June 30, 2011

  • Videos from this evening...

    Here is the aforementioned Hannah-the-Ball-of-Goof Dance:



    And Brianna and Bethany (being a good sport and loyally supporting her cousin in being the focus of the restaurant):



    I cannot figure out any longer how to directly post Xanga-loaded videos to my blog, which is annoying.  Sorry about that! 

  • Happy 11th birthday to Brianna!

    Today is Brianna's birthday...her very first dual-double-digit, or however one expresses the "11" or "22" or "33" and so forth birthdays.  This evening some of us gathered for supper at Joe's Crab Shack to honor her existence.  ;^)  Alex and his family drove all the way in from Mesquite, Matt brought Bethany and Benjamin, Joe and Zhenya were there as well, along with Charles.  And me, naturally.  

    Here are the two 11 year old cousins:

    And with Hannah and Bridgette:

    Benjamin was entranced with a shark from which one drank something or other.  Being the good brother he is, he carefully made sure to get one to take home to Bryson, who wasn't at the dinner:

    Brianna reacting to a handmade card from either Hannah or Faith; she actually liked it, though the photo doesn't make it look like that:

    Yesterday I was at the Antique mall on the circle (Fort Worthers know whereof I speak) and found a necklace that spells out Brianna's name:

    Just a group candid with Jessica, Beth and Matt:

    And lastly, Hannah being a "ball of goof" as her father phrased it (there's a video too, which I'll try to upload and post):


    It was a fun evening!  Tomorrow evening will be great, too, as Jonathan Andrew is coming home for another visit!  laughing  

May 15, 2011

  • Yesterday was the annual ballet performance.

    This makes the, what....fourth year in a row of going to see Meredith and Margaret dance?  Such a pleasure it's been, watching them progress in the art of ballet.  I remember when they'd be doing the "sit on the floor and fan their feet in and out" routine, but now they're really dancing!  Meredith was pirouetting up a storm as a fairy in "Cinderella."  Margaret was in the Dutch dancers scene (the Prince had to search all over the world for his errant ladylove, you see).

    Above you can see Meredith in blue in front.  Her name's been helpfully posted as an additional aid to identification.  ;^)  

    I fear I got video of Margaret's dance, but no action stills.  She's the third Dutch girl from the right.  With her name underneath her. 

    The costuming was terrific!  That's the Prince (played by the teenage son of one of Kirstin's friends, Courtenay, who was the Fairy Godmother and is getting married today - Courtenay, that is!  Talk about a full weekend!), the Wicked Stepmother, and the Stepsisters.

    This year the performance ran a good 2 1/2 hours, due to having a couple of jazz pieces at the beginning, then after "Cinderella" was a pair of flamenco dance numbers, followed by THREE Irish dances (no step dancing, Mom).  Made me a bit late to volunteer at a wedding, but by golly, I wanted to get the photo of the two girls that I always take.  Weren't they beautiful?  

    Next Saturday is Bridgette's very first dance recital, being held at TCU.  heart


May 12, 2011

  • According to a COBRA info page, I'm just out of luck.

    When the company stops the company's insurance, all COBRA stops too.

    Great.  Going to be 60 next month and now no insurance.

    Kept intending to go to the dentist, and procrastinated.  That was a mistake, seeing as how doubtless my dental coverage has disappeared as well.

    I'm giving serious consideration to going to Braum's and getting on the outside of a big ol' sundae.  Counterproductive, under the circumstances, but is surely better than reaching for the vodka bottle when it comes to seeking a temporary mood elevation.  silly

  • Well, now what? Terra Telecom went bankrupt.

    That's the company Don was working for when he died, and through which I had my health and dental insurance.

    Went to refill prescriptions and found the insurance hadn't been applied.  The pharmacy people told me it looks as if I must have been sent a new card awhile back, as the group number isn't working.

    Well, I called BCBS and was told there's a problem with the whole group - IOW, it's not just me - and it was terminated at the end of February.

    Googled the company and discovered it went out of business on February 27.

    Not one word to me, and I sent money for my insurance just last month.  

    NOW WHAT??!??!

    My property taxes have been raised ridiculously high and now I find out I don't have insurance because the company went bankrupt, with no courtesy of notification.

    How can this be Thursday?  Feels like Monday.

May 2, 2011

  • Well. If one is in the mood to see a grim, depressing movie, I know of one.

    Tonight I went with a few other women to see "Water for Elephants."  I'd briefly checked a blurb about it before signing up to go, but either I didn't read far enough down or the blurb was misleading, for had I the least notion what the film was about I'd have avoided it like a platter of shellfish.  

    Depressing.  Grim.  Violent.  Adultery.  

    This movie had precious few redeeming qualities, though I will acknowledge the acting was decent, and the sets and costuming was excellent.

    Pity the story was a bummer.




    Once the lions and other wild beasts were let loose on the spectators in the Big Top, I grabbed my coat, smiled apologetically at the woman next to me, and vamoosed.  When little girls are tripping and falling while a hungry lion approaches, I consider that a signal to make tracks.

    However, it was not a total loss, as I'd never been to the new Movie Tavern on West 7th (well, a block to the south, but those who live here know what I mean) and had wanted to go, they made a quite delicious Caribbean Rum Punch (or something like that), and a tasty creme brulee.  Adding in the ticket price (I received the senior discount without asking for it, and am torn as to how I feel about that), that was a pricey drink and dessert, but they did provide some pleasure.

    As usual, the previews didn't show anything particular I'd want to see.  How on earth do the movie theaters stay in business these days?  wtf

April 29, 2011

  • Well, I did it.

    Watched The Wedding live.  Woke up about 3:30 a.m. and tried to go back to sleep but couldn't, calculating the time in London and what was happening.  About 4 a.m. I gave up and got up.

    Those headpieces referred to as "fascinators" are well named, as it's fascinating to wonder both how they manage to stay put, and what on earth their wearers were thinking.  Does England not have mirrors?  Did Victoria Beckham actually look in the mirror and think, "Oh yes, that's attractive"?  And as for Prince Andrew's daughter, Beatrice....words fail me.  "Bizarre" is wholly inadequate to describe what she looked like with that...that thing on her head.  It was a true display of paternal affection that her father was willing to be seen with her.

    The Queen looked regal and lovely as always, though in my opinion - which is worth every dime you paid for it - the hat was a mistake.

    William looked incredibly dashing though also rather depressingly hair-challenged.  He's not even 29 yet, for crying out loud!  The boy is going to be bald as the proverbial billiard ball before he's 40, mark my words.  Of course, his brother's hair shows that a lack of same isn't necessarily a bad thing.  Bless his heart, Harry's hair looks to be a whole life form by itself.

    Catherine was gorgeous, and her dress was stunning.  It is my fervent hope that brides all over will take careful note of how important are sleeves and necklines as design elements, and quit with the strapless wedding gowns already.  Her sister's dress was just about as stunning, too, and Pippa coming down the aisle with a three year old on each hand was a charming vignette indeed.

    Not quite as charming was one of the three year old girls who subsequently glowered at the cheering crowds from the balcony at Buckingham Palace.  Her parents must be beet red with humiliation!  Can you imagine?  All over the world are broadcast photos of the bridal couple, and down there on the left is their daughter, frowning like a miniature spectre at the feast, so to speak.  Gee, isn't she a cute little girl?  


    This evening I went to a Meetup for Fort Worth Singles Over 50 at a bowling establishment.  Oddly enough, when I went in I saw a group of likely looking people and asked if they were the group for whom I was looking, and it turned out no, they weren't but they easily could have been, as they were the Fort Worth Widowed People group (or something like that).  Turns out they bowl there regularly.  Found my group and we had a very nice time, indeed, though it was a nuisance trying to find a suitable ball, as those with holes large enough for my fingers are too heavy, while the lighter weight balls apparently are intended for those with small hands.  Still managed to win the second game, though none of my foursome managed to break 100.  As one of our number wryly observed, our team motto should be "Oh, well!"  laughing

April 28, 2011

  • Ads both amuse and frustrate me.

    I was just looking at a news site and there was a small ad, showing a young woman doing a tummy crunch, and promising (the ad, not the young woman) "a bikini-ready body in six weeks!"

    I really don't think so.  Of course, it could depend upon what one considers to be "bikini-ready," but assuming common usage, there's not a chance in the world this middle-aged body is going to be "bikini-ready," whether measured in weeks, months, or years.

    It might be giggleworthy to take the advertiser at his or her word and show up, demanding to be lithe, toned, and generally svelte in six weeks, as per the ad's promise.  silly


    Glancing over an article claiming to be "An American's Guide to The Wedding" I was rather stunned to discover that some of the guests are scheduled to arrive at the north door to Westminster Abbey at 8:15 a.m., British time.  Almost three hours early!  Mercy Maud.  That's early, that is.  Granted, it beats arriving fifteen or more minutes after the wedding procession has started; you'd be surprised at how many people do just that, and I (acting in my capacity as the wedding volunteer) have to direct them to a side door so they don't trail the bride down the aisle.

    I've been trying to recall how many royal weddings I've lost sleep to watch, and think this will be the fourth.  The first was Princess Anne's, then Prince Charles', then Prince Andrew's, and now William's.  For the life of me I can't remember whether Edward's wedding simply wasn't televised or I elected to give it a miss.  Anyone?  Anyone?


    On a somber note, my heart is heavy for Alabama and all the areas hit by tornadoes this week.  The death toll is almost 300!  My mind boggles.  And to think of that mile-wide twister being on the ground for two solid hours is simply incomprehensible.  I honestly did not know such a thing was possible.  Two hours?  A tornado that holds together for two hours?  Frightening!  sad


April 27, 2011

  • William's going to have a groom's cake?

    Made of some English cookies (or biscuits, as they're called across the pond).

    The English normally skip the groom's cake, at least that's what an article said, and on the rare occasions one is provided it normally serves 40.  William's is going to serve 600, though, which is going to require a whole lot of cookies.

    Tonight at 7 on NBC is a Behind-the-Scene Special about The Wedding, and I'm going to watch it.  Television in the middle of the week?  Mercy Maud!  One would think it was the Olympics or something.

    And can you imagine?  According to the BBC:  

    The first royal-wedding spectator has arrived at Westminster Abbey to claim his spot ahead of Friday's event.

    John Loughrey is kitted out with flags, a sleeping bag and an umbrella.

    He'd likely be as appalled at my dithering over whether it's worth it to lose sleep to watch the wedding as I am appalled at the notion of his camping out for two or three days just to watch a procession go by, and what do you want to bet others will get in front of him anyway?

    If y'all haven't done so, it's entertaining (depending upon how easily you're entertained) to read sites such as the Court Circular for yesterday, posted on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/notes/the-british-monarchy/court-circular-26-april-2011/211300355565707

    By jingo, I wish I had a British flag to fly, or at least one that's rather weddingish!  Or lashings of bunting, not that I've ever been totally clear on what "bunting" is.  


April 26, 2011

  • A hodge-podge of pix and such....

    We had a lovely Easter, thankyouverymuch.  Personally, I sang up a storm at the Good Friday Tenebrae service, then at three services on Easter Sunday.  What a joy!  What a blessing!

    Then there was the bountiful feast and egg hunt at Kirstin and Matt's house.  Okay, I feasted but left the egg-hunt (both hiding and seeking) to others.  Did that for decades, and have decided to retire.  Here are seven of the hunters scurrying through the backyard:

    Once the eggs were found, they required dissection (except for the hard-boiled variety, which required eating):

    Here's Brielle with her Daddy:

    The Rangers were playing, however, which snagged the attention of some of our number:


    Yesterday I was driving back from Keller, having picked up the girls from school, and experienced something new and unwanted:  there I was, tooling south on I-35 in the outside lane at about 63-65 MPH, when some lunatic zooms past me on the right!  Whoever it was must have been clocking 70-75 MPH as he or she used the shoulder as just another lane.  Seriously.  This wasn't simply going around me (I wasn't speeding, but wasn't holding anyone up, either) on the shoulder; the driver kept going for quite a distance, then cut in front of someone when an exit came up, then jumped back onto the right shoulder.  Amazingly I didn't come up on a crash.  Really expected to.  


    This evening was my first time to attend a Meetup meeting.  Has anyone else participated in one of those?  This one is for knitters, and meets every other Tuesday night at the Barnes and Noble on Hulen.  A very nice, patient woman taught me how to cast on, then how to do the basic knitting stitch.  Actually I'd taken knitting lessons many moons ago, back when I was maybe 13 or 14 years old, at a store at what was then Seminary South Shopping Center (and believe you me, it was the place to be at the time...Fort Worth's first mall-like shopping center), and vaguely remembered the stitch, though hadn't a clue how to get started.  Not sure how to stop, either, but I daresay I'll pick that up too.  Anyway, it was an agreeable group of ladies and a lot of fun.  My hope right now is to get past the dishrag/hot pad thing I'm doing and be able to knit something for Dmitry's new nephew (technically his cousin), Valery (spelling?), a month old today, and his cousin, Sveta's, baby.  Such a poppet!  

    Then I want to learn to knit hats for the grandkids and nieces and nephews.  That's the plan.  Taking into account my lamentable lack of follow-through, it likely won't happen, but maybe it will.  Who knows?


    So who all is going to watch The Wedding on Friday morning?  I'm becoming increasingly convinced that, against all common sense, I'm probably going to find myself in the living room at some insanely early hour of the morning so as to watch it live.  I'm quite curious to see Kate's dress, and am passionately hoping it isn't the disaster Diana's was.  I don't think it will be, however.  Kate seems to have a definite sense of style, so perhaps she'll break the royal mold and look elegant.  Meow.