August 20, 2023

Wedding Chatter - The Dress Edition

So, here we are at the tail end of August (HOW?!) already -- which means The Event is in about three months.

When I looked up and realized it was mid-August, I had a small panic attack as I had not done anything yet.  Absolutely nothing.

The panic set into motion the search for the elusive "mother of the groom dress."  You know, the one that fits well, flatters you in all the right places and, preferably, is on sale. 

I just knew that this was going to be long, drawn out process.  One that would have me scouring the internet.  Ordering dress after dress after dress; only to return them all when it was discovered they weren't "The One."

After scouring SO.MANY.sites with no luck - I finally landed on Belk.  I figured they had to have something.  Even if it wasn't The One; maybe I'd luck into something that would do in a pinch.  So, I took a deep breath and ordered one.

Friends - I found The Dress on the first try - who would have thunk it?  Certainly not I.

Not only does it fit; it also seems to flatter AND it was about fifty percent off - the Holy Grail, as it were.  Yes, it's a little longer than I would have liked (but this is perennial problem for me) but not enough to have it altered.  And yes, the "bling" is a little more "bling-y" than I was expecting.

I even already own the perfect pair of nude high heel sandals to match!  But am currently on the hunt for the perfect pair of nude flats for the reception - it's either that or go barefoot - and that is NOT happening.

And as that "bling" kept floating in my field of vision every time I wandered into my dressing room; I began to have doubts.  Is it TOO "bling-y," I wondered.  Particularly, since the ceremony will be around 4:00 pm, I think.

The Husband says it's not; that this is a wedding and I should be "bling-y" - but what does he know?  He's a guy.  All he has to do is put on a suit and show up.

Dress - it's navy; not black!

Close up of said bling

But I have determined to put all thoughts of bling out of my mind - I have a dress and shoes (or, at least one pair of shoes) - now I can turn my mind to other pressing hair and makeup.

August 13, 2023

House Projects - The Lighting Edition

 I know I've mentioned the dismal lighting situation in the kitchen before.  It has been rectified, thanks to The Husband.

Without my knowledge, he ordered a new light fixture - mainly because I couldn't find anything that I liked enough to purchase.  What was in the kitchen was a woefully inadequate track lighting fixture - which looked ridiculous, had four tiny lights that required expensive, specialty bulbs that burned out with alarming frequency, threw shadows all over the place and would heat the kitchen if left on for too long.  There was also a pendant fixture - the kind you would find over a table...except our kitchen can barely be described as an "eat in" kitchen - especially since the dining room is right there (waving my hand to the right).

That pendant also sported an Edison bulb - you know, those bulbs that look old fashioned and give out zero useful light.  And since it wasn't hanging over a table or island, many people just slightly taller than me have conked their noggins on it...repeatedly.

So I guess he was fed up and just ordered an 8 foot track lighting fixture.  Now track lighting is not my jam - at all.  But, I do have to give him credit - the one he ordered is white and unobtrusive and just kind of blends in with the ceiling when it's not on.  I don't hate it is what I am saying.  And it looks much better than a fluorescent light fixture or what was there before.

When the fixture arrived last weekend, he enlisted me to help him hang the track.  Until he got frustrated that I wasn't tall enough (even on a ladder) to be of any use to him.  I was then relegated to handing him tools.  Until he got frustrated that I wasn't clear on what he needed.  At that point, I told him I was sorry but I don't work in construction.  Then I removed myself from the situation and hid out in my office.

How he finally got that thing up there by himself is anyone's guess; but he did.  He started around 9:30 am last Saturday and didn't finish until around 4:00 pm.  It was a long day is what I am saying.

Last Sunday he put up the actual lights - which, luckily did not require any assistance from me.  

Friends...when I say the light this thing puts out is bright; that is an understatement.  We could preform surgeries in the kitchen now.  This doesn't concern me that much because since I am practically blind I prefer as much light as I can get. But I figured we would need to tone down the lighting in most instances; so he installed a dimmer.

Installing that dimmer also had it's own frustrations but it was done without my assistance and only minimal cursing from him.

Then, after looking at the fixture and the pendant (remember the head conking fixture); I determined that we didn't need that pendant anymore.  And he promised to take it down.

Yesterday was the day that the pendant came down.  This was supposed to be an easy, peasy project - just a zip zip with the drill - it was not - because of course it wasn't.  Apparently, one of the screws was stripped and this necessitated all kinds of work arounds while I stood there holding the pendant above my head and out of the way as he worked on it.

Perseverance eventually won the day and my aching arms rejoiced.

But he wasn't done.  

No, not even close.  

Because that stupid pendant put out what he likes to call "ambient lighting" (i.e., lighting that inhibits my ability to SEE) in the evening; he ordered lights for our glass fronted cabinet in the corner of the kitchen.  This is where we store extra wine glasses, vases, and other glass/crystal pieces (which, quite honestly, rarely get used).

Today was the day he planned to install those lights.  And the only help that was required from me was to help remove and replace all the pieces.  Which we did in short order.

Apparently, the installation was a snap.  (FINALLY!)

The issue that caused me to threaten a punch in the nose for him?  Putting everything back where it belonged...including the cabinet itself (which had to be moved to plug in the lights).  At every step, he argued with me about what went where.  Finally, I looked at him and stated very clearly, "I KNOW how this house is set up because *I* set it up in the first place." 

At any rate, we are still married.  I haven't punched him in the nose.  And we finally have decent light in the kitchen.  And the "ambient light" that he apparently adores SO much has been installed.

Next up?  The pendants over the bar.  He thinks they either need to be replaced or somehow raised.

Pray for him.


August 5, 2023

84, Charing Cross Road - A Book Review

 I  have absolutely NO idea where I stumbled across this little gem, 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff - was it Suzanne, Nicole or just some obscure corner of the Internet?  I guess we will never know.  But I did and I loved it.

Sometimes, I will come across a title that just sounds intriguing and I will place a hold at the library with barest of information about what the book might be about.  This was one of those titles.

When this book finally made it's way to me, I discovered it was a novel comprised of business letters between a free-lance writer living in New York and a used book dealer located in London beginning in 1945.  Which, at first blush, had me wondering if this would be of any interest at all to me.

What I discovered in between the pages was so sweet and utterly charming - as the relationship between the two letter writers blossomed into a friendship over the years that eventually led to a friendship between the family of the businessman in London and the writer and then grew again to include others in the businessman's orbit as the letters crossed the ocean - including business correspondence along with the sharing of personal, happy news and also of sad news.

It's a very short - and satisfying read (most of you know, I generally prefer longer novels); clocking in at about 100 pages; I read it in one sitting and loved every single page and all of the characters.