Friday, February 22, 2019

Shower the People You Love with Love, Part 2

When you have a daughter who lives nine hours away and you go visit there are a lot of things to do that get crammed into those few days. We were in Nashville for 5 days--2 of those being driving there and back so really three days there-- and had about 10 days worth of plans. Ok, not really ten days worth but it did seem that way.



Especially because there's a wedding in May and DrummerBoy was playing the Ryman (see yesterday's post HERE if you missed it) so we:

  • got people fitted for wedding suits
  • had the wedding dress modeled for us
  • discussed wedding attire 
  • visited the wedding venue and met with the coordinator (a truly lovely girl)
  • attended two nights at the Ryman
  • went cowboy boot hunting
  • ate yummy food at a local dive
  • attended a most delightful engagement party/bridal shower


And this was after we traveled 10 hours with a toddler who got car sick 4 times before we figured out how to help him out. AND we did it all in the incessant rain and do not get me started on the Nashville traffic that adds a good 30 minutes to an hour to everything you need to do on a good day. Seriously, we knew we had arrived in that big, wonderful city when we were suddenly surrounded by a gazillion other cars sitting still on I 40.  


Of course, the good news is you get a picture of the Bat-Man building.



To say people were exhausted is an understatement. To say we had a good time is also an understatement.

When you have adult children, as most of us do, we tend to have a list of 'hopes' we have for their adult lives and one of the top three on my list for my girls is that they have wonderful, supportive, kind-hearted friends and it's even more important to me that NashvilleDaughter have this support system since we live our lives nine hours away from each other (10 when you travel the distance with a car sick toddler).

I've had the privilege to have met a few here and there of her friends and they fit the bill perfectly but, as life tends to move us around, our friends don't always live in the same cities forever. This weekend, I was given the gift of meeting many of NashvilleDaughter and DrummerBoy's local friends and my heart was filled.

I know I do not have to worry about NashvilleDaughter having a support system of friends because y'all, she has the best group of any I've ever known.

And they showered the happy couple with love. There is no doubt how these friends feel.

Good food:


 CAKE!


Gifts--



Good friends, a few words, and a toast to the happy couple---



And the house was gorgeous! It was built in 1910 and I loved every single thing about it. But as nice as the house was, as delicious as the food was, as big and perfect as that cake was none of it compared to the group gathered to celebrate my girl and her love. And see that sweet lady standing beside my girl in that picture above? That's her future MIL and we should all be so lucky to have a MIL who loves us like this sweet lady loves my girl.

This mama misses her sweet daughter every day but I also know I don't have to worry about her. She's strong and independent. She has a man in her life because she wants him not because she needs one. She's smart and loyal. She goes all out for her friends and gives at least 110% to her job. She is talented and creative and not only works full time as an interior architect but also is an entrepreneur. She's sweet and savvy. And she's surrounded by a support system of friends and in-laws that makes all others look weak.

Cheers, my loves! May you always love and be loved. "May you always hold hands, share secret looks, and cultivate a private language that only the two of you can speak. May you always find things to talk about and places to explore, and may you prefer things to be the same level of clean (😂.) May you take turns being strong and weak, keep a secret list of what delights one another, and always have a trick to pull out of your hat. May you find that together, things are easier and more fun and more interesting, and may you always remember what it felt like to fall in love." Emily McDowell.

And that's how we spent three days in Nashville, TN.




AND---

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Shower the People You Love with Love, Part 1

Show them the way that you feel... And that's just what happened this past weekend in Nashville but let's start at the beginning.

DrummerBoy and the boys (The Wild Feathers) have been on tour with The Brothers Osborne (a bit too country for me BUT nominated for the duo of the year CMA!) for quite a few months and we knew they were going to finale with three shows at The Ryman in Nashville so, like all good in-law families, we made plans to go for two of the performances. I know y'all have heard me say this before but honestly if you haven't seen The Wild Feathers in person, you're missing out on seeing/hearing first hand some truly gifted young musicians. They travel all over the US and have been in Canada this time around. You're doing yourselves a disservice if you don't check their website to see if they'll be near you. I promise they are worth the time.

I also promise I'm not just saying this because the drummer will be my son-in-law in May. But I will shamelessly claim how proud I am of him and all the boys in the band. Not just super talented, they are the SWEETEST guys you'll ever meet. Let's just get to the pictures and videos, shall we?

When your uncle is the drummer in a fabulous band and they play at The Ryman, you get a pretty good seat---


You also get to play a keyboard under a photo of June and Johnny Cash...


If you're really, really lucky you go on the night the fiddle player (and she's not just a fiddle player. She's married to Brett (he's the one on the far right in the pictures of the band), mom to their adorable little boy, and the most amazingly talented photographer you've ever seen) is there and you get a lesson---


Here she is on stage. That's her hubby on the right. 



And you learn when you hang with the big dogs, you crash hard---



This is one of my favorite pictures. The boys and their better halves. DrummerBoy and NashvilleDaughter 5th and 6th from the left. LOVE these people.



Ok, ok. I'll stop. I'll just leave these right here for those of you who do not follow me on Facebook or Instagram.






Oh, and one more thing. When you visit friends or family in a city, you have access to the local dives for food. And that's a very good thing, too.




Y'all have heard me go on and on and on about the food in Nashville. I am beginning to believe it is impossible to get bad food there. So freaking delicious every, single, time.

And that's all for part one. Next, a most wonderful shower/engagement party with some of the nicest people on the planet. Stay tuned, y'all!


AND---

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Road Trips, Pets, and the Medley

Happy Hump Day, Y'all! It's been one heck of a week already as I quickly discovered that driving through the night on a return nine-hour road trip takes longer to get over the older we get but I think I'm pretty darn close to 85% so...LOL Let's dig into the Medley, shall we? 


NATIONAL LOVE YOUR PET DAY – February 20

NATIONAL LOVE YOUR PET DAY

On February 20th, pet lovers everywhere observe National Love Your Pet Day.  This holiday is a day set aside to give extra attention to and pamper your pets.  This is a good day to focus on the special relationship that you have with your pets.
Did you know that most households in the United States have at least one pet?  While there are more cats than dogs in the United States, more households have dogs than cats, but not by much. Pets are not limited to the canine and feline categories.  There are quite a few who prefer the companionship of birds, reptiles, fish or rats.  Whoever your pet companion is, we are sure you will enjoy spending a little extra time with them on National Love Your Pet Day and reap the benefits, as well such as stress relief and lower blood pressure.  So on February 20 (and every day) show your appreciation to your pets!
HOW TO OBSERVE
Bring your pet a special treat, take an extra long walk or give them more attention on National Love Your Pet Day.  Whatever you decide to do, spoil and appreciate your pets!  Use #NationalLoveYourPetDay to post on social media.
HISTORY
Within our research, we were unable to identify the creator of National Love Your Pet Day.
1.  Have you ever had a special pet in your life?  I've always had pets in my life and they have always been special. Will you tell us about it? I cannot remember a single time I did not have a pet and they were all so very special to me and just right at the time. My pet right now is Tucker and he's my heart. 

2.  Did you grow up with pets in your home?  Yes. What did it teach you? Having pets taught me I like dogs better than people. I talked to my dogs like I talked to humans but I always knew the dogs understood everything and they always loved me unconditionally. And maybe it taught me how to care for a living thing. 
I know this isn't a question about how talented our pets are but check this out:


3.  Do you ever wonder what animals are thinking? Of course. I try to read their expressions. Like this one which clearly means, No, I am not coming out until the cold and rain go away.   

4.  Sometimes a pet gets out and doesn't return for a few days. What do you think happens to them when they go on a walkabout? Tucker has gotten out three times in his life and all three times a certain man around here left the gate open and I went straight into panic mode. Anyway, Tucker just went running around the neighborhood one of those times and stayed on our road the other two times so that certain man is lucky I let him live because if anything happens to my dog there is going to be trouble. 
5.  With cats and dogs being the most popular pets, what is the most exotic pet you have personal experience with (didn't have to be yours)? Ha! I don't go around 'exotic' pets because exotic to me means something slithery and I hate those things. Unless you want to count a parrot because I have been around one of those before. 
6.  Please tell us something random about your week so far... We just returned from a big trip to Nashville to visit NashvilleDaugher and DrummerBoy. We traveled with a toddler who gets car sick and the trip is nine hours on a good day. Coming home, we drove through the night and sweet Opie slept the entire time! I'm working on two blog posts about our trip that I hope to have up soon! Here's a preview of one of the reasons we went oh, and as usual, pay close attention to the drummer, especially towards the end:

And here's a preview of the other reason:

Have a great rest of the week, y'all!

AND---

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Friday, February 1, 2019

Shoes On, Shoes Off

Is your house shoes on or shoes off indoors? I know there are people who think it's nuts but I have a shoes off inside house and I even have a little heart-shaped sign on the front door informing guests to, "Please remove shoes." Not that everyone pays attention to my little heart-shaped sign but it's there. In plain sight.

My house has been this way for about 30 years now. I'm not a strict enforcer. It's not like I tell people to take their shoes off if they don't. I also do not expect anyone to remove their shoes when I'm hosting an oyster roast or shower or birthday party and there are 20+ people in attendance. Yes, I'm all over the floors when everyone leaves with a good dose of thieves oil cleaner and the steamer but I don't freak out about shoes being worn inside the house. However, being the germaphobe I am, when people do remove their shoes while inside it calms my anxiety about that particular issue. No one in the family wears shoes in the house and they are the most frequent fliers so it works out ok.

I was a bit more insistent when there were babies crawling around on the floors and I really didn't give a hoot what anyone thought about it because the babies come first here. Always have, always will.

Admittedly, there are some whose shoes are probably cleaner than someone's bare feet around here but that's another story altogether. I considered buying a box of little slippers for people to change into but those things were ridiculously expensive so I took a hard pass on that idea (thanks anyway, Martha Stewart.) I don't even want to tell y'all the bacteria that was found on the bottom of shoes by a professor of microbiology and environmental sciences at the University of Arizona but I will---
fecal bacteria (pet waste and splashes from public restroom floors) and E. coli. Those are two types of bacteria I do not care to have on my floors if I can avoid it which I feel I can by being a shoes off indoors person.
This professor also said shoes pick up mold and pollen and with the allergies we have in this family, it's best to keep our shoe wearing outside. 

I do realize there are little organisms on our socks and bare feet as well but not nearly as many as attach to and frolic around on our shoes. And I do believe things can get out of hand when we try to keep our houses sterile which I do not do. But I think keeping the bacterial partiers down to a manageable number or not purposefully increasing their numbers is not a bad thing. It's not like I wrapped the kiddos up in bubbles. And yes, we've had cats and dogs the whole time but my head tells me they don't spread as much nasty as our shoes do and no, it's not science-based it's I'm-keeping-my-dog-and-I'm-taking-my-shoes-off-anyway-so-shut-up based. 😂

It probably helps that it's either hot or super warm most of the year down here in the low-country of SC so we basically kick our shoes off to cool our feet anyway. And there is no carpet in my house so those little icky things can't fester as much. Except when people step on the area rugs. Sigh.

I could be wrong but the bottom line is this, I'm not a shoe person and I prefer dirt to remain outside as much as possible. I'm not anal about the shoes off/shoes on (except with my family) so I won't make you remove your shoes if you come for a visit but I'll appreciate it if you do and I most certainly will leave mine on or take them off according to your preference in your home.

So, tell me friends, what's your take on wearing shoes indoors? Is your home shoes on or shoes off?



AND---

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Seizing the Medley

Can y'all even believe January is almost over? I thought the month was going nice and slow but here we are at the end and BOOM! January is gone. I know some of you will be glad of this but, since we've had hardly any winter weather, I am not happy to see a winter month go away. The good news is we have a fun way to keep our spirits up!

Here's the medley of questions Terri gave us this week to answer. Won't you come and join us this week?



1.  Well, I do love croissants when they are fresh, but day-old croissants need to be turned into a donut.  I happen to really like the croissants that have a donut-like glaze on them!  Sugar overload but so good.  So... do you like croissants?  What is your favorite way to eat them? I like croissants but I rarely eat them because I just don't think about them unless I see them in a bakery or the bakery area of Whole Foods. I've had them with chicken salad and I liked how light it was allowing the flavors of the chicken salad to be prominent and I've had them with butter which was delicious, too.  
2.  Speaking of food... How do you handle stress? Most of the time I go into a mood which is almost always followed up by a bit of a tizzy and it is always good to run for your lives if you know I'm stressed. 
3.  Out of the negative emotions of greed, anger, jealousy, and hate, which one would you say affects you the most? Anger but not as much as it used to when I was younger. Nowadays, I have a more healthy, very controlled anger that stirs over more things such as injustice though I will say if it's something I am quite passionate about my tone might get raised and sharp... Back in the day, my anger was more akin to not getting my way. If I don't get my way now I just take it instead of getting angry about it. Bah! 
4.  Out of the positive emotions of compassion, positivity, enthusiasm, and initiative, which one is your biggest strength? Compassion without a doubt. No, enthusiasm. Wait, I am good at taking the initiative. And I am working on increasing my positivity. Hang on...I asked the lovelies and got back compassion and initiative; compassion and initiative; enthusiasm and initiative; enthusiasm; but it seems initiative was included in 3 of the 4 so, let's go with initiative. Although, they probably mean bossy. Or control freak. Bahahaha! 
5.  What do you get every time you go grocery shopping, other than the staples such as bread, milk, butter, flour, sugar... Fresh fruit and the type changes depending on my current fruit mood which, right now, is cherries. 
6.  Please tell us something random about your week so far. The weather has finally won. I am sick. I knew this crazy hotcoldhotcold was going to knock me down because of my allergies and it happened Monday night. I have a bad case of hayfever. UGH. How do I look at it in a positive way? I have medicine to take, hot tea with lemon, honey, and brandy to drink, a warm house to rest in... Oh, and it's not -45 like it is in Minnesota because let's be real, there is such a thing as TOO cold! hahaha! 
Have a wonderful rest of the week, y'all!
AND---

Please remember to visit CoasterDoodles! 

Y'all can find us on Facebook and 
Instagram (@coasterdoodlessc) and

Use THIS LINK or the code: EMPTYNEST 
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