31 October 2007

Starbucks should pay me...

Jennifer and I have had this Starbucks thing ever since she was a senior in High School back in Katy and she worked at Munchkins Day Care. There was a Starbucks, the FIRST one in Katy, right across the parking lot. One car for both of us to use so I'd take her to work, run over to Starbucks and get us drinks and a breakfast bread of some sort and take it over ot her. Odd thing was, I didn't like coffee (then - I've been converted now.) Anyhoo, I tried for years and years to find a drink I liked - teas, coffee configurations, everything under the sun - but the main thing was, Starbucks just represented time spent together to me. Even overseas, we'd go to a Starbucks and think of the kids. I eventually got hooked on coffee (see, if you stick around something long enough, you eventually get used to it and even like it - words to the wise to all those teenagers flirting with dangers other than caffeine... ha) and have an auto-reload Starbucks card that probably gets more use than any other card in the wallet (and that's a LOT of cards, folks!)

After dinner, before a movie would start (pre-grandchildren days), to kill time, we'd all go to Starbucks! We'd get adventurous - ooooh, Republicans trying such different things as ICED Lattes! Gingerbread Lattes!! The occasional "mixed drink" (ever try a Orange Passion Iced Tea Lemonade on a 100+ degree F day??) We had 'em all! It was an orgy of coffee and tea flavors and we tried 'em all! I've since settled down and usually enjoy a nice quiet Americano (no-room, tall) with a rather old-fashioned glazed donut (no, I'm NOT going into the police academy). But through thick and thin, Starbucks saw us through. I even lost one of my favorite David Yurman earrings at a Starbucks in Waco - good times, good times.

A Sunday sometime this fall, we went to Starbucks after lunch following worship services and I snapped a few photos of Jennifer and Jason's family - it was so "now" to me as far as a great place for a family to visit, relax, spend some time. So I think Starbucks should pay me - for free advertising, for persevering to find a drink I liked and getting hooked, for being a "frequent flyer", for propagandizing (is that really a word?) the link between family and their franchise.

I'll settle for a coupon for a free drink however. Call me! We'll talk...

And Target, don't get me started on Target - it's a real sob story! My emotional life and consumerism...details at 8.

My Li'l Pun'kins

I went to the pumpkin patch they have annually at this cool farm in Flower Mound last Monday with Jennifer, Ben and Luke along with Jen's friend Denise and her daughter Madison. It was a gloriously crisp fall day and lo, the crowds had already been! The place was almost empty which was great fun for us - parking close by, no jostling (or being jostled), no waiting to speak of for hay rides - that sort of thing. Luke has been sitting up by himself "sort of" and so we got some pretty good photos of them. I think Madison and Luke were more interested in the grass and hay than anything else making it hard to get a full face shot for photos. Luke has the whole raspberry blowing down pat - reminds me so much of Kennedy at that age when he does that. It's too cute!!

Then last night we went to the Fort Worth Zoo for their annual "Boo at the Zoo". Not a whole lot of animals but there were trick-or-treat stations, live shows, train rides, lots of people in all kinds of costumes, spooky "mist" and just good SAFE fun! Ben was a pirate - but not just ANY pirate - he was a NICE pirate! He made sure I knew that - guess he'd seen some "not so nice" pirates? Luke was a "li'l pun'kin" as was Mira although she was a Pooh Pumpkin (limited supply of costumes when you go shopping the day before Halloween as I did for Mirai.)

I put Mirai in the sling when we got there just to see if she'd like it better than laying down in the stroller. After she had her bottle, she fell asleep and stayed that way all through the evening waking up just as we got to the car to go home - then she decided to be rather, ahem, "vocal" freaking Luke out a bit. Mirai can go from 0 - 60 decibels in 1 second flat - truly an experience in keeping with the whole Halloween, scary times theme. :) She finally quieted down about the time we got on I-35 north by which time Luke was pretty spooked. Ben spent the night with me, exhausted though he was, and we had a good time together. This is what being a grandparent is all about - getting to be part of their lives in slivers of "one-on-one" and nothing beats, "Gramma, I love you!" to which I reply "I love you, too!" to which he usually replies, "I love you THREE!" and so on.

Happy Halloween and can't wait to see everyone's pictures of their little darlings in full costume. And, yeah, we know about the caution on the Bumbo thing - and we were watching him all the time!!! I promise I don't spend all my time and money obtaining hazardous and/or recalled equipment and toys for the grands.

22 October 2007

At last!!!!

Do you hear the song playing in the background?? Anyway, Fall is finally HERE! Woke up to 75F and was a bit disappointed as I thought today was going to be a cooler day. I was putting laundry in the washer and getting the dogs fed when I heard a noise, looked out and it was the trees thrashing and clouds rolling in. Within an hour, we were overcast, the temps dropped down to 64F and we even had a nice old rain! Love it, love it, love it!! I hope I can get to Starbucks this afternoon and get a Pumpkin Spiced Latte!! It's finally the perfect weather for that seasonal treat!

I'm getting the house ready to "close" tomorrow when I drive up to Keller for a week and a few days. Mike's in Singapore, Grandma Crawford is heading to visit Ann and Charlie in Columbia so I'm heading north! I'll drop Mom off at the airport on my way out of town.

On a different note, Izzie (our 2nd miniature schnauzer) has finally decided that I am "hers". She wants to be with me all the time and comes up when I'm sitting, plants her front paws firmly on my lap and stares at me intently until I pick her up and pet her. After my initial "why did I get another headache...I mean dog?" I'm glad I have the two of them. They are pretty entertaining and when Mike is out of town, very good company. Of course, Izzie is still a youngster and gets into "youngster mode" quite a bit. I thought I'd come up with the perfect solution for penning them both up when I leave the house and it worked for a whole week - I'd put them in the pool bath with a couple of toys, water and their doggie bed. Well, Saturday I went to a movie with Grandma and came back to "snow" in the bathroom! Somehow she'e managed to get the FULL NEW roll of toilet paper off the hanger and it was torn up to shreds! So now I have my checklist - water...check...toys...check...bed...check...all trash and toilet rolls out of reach...check...and just to be on the safe side...close the toilet lid...check (she might decide to go swimming - you never know!) :) Oh, and I have to be careful when we drive as well - she gets carsick! What do you give a dog that gets carsick?? I finally decided to not feed her on driving days and make sure the backseat is covered up well (especially the Britax seats). But that girl's a pip! I wish I had half her energy...

17 October 2007

Oh my...

Just how skinny is Candice Olsen on "Divine Design"? I knew the gal was tall, but I had no idea how skinny she was until today. I sat down with my afternoon snack of strawberry pop and proceeded to try all the different aspect settings on my TV - none were working. Then someone besides Candice came on-screen and then I realized it wasn't my TV - it was the girl! Everyone else looked normal, but Candice...

Now if it was just as easy to change MY "aspect" from "wide" to "normal"...and no comments about the role said strawberry pop might play in this, please. :)

16 October 2007

Finally - it's Autumn!

I was beginning to think it was going to be summer forever - 90's and humid, 90's and humid, wash, rinse, repeat...but we had a front move in yesterday that took the temps from 80's to 64 in a couple of hours accompanied by a LOVELY (and I do mean lovely) thunderstorm with lots of rain. I woke up this morning to upper 60's temps, overcast - deliciously cool. We didn't get any days like this in September, which was a little disappointing, but it makes today seem all the more magical!

There's something about a cool, crisp fall morning that takes me back to childhood and the joy that a day like today would herald - it made me excited to think about Halloween coming, about pumpkin donuts and apple cider, about planning for Thanksgiving Dinner and making Christmas presents and putting up the tree the day after Thanksgiving, then the Christmas season culminating in the greatest even in a child's life - Christmas anticipation! I think thinking about Christmas was more fun that the actual day in a lot of respects - even as a child!

I don't have little children at home anymore and miss their excitement coming home from school to find the house decked out in Halloween decorations. I miss baking zuchinni bread, pumpkin loaf, cinnamon coffee cake and other such "cooler weather" goodies which were usually eaten within 24 hours (if I make them now, they still are eaten within 24 hours but by only 2 adults who have no business eating them and not the 5 who USED to be in residence!). And I miss coming home from school on a wet, cold fall day growing up in Lubbock to find Mom had made hot chocolate and had baked that day. There is just something intrinsically cozy to me about a drizzly, cool day in the fall. Call me crazy, but (yes, Jennifer, I can hear you say "Hey, Crazy Butt!" just like you used to) I love rainy days - and cool ones are the tiptop fav!

So I think I'll go clean out my pantry, organize my spices and think about baking, and Christmas, maybe even put some Christmas music on - who cares if it's only October? I used to put it on in July - I'm showing "restraint" here! :)

May your day be filled with that excitement and sparkle which is the substance of anticipation and hope! I love Fall...

14 October 2007

Jen tagged me...

I have been tagged by Jennifer in The Game of Tag about your MAN:

Photos - Summer 2007 with Luke, Christmas 1976, Our wedding 1976 (we paid EXTRA to have those candle flames be heart shaped!)

1. Who is your man? Micheal Dean Drennon
2. How long have you been together? Known each other since Sept. '74 but didn't date till early '75.
3. How long did you date? 18 months including the 10 month engagement
4. How old is your man? Ooooo, not fair - he's 52
5. Who eats more? We have a deal - he earns the money and I spend it. Conversely, HE eats the food and I gain the weight.
6. Who said "I love you" first? He did - with great trepidation I might add. Couldn't figure out at first if it was a good thing to him or not. I can happily report that he is indeed happy about it without any doubt. :) I think it was just that he wasn't looking to fall in love and it caught him by surprise, at age 19, in his 2nd year of university.
7. Who is taller? Great thing about us - we can literally look each other in the eye - we are exactly the same height. Needless to say, those platform shoes I had JUST bought (remember girls, this was 1975!) were retired after only one week when we started "keeping company"....
8. Who sings better? Hands down - ME! Let's see, Chorale in High School, choirs in England and Trinidad, wedding singer....but my favorite gig is singing to GRANDBABIES! Mike claims he makes a "joyful noise"/
9. Who is smarter? Yin/Yang - on money, Mike. On design, me. As Jennifer said about her and Jason, same for Mike and I - we compliment each other by having different strengths. I often laugh that we are "two half-wits that together make a whole wit".
10. Whose temper is worse? Equally bad - I'm a "quick burner" and he is more "smoking before flame". Throughout the years we've learned to be "slow(er) to anger" and have actually learned how to constructively argue which is something we've tried to teach the kids as well. It's an important skill - I mean that with all sincerity!
11. Who does the laundry? Definitely me - which is why Mike has about 40 pairs of underwear and socks and undershirts and dress shirts. When I'm gone up north to the Keller house, he can go for weeks without running out of "tighty whities".
12. Who takes out the garbage? If he's in town, Mike. If he's gone, me - hey, not gonna sit in it just to prove a point!
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Looking at the bed? Mike - unless he's snoring an then he's sleeping on the FRONT of the couch in the living room :)
14. Who pays the bills? Moi - I generate most of 'em, might as well settle 'em...(hmmm, direct connection to "temper" question above?)
15. Who is better with the computer? PC - Mike. Mac - me.
16. Who mows the lawn? Hee, hee - the lawn guy! We don't even own a lawn mower and Mike takes great pride in that. We bought Jason a Honda mower for the Keller house and Mike swears it's Jason's and NOT ours as he does not want to have anything to do with lawn care. Hey, benefit of the being 52 thing...age has it's privilege's...
17. Who cooks dinner? Me - once again. Used to be whoever was the chef at whatever restaurant we went to but being up in Keller so much this year, Jen and I swapped out cooking and I rediscovered my inner creative chef and am loving cooking once again. Mike is not arguing about it...
18. Who drives when you are together? Mike unless it's a long trip and he's had a really long week. Sometimes if I pick him up at work to go to lunch together, I'll go ahead and drive but don't really like it 'cause I usually get, "Why are you going that way?" or something similiar.
19. Who pays when you go out? I assume you mean for eating out? Mike always smiles and says, "Thanks for dinner!" as I slap Amex on the tab...which of course is paid for by money he earned.
20. Who is more stubborn? Oh, me - definitely me. No use denying it - would just cause a thunderstorm to brew up so lightening could strike me. Before we were married, I merely "had principles" and "stuck to them". After the ring is on the finger, it's called "stubborn".
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Oh, we are NEVER wrong! (ouch! there's that lightening I was afraid of...) In truth, we are usually pretty good about owning up to things.
22. Whose parents do you see the most? My mom lives down here in Katy but seeing as how I've been in Keller so much and Mike's folks live close by in Bedford, I'd have to say it's been a tie this year. But historically, we've seen mine more (it's always the parents of the bride who gets the lion's share historically, right? Moses even WORKED for his father-in-law!)
23. Who kissed who first? Definitely HE kissed me! "Memories, light the corners of my mind..."
24. Who asked who out? Neither - it was a bet. We both worked at JCPenny Coffee Shop and I bet him he couldn't NOT pick on me for an entire week. He took me up on it, made the condition of losing having to take the other out for a steak dinner (we ARE from Texas, remember...) and then he promptly threw it the first day so he could be the one "taking out". We were both a bit shy about the whole asking out thing but were clearly smitten with each other.
25. Who proposed? Mike - within 12 weeks of dating but asked me to keep it a secret - which let me tell you, girls, that was HARD to do - my FIRST proposal (my ONLY proposal now that I think of it...), still in high school, and I have to keep it SECRET!? Turns out it was a good idea because everyone would have said no way could we know we loved each other and wanted to get married that fast. Having said that, as soon as we announced our engagement, everyone told me about this lady at work, Nettie, who told Mike the first day I worked there that he was going to marry me. Turns out that is why he took so long to get the ball rolling. I'm glad I didn't know she said that.
27. Who has more friends? I have more personal type friends - close friends (vs. casual or couple friends) He says I'm his best friend and he is my best friend too but let's face it, we girls gotta have our girlfriends, our sisters, for those "other conversations" - guys just do NOT want to hear about that fabulous new moisturizer or the particulars of facial waxing or the latest episode of "House Hunters" or other such things - usually
28. Who has more siblings? He does - bro and sis. I have one sister.
29. Who wears the pants in the family? He's the head of the household meaning the family. I'm queen of the home and am working on my "noble woman" status - remember, she had the respect of her husband, worked her tail off, also had "handmaidens" (yes, you too can hire a cleaning crew and NOT feel guilty!), was up early and to bed late...

So I'm supposed to tag someone now - well, the aforementioned girlfriends I have do not blog. If they did, I'd tag Marilyn, Cynthia, Lee Ann and Rebekah (in Australia - that would be interesting!). But Jenjer, YOU blog so "tag, you're it!"

08 October 2007

How to Chase Pidgeons...

Week before last, when Megan and Jennifer visited with 4/5s of my grandchildren, we went to Hermann Park in Houston - sort of a Texas "Central Park" - I had forgotten how beautiful that park was! We definitely want to head back there when they return - there's a children's diesel train that goes around the park, a zoo, the Natural History Museum is across the street, lovely grounds for picnics, a playground, and if you catch it right, The Miller Outdoor Theater puts on free plays in the summer! All in a beautiful park setting near Rice University and the Medical Center.

There are tons of birds who obviously get fed by park attendees. After our train ride and a visit to the Betty Crockrell Butterfly Exhibit at the Natural Science Museum, we took a bit of a rest outside the zoo before heading home to beat the traffic. As we sat on the benches, the pidgeons arrived. I told Ben if he rushed them, they'd fly away - which they did the first time he tried it. Then they flew back and Kennedy and Ben tried to get them to fly again without a lot of result. But it was fun to watch them go for it!

Happy Birthday Kennedy!

Although your birthday was last Saturday, I'm only just home today and want to wish you, Kennedy, a happy, happy birthday week! Although you were sick Friday night - and your party at the park had to be canceled - you took it in stride and enjoyed a day kite flying with your dad and Papa Mike, balloons all over the house, princess cupcakes and rings, lots of presents and our undivided attention. You have been a bundle of energy and such a loving child ever since the day you came screaming into this world! And when you come up and lean on me and say, "I love you, Gramma Cheri!" I could just die with happiness! So Happy Birthday my little butterfly! You forever have a home in our hearts.

Mom's William Tell Overature

You HAVE to see (hear?) this! For all you moms, I dedicate this to you


02 October 2007

The star among us!

Granddaughter Kennedy did some modeling for a friend of Megan's and her pictures are now on the website http://www.shopbabyposh.com/index.php?cPath=53&osCsid=39e029f2587156e1ae75f366fa6870dd - thought you might want to see our little "star" at work!