Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Obssession

I'm not a big snacker.  I try to eat at mealtimes and not between.  However, sometimes my lunch is light and my dinner is going to be late so I have a snack in between.
 
My latest snack obsession:  Snyder's Butter Snaps and whipped cream cheese.

Snyder's Butter Snaps are buttery, salty, waffle-shaped pretzels that are delicious on their own.  But... when you dip them into whipped cream cheese the result is nothing short of sheer heaven!

Try it and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

Weekend recap

Wow, what a fun, full weekend!

On Fri evening Steven & Thad and Spouse & I met up with my new friends Charles & John for dinner at Dos Locos.  I met Charles & John (who live in Philly) a few weeks ago after my show at the Blue Moon.  As usual our food was great and the atmosphere was fun. 
While my Blood Orange Margarita looks huge in this photo, its really just a medium
After dinner the 6 of us stopped in at the Blue Moon and caught the last few minutes of their drag show, then hung out on the patio and talked.  The weather was really nice.  We got home at midnight.

On Sat I worked until 3:30, then went home to change clothes and pick up Spouse.  We went to a cocktail party at Deb & Greer's house.  Their friend Paul is a chef and gave them the cocktail party as a gift.  There were lots of yummy appetizers and desserts and we had fun visiting with everyone there.  We went home to change clothes again and rest a bit, then went to our friend Tim's 60th birthday dinner at Touch of Italy, an Italian restaurant.
There were 11 of us there, including Steven & Thad, and a friend from Tim's childhood.  The food was delicious and everybody had a good time.
Tim & Michael
After dinner Steven & Thad and Spouse & I met up again with our friends from Philly Charles & John at Aqua, a bar with a large patio area.  As soon as we walked in we saw our newlywed friends Kevin & Jason, so we introduced them to Charles & John and we all hung out.  The weather was terrific so we really enjoyed being outdoors.  We didn't get home until 1am.

Sun was part 2 of Tim's birthday celebration, which included a BBQ lunch at the beach.  He had reserved the pavilion which has picnic tables, a grill and electricity.  We had a great lunch which included hotdogs, hamburgers, barbecued chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad, and various beverage options.  Since Tim is a retired teacher he always includes jeopardy-style games in every party or gathering so we had fun with those, too.  Steven & Thad offered to bring the cake:
Notice the creative spelling of Tim's name  ;-)
When we got home I took the dogs for a walk and Spouse took a nap.  Later we met up with Steven & Thad again for an easy dinner and then watched some of the Emmys.

Whew... I'm exhausted just retelling this!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Impromptu trip to VA

Spouse & I decided to make an impromptu trip to VA yesterday.

Originally Spouse was going to go by himself, leaving in the morning and returning home the same day.  He wanted to see his mom's new space since she moved into a senior living center.

However, late Sun evening we learned that our dear friend George had passed away that day.  He was 87 and had cancer.  Spouse & I both felt like we should go to see George's daughters so we quickly decided that we'd both go to VA and would see his mom on Tues, stay overnight at his sister's, and visit with George's daughters Kerry, Kelly, and Kimberly on Wed.

We brought the dogs with us since they travel so well and Spouse's sister no longer has a dog.  Spouse & I went to lunch with his sister, then the 3 of us went over to the senior living center.  At first we couldn't find Spouse's mom!  We checked her apartment, the dining area, and the common TV area but she was nowhere to be found.  One of the employees suggested she might be out in the back yard with her dog so we finally found her there.  She had gotten her hair done at the on-site salon and then came outside so her dog Romeo (who has now become the 'house dog') could enjoy some time outdoors.  
Spouse's mom and sister
This is not a very good photo of either of them.  Both are usually smiling but in this photo they aren't.  I couldn't see the photo very well after taking it so I didn't realize it wasn't very good.  While sitting outside we also met Spouse's mom's new friend Betty who has an adorable little long-haired Chihuahua named Dusty.
Dusty
Dusty is a tiny little thing; only about 3 or 4 pounds and as sweet as can be.  He let me pick him up and hold him, and after softly stroking his head and neck he leaned up and gave me 'kisses' on my chin!  Once we'd left the senior living center I said to Spouse "I wonder if I can get Betty to leave Dusty to me in her will".  He told me I was terrible. 

We hung out a Spouse's sister's house for a few hours then went back to see his mom again after she'd had her dinner.  Her space is very nice with a good sized bedroom, private bath, den/TV room, and a kitchenette.  She really likes it there which is a relief.  After our 2nd visit we picked up Spouse's sister and her husband and the 4 of us had delicious Thai food.

Today we met up with our dear friends Kerry, Kelly, and Kimberly for a late breakfast.  It was really good to see them and talk about the recent changes in our lives.  We'd not had a chance to tell them about Spouse's mom's move, and they'd not had a chance to share with us the circumstances around George's decision not to receive cancer treatment.  But the general mood and disposition was upbeat and positive.  We laughed a lot and really, really appreciated our friendship.  I don't know who needed the visit more, them or us.  I can't believe I didn't take a photo of the 5 of us.

Once we said our goodbyes we returned to Spouse's sister's house and visited for a little, then grabbed our overnight bag and the dogs and headed back to DE.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Wedding

Tonight we went to our friends' Jason & Kevin's wedding!  They met 6 years ago this month and got married in their front yard.  After the short but sweet ceremony, everyone carried their chair from the front yard to the side yard where a long dinner table was set, which you can see in the left side of this photo.
The happy grooms
The food was inside so everyone made a plate and brought it to the table outside to eat and converse.  Of course no occasion would be complete without a selfie!
Spouse & I take a selfie with the grooms
 A professional photographer took the photo below which absolutely captures the personalities of these 2 fine men.
I love this photo!
While the weather wasn't ideal for an outdoor wedding (93 degrees and humid!) everyone had a wonderful time.  Lots of love, laughter and joy.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Labor Day weekend

Happy Labor Day!  

I hope you are enjoying a 3-day weekend.  Since I'm a realtor and typically work on most weekends, there is no such thing as a 3-day weekend unless I request to be off.  Our friends Mike & Clark planned to spend the long holiday weekend with us so I requested to be off, but due to the death of a friend, they cancelled their visit.  But I kept my 3-day holiday weekend off work anyway.

Unfortunately weather was rather iffy/unpredictable due to tropical storm Hermine.  Our area was told to 'batten down the hatches' and prepare for heavy wind and rain.  But it turned into a big toodoo about nothing.  Sat morning it rained for about an hour and it was breezy, and that was it!  The rest of the weekend it was partly cloudy and partly sunny at times, but no more rain.

My Elton John wig, glasses, and tips
Sat night I performed as Elton John in the last Legends show of the summer season.  Typically the show's introduction includes a notice that the performers do not accept tips during the show, but will be available for photos and tips immediately after the show's conclusion.  But since it was the last show of the summer season the owner decided NOT to make that announcement and instead told us performers that we could accept tips during the show as long as we did not compromise our impersonations.  I'm not sure if the audience was feeling especially generous or if I 'pulled out all the stops' in my performance, but I was shocked at the tips.  I received at $20 bill from someone!!  After the show I had lots of fun greeting the patrons, posing for photos, and talking to the folks about where they live.  There was a bachelorette party there, which can be good or bad.  When its bad the women are drunk and sloppy and loud.  But on Sat it was good and the young women were ladies.

On Sun Spouse & I had breakfast with Steven & Thad, then stopped at the grocery store on the way
Thad's custom cake
home to pick up a few things.  Later that evening Steven & Thad and Joe P came over to celebrate Thad's birthday.  The weather was pleasant so we had dinner on the screened porch.  Thad came up with this special menu of things he'd been craving, so Spouse made exactly what he wanted.  Homemade meatballs in sauce, homemade potato salad, an orange-flavored cake with the center hollowed out and filled with chocolate mousse and covered in butter cream icing, and rosemary mint lemonade.  We also had rolls so Spouse and Steven made meatball sandwiches with them.  Everything was very tasty, we had candles and lanterns lit and music playing.  We had a nice time.


Today was very low-key.  I did a little bit of laundry (even though you're supposed to rest from your labors on Labor Day), took the dogs for a walk, watched some TV, and poked around on Facebook.  While it wasn't the Labor Day weekend I was expecting, it was a pleasant one none-the-less.


What did YOU do this weekend?

Friday, September 02, 2016

Haircut

In past photos here you may have noticed my haircut.  Its called a disconnected undercut.  Awhile back I wrote about how I expected it to look once the top grew out several inches, and shared photos of celebrities and other hot guys with this haircut.
This is me at a work training
Unfortunately, despite my patience in letting the top of my hair grow, I could never get the look I wanted.  I determined that my hair is too wavy, and although I was able to tame the waves with lots and lots of heavy hair products, it was difficult to keep it that way.  Summer humidity was constantly trying to coax the waves back, and you don't even WANT to know what I looked like after riding in the convertible with the top down.

Occasionally I would pull my hair into what I called a "Samurai knot", and while I felt cool like a hipster, it didn't seem quite right for work.
Samurai knot
My outspoken friend Thad recognized that my disconnected undercut and Samurai knot were hip and contemporary, but said they belonged on someone half my age.  

Gulp.

But that's not the reason I cut my hair.  I cut it because I was spending way too much time and energy on my hair style.

So my new style is similar to a pompadour; close on the sides and back, longer on the top.

So this is me now.  Who knows how long I'll keep this look, but for sure its easier to take care of and more 'forgiving' than before.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Miss Richfield 1981!!

On Mon night Steven & Thad and Joe P and I went to see Miss Richfield 1981!

If you've never seen her show, shame on you!  But surely you know her from her Orbitz commercials, her Philadelphia Tourism commercial or possibly her TV appearance on Cake Boss.  One thing is for sure:  Miss Richfield 1981 is hilarious!!!!

Something I truly respect and admire about Miss Richfield 1981 is that much of her shows' content is improvised.  Oh sure, anybody can be funny if they memorize a script they spent months and months perfecting.  And Miss Richfield 1981 does have a theme to each of her shows, but its obvious that much of it is unscripted.  She interacts heavily with the audience and really can't predict how they will respond, yet she's always quick with a hilarious comeback.  This show was largely about the upcoming presidential election and the need to vote.  The audience was absolutely in stitches!!

I've been fortunate to see Miss Richfield 1981 several times at the Blue Moon.  Here are a few pics taken after a couple of the shows.
2014

2015
2014 with Joe P
I've also had the pleasure of meeting the man behind Miss Richfield 1981 and can say he is very nice, very smart, and just as funny as his female alter ego.

Check out Miss Richfield 1981's blog for hilarity, photos, upcoming shows, and more!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Fun weekend

We had a great weekend!

Although I did not request to be off work Sat & Sun, it just worked out that way on the scheduled. Sat morning Spouse & I met Steven for a late breakfast, then we returned home where I broke down some cardboard boxes and stuffed them into the recycling bin, which made room for me to assemble a set of garage shelves onto which I put some stuff to get it better organized.  Then I spent a little time weeding the front flower beds before taking a shower.  

Then Spouse & I went to the 5 year anniversary celebration of the Jusst Sooup Ministries facility.  We became acquainted with the Dunnings who founded and run the soup kitchen when they were our neighbors 10 years ago.  But 5 years ago they were surprised with a fabulous state-of-the-art soup kitchen facility and residence and were featured on ABC's "Extreme Make-over: Home Addition" in 2011.  The celebration was a big barbeque and a chance to visit with founders Dale & Ken whom we like so much.  

Later that evening we went out to dinner with Steven & Thad, and then I did my last Boy George performance of the summer in the Legends show.  Several colleagues from work showed up which was a big surprise.  After the show I mingled with the audience, posed for pictures, and accepted some tips!  People really, really enjoyed the Boy George/Culture Club songs and I received 2 $10 tips!!  Once my work friends left I continued chatting with some folks I met after the show.  A straight couple named John & Lucy were nice, but rather inebriated so I didn't mind at all when they said they had to go while they could still walk.  I also met a couple from Philly named Charles & John.  Actually, they're not from Philly; they moved there less than a year ago.  But Charles has been in real estate so we had that in common and both guys were a lot of fun to hang out with.  I gave them my business card and hoped they'd reach out to me, since I'd told them I was going to Philly the next day.  I didn't get home until 2am.

Then Spouse & I were up at 7:30 Sun morning so we could meet Steven & Thad at 8:30 to spend the day in Philly.  We started with a trip to Trader Joe's to stock up.  We typically go to Trader Joe's when we visit our family, but the last couple times were visited we didn't have time, so we were out of everything.  Next we went to the mid-century warehouse to oogle all the lovely pieces.  They're only open to the public twice a month, on Sundays, for 4 hours.  Spouse & I found this lovely dining table that would be perfect for our dining room since its 2 butterfly leaves make it expand to nearly double its original size.  
This table can seat 10-12, while our current dining table only seats 6.  We didn't buy the table but Spouse said if it was there in 2 weeks he'd make an offer.  I predict he'll find a way to talk himself out of that, as much as we both liked it.

Next we went to lunch at Matt & Marie's, an Italian-style sandwich shop, and then onto Century 21 department store.  I got some new underwear (to replace some old pairs) and a new wallet.  Spouse got a shirt.  We got home about 6pm.

What a great weekend!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday fragments

Well, I haven't done a Friday fragments post in a while, but its appropriate today.   Friday fragments is my recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

Today is National Dog Day!  To honor our beloved canines I'm posting my favorite pic of Spouse with Marvin & Walter.


Yesterday was my day off and since the weather was nice I spent some time at the beach.  Here's me doing one of those pouty mouth poses.

It seems the summer is passing at lightening speed.  I can't believe its almost Labor Day!  Tomorrow night I'll be doing my last Boy George performance of the 2016 Summer Legends show series.  Here's a 'creative' pic of me in full make-up, hair, and costume.

There is a possibility the Legends shows may become a year-round feature at the Blue Moon, rather than just a summer feature.  All of us who perform in the show were asked via email if we would be interested and available to continue doing the show year-round.  I love performing in the show and I enjoy the money, too so I hope everyone replies 'yes' like I did.

Here's hoping everyone has a fun weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Long day

Today was a long day.

It started with a company-wide meeting at 8:30.  The CEO of our franchise is visiting so he gave a presentation to everyone.  Then we all returned to the office to get caught up on real work.  I left the office at 5:15, stopped for gas on the way home, then took the dogs for a longer walk since the temperature was moderate and the humidity was low.  I left the house again at 7:00 to attend a mandatory cocktail hour followed by dinner with my sales team and the CEO.  I didn't get home until 10:20.

That's basically a 14-hour work day.

But what made it a little easier to tolerate is the knowledge that I am off work for the next 4 days, which is very unusual.  I'm not 'doing anything' special and did not request to be off those days.  It just worked out that way with our team schedule that I ended up with being off Thurs - Sun.  

Now, let's see what I will get myself into with 4 consecutive days off in a row!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday

Not much to report.  I worked all day Sat & Sun so I have nothing fun to share.  

So instead, I'll share something funny.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Olympics

The opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Rio started 1 week ago.  Since then I've been trying to watch as much of the games as possible.

Some of the games hold more interest for me than others.  I find watching tennis to be boring.  I totally don't understand fencing.  But I've enjoyed watching the men's and women's swimming, men's and women's gymnastics, and beach volleyball.

In my area the coverage is odd.  During certain times of the day there are 4 channels with different games being shown.  At other times of the day its just 2 channels.

The accomplishments of Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky are amazing!

There's also been quite a bit of eye candy.  The internet nearly exploded after Pita Taufatofua carried the flag of Tongo in the Parade of Nations, oiled up and smiling.
Then there's Sam Mikulak of the USA gymnastics team who caught my eye.
Speaking of men's gymnastics...
Ummm, yeah.

Then there's the divers.  Probably the sexiest man I've seen so far at the Olympics is American diver David Boudia.
Sigh.  But he's married.  To a woman.  And has a baby.

Despite the obviously shallow-sounding nature of this post, I really do enjoy watching the competitions.  Anyone else watching?  Who are your favorites to watch?