since Sherman came through here, Atlanta has been a city that isn't afraid to change. In some ways that's good but in other ways... we just don't preserve our heritage like we should. Marvin thought it was time for him to finally check out this place he's been past so many times and why not on date night?

The Red Snapper is on Cheshire Bridge Rd in Atlanta. Their website - you can click here to go to it - says that they opened in 1986. It's weird thinking of something established in 1986 as old because that's the year I graduated high school... and had my first kid... and started my first real job... and got married for the first time... not exactly in that same order. It's tucked away in a little strip mall shopping center in a building that has definitely been here for longer than 32 years. Obviously, snapper is their focus but they have a lot of other stuff on the menu.

salmon & scallops - Red Snapper
We were greeted and seated immediately. The atmosphere is definitely dated ... almost to the point of being funky / kitschy / trendy again. We couldn't decide if it fit more in the sixties or seventies - but it was clean and quiet. That's important to me. I hate when the music or conversation in the room is so loud that you can't have a conversation with your dinner partner. Especially on date night, which for us is the first time we've seen each other in several days. I would say that Marvin and I were probably the only people eating there without a senior discount. There were a lot of older folks there and some families that seemed to be having a special meal out. It's in an older neighborhood so I could definitely see it being a place to go to for special occasions.

They bring out some warm bread and butter with your drinks... always a nice touch. We decided to share an appetizer and an entree... this works well for us and allows us to go to places that might be a little too pricey for our budget.  Our appetizer was the crab en coquille... basically little eggrolls made out of phyllo dough, filled with spinach and crabmeat and served with a sauce that we couldn't quite identify. It was sort of a tartar sauce maybe... there was a hint of horseradish and maybe some dijon mustard but it also leaned a little towards ranch. I don't know. It was good. We chose the salmon and scallops for our entree. It came with some veggies and potatoes. The seafood was perfectly seasoned, cooked to perfection and a really nice portion. Even with splitting, it was enough food for us. I was stuffed and Marvin had to coax me into taking an extra bite or two.

Shrimp Fried Rice - Golden Phoenix
The service was perfectly timed, very attentive and friendly. We've had a streak of bad service lately when we go to restaurants that I am planning to review for the blog but I'm happy to say, that streak ended this week.

On Wednesday we went to our favorite little Chinese place by the Publix near Marvin's house. We get the same waitress every time - her name is Margaret. She's really good to us. The food is always good, always a large portion, even for lunch... and I always end up taking home leftovers. Their lunch menu is a good bargain... the bill, including tip, comes in under $20 and I had enough left for dinner Wednesday night.

Thursday we stayed in all day and Marvin heated up a little Bob Evans meal that I had brought for me... and some taquitos (I think) for him. My back has been so bad this week that I didn't want to move... plus, it's just too freaking hot out.

Since it's Food Friday (the last one!) I thought I'd share one of my favorite food bloggers with you today. Teri Turner does the No Crumbs Left blog which is packed with all kinds of recipes and cooking tips. She's big on Whole 30 so if you're on that eating plan or just want to eat a little healthier, she's a great resource but she also does "regular food". I love her Instagram stories - she's on there as nocrumbsleft if you want to check her out. But even if you care not one bit for food blogs or recipe info or that sort of thing, she's just good people. She is genuine and inspirational and I have never left a message or comment without getting a response from her - despite the fact that she has over 200,000 Instagram followers! She's based out of Chicago but travels and posts stuff from other wonderful places and always brings her followers along for the adventure. This is one lady that really brings a lot of positivity to the interwebs and I wanted to share her with you.

shrimp and black bean sauce
Tomorrow is Oliver's third birthday party and so Cosy and I will be heading down to Marvin's first thing in the morning. He has been kind enough to take the day off to drive us down and share Oliver's birthday with us. I will probably not blog about it until Sunday or maybe even Monday, depending on what kind of shape I'm in. The back is a real problem right now. I'm trying really hard not to pick up kids or carry anything at all and I'm resting and stretching and doing all the things but... right now I'm in bad shape. So... I fully anticipate needing a rest day on Sunday but I am SO looking forward to tomorrow! I'm sure I'll post photos on Instagram and Facebook and then I'll share more here when I can. Hope you have a great weekend! Love and hugs!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Throwback Thursday - July 19 or July 20

Welcome to another Throwback Thursday on my blog. It's the day when I look back over this day in my blog history and some clips from this date in years past. Last week there weren't many entries from that day so I skipped it. I'm hoping this week will hold a little more meat, metaphorically speaking. Remember you can click on the underlined link for each day to see the original post.

Not EXACTLY on this day but on July 20, 2015, I posted about how much I was loving my iPhone 6. For those of you who sort of glazed over when I listed the apps I use on my current phone, the iPhone 7, this review of my favorite things on my iPhone 6 might be helpful for you! Most of what I know about how to use my phone I learned either off a YouTube video, from my sons or from Marvin. But Marvin doesn't use an iPhone so he's basically just shared some cool apps with me. I'm so attached to my phone that I fell asleep holding it last week. Marvin took this picture... and oddly enough, I took a picture of my own around the same time. Basically... you can have my phone when you pry it out of my cold, dead fingers. I'm even attempting to swipe something...

Well, apparently I wasn't feeling bloggy on this date in 2014 either but I have a pretty fun question and answer blog on the 20th.  You can check it out here.... and answer any of the questions you'd like to answer yourself down in the comments below or on my Facebook blog post link. The questions were: 1. What's your favorite thing to watch on YouTube 2. Who taught you how to drive 3. What's your favorite thing to cook 4. Are you a hugger or non-hugger 5. Where do you pray best and 6. When's the last time you talked to your grandparents? I think I'm still about the same on all of these. My favorite thing to cook may have slightly changed to this roasted salmon/green beans/tomatoes ... just because it's easier/faster to cook. Just put it all on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season how you like and bake it at 425 for about 20-30 minutes. I like for the green beans to sort of crisp.

Would you believe that there also was no post for this date in 2013? Once again I'm going with a post from the next day, July 20th, which turned out to be an eventful day with a lot of photos. On that day we were moving some things into the mountain house and I took a lot of pictures of how things looked at that time. It makes me homesick for .... well, for the way my basement looked before the water damage and for my mom's presence in the house. It's just not the same without her. I miss our adventures that we had during the first year living up here while Pop was still in Riverdale and mom and I would have to sort things out on our own. We did a pretty good job and managed not to kill ourselves or each other. I didn't know then that we only had a few more Summers together. We were merging stuff from my house with stuff from Grandma's house after we moved her to Assisted Living and of course, things were trickling in from mom and dad's house in Riverdale. It was such a hodgepodge of stuff.

Also no blog post on this day in 2012 so for that year I'm pulling from July 18 to throw back to... at that time I had settled in with my parents in Riverdale (temporarily before we bought the house back up here in Cleveland) and was sort of getting into a routine. I talk about what Austin is doing/not-doing at that point... whew!... I am so glad that season of life with him is over. We still have challenges, almost every day but he's grown to be so much more dependable, stable, cooperative, grateful... many things... that he wasn't at that time. You can click this link right here to see the entire blog post.

Let's see what was happening in 2011... ONCE AGAIN there was no post for July 19th but again... on the 20th... I was talking about my move to the apartment after our duplex got struck by lightning. For three years in a row - 2011, 2012 and 2013 I was dealing with moving on July 20th. So no matter what else is happening on this day this year I am just happy to be settled. I miss my basement for sure, but I'm really, truly, very happy in my Ivory Tower in the guest room on the top floor. It's been a positive change for me and gives me a little more privacy which is an absolute necessity for an introvert.

HEYYYYY! Finally a blog post from July 19th.. this one was in 2010. It was sort of a whiny, "depression session" post talking about how lonely I felt in church as a single woman. It was only about six months later when my back problem reared it's ugly head and I stopped being able to sit for long enough to get through church, especially while I was still working full time. It took every second of my time off to get the inflammation down enough for me to function and... I still hurt constantly.

One last post for this Throwback Thursday and once again, it's not from this date but from the 20th. It had been a really sweet day because Sarabeth had gone forward and joined the church. It was a huge thing because SB was such a shy little girl! She's grown into quite the confident young woman since then and is active in lots of things that bring her joy, such as playing the drums for her high school band. She is still a quiet girl but she is a quiet leader and I know a lot of folks admire her grace and spirituality.

So that's my throwback to the days around this day in my blog history. Why is this day special for you? Share in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by!