Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Prelude to The Desert Trip, My favorite concerts.......

Estimated Reading Time.....2 minutes, 7 seconds

Wow- this is a very hard one.  I have been to a lot of concerts and many performers I have seen numerous my repeats are at the top of my list,  they include:

1.  Paul McCartney- You knew he would be my number 1.  I never saw The Beatles but I have seen Paul a bunch of times and I will see him again next week.  Please sing my favorite songs, In My Life, I've Just Seen a Face, Here Comes the Sun......and on and on it goes

2.  The Eagles- Also seen numerous times- I am still very sad about the passing of Glenn Frey.  I cried like a crazy person when a band played Take It East at Cheeseburger in Paradise in Maui.  Sorry to my kids for making a fool of myself.

3.  Jimmy Buffett- Not necessarily for his singing ability but this is one of the most fun shows you will ever attend.  I have seen Jimmy a dozen times??? Maybe more....If you have never been,  first learn the songs so you can scream sing them along with the crowd....And you might want to have a few beers just to fit in with the rest of the scream singers....

4.  Garth Brooks- The first time I saw Garth I did not know a single song.  I was a little frustrated that my clients were so crazy over him.  After attending the concert I bought some of his music and became a Garth lover.  He is really special and I have seen him a few times.

5.  Dixie Chicks- They are very good musicians and vocalists, and they have great words.  I have been lucky enough to see them twice.

Almost made the list:
The Beach Boys- first saw when I was 12 years old and a bunch of times after
The Supremes-first saw when I was 12 and then saw Diana Ross when she was solo
John Mellencamp
Neil Young
Bob Seger
James Taylor
Carole King
The Temptations
The Four Tops
Janet Jackson
James Gang

Wish I could have seen:
Bruce Springsteen- we had tickets to one of his concerts and one of our kids broke his jaw in an at home accident and had to be we missed the concert.  I am not a huge Bruce fan....but still disappointed as I have heard his concerts are phenomenal.
Michael Jackson
Tom Petty- I wish he would tour near here

Concerts that I did not like at all:
Neil Diamond- Sorry Dan and Rosemary
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant
George Straight-boring
Madonna- no comment
Sly and The Family Stone- could not understand any of the songs--- they were completely out of it.
Bread- really can you believe I went to Bread----

There were loads of others that do not make the strong like or dislike list and I am sure that I am missing a few of my loves.

Next week we will see:
Bob Dylan
The Rolling Stones-never seen them

Neil Young
Paul McCartney- just a few more days to see my all time favorite.....
The Who- this will also be a first for us
Roger Waters from Pink Floyd--- I don't really like Pink Floyd so I am not sure how this will be for me.

Rumors are that Eric Clapton will be joining The Rolling Stones next week--- but who knows if any rumors are true.  If I were an old rock star I would want to perform at this concert....right??

"Cinnamon Girl" by Neil Young----next week.....Neil Young on Saturday night!!!

"I wanna live with a cinnamon girl
 I could be happy the rest of my life
 With a cinnamon girl
 A dreamer of pictures

 I run in the night
 You see us together
 Chasing the moonlight
 My cinnamon girl"

Sirius channel 26 is playing only Desert Trip artists next week.  If you want to hear the prelude to the concert.  I heard today that this is the highest grossing concert of all time at $150,000,000.  Wow that is a big number.....Stay tuned and I will give you a first hand view of it all......

Coming Soon:

  • Tribute to Papou
  • Fall Decorating Outside
  • The Desert Trip Realized
  • Neighbors Craft A Thon
  • Burlap Book Project
  • The Kitchen Reno
  • Friends Decorate for fall
  • Garage Makeover
  • View from a bike in Arizona
Love, Ya-Ya

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Burlap Book Project and a Halloween Book

Estimated reading time 2 minutes...17 seconds

I saw a project on about covering a hardbound book with burlap.  Her instructions are very clear and straightforward.  So I have had "to buy burlap" on my list for a while.

Finally,  I went to Hobby Lobby and they had the most luscious burlap in a lot of different patterns with polka dots in black, chevrons, fleur de lis, alphabets, plain black and burlap beige with just a hint of glimmer.  So I ought a few yards and some new Mod Podge and I am ready to start the project.  For instructions,  please go to and look in her tutorials.  It is right there if you have an interest in making some of these.

My plan is to cover a few and use them a backdrops for my other decor items.  The black and burlap color scheme will fit into many of my decor items.  I love black and have a lot of burlap these days as accents.

I will share some pics when I get the books completed.  So stay tuned.

I have completed this Halloween book project so I thought I would share a few pics.  This book will be the destination for photos of the Gkids in costume or pumpkin patch or anything Halloweeny or Octobery.  It is actually a box that holds a fold out so you take it apart to look at it.  There are also a number of spots where you lift the tab to see what is inside, like the black cat below with the washi is a lift and see what is inside tab.
The inside accordion 

The box closed....

I finished ordering my Christmas books for the Gkids.  If you missed my blog about it---I buy 24 books for each family ( in my case there are two).  I wrap the Christmas books and then put a number on each book, so that the kids know which book to open on December 1, December 2, etc.  When the bin is empty it is Christmas.  Each night they read a book about Christmas and enjoy the family togetherness.  This is the fourth year for this project so it was hard to find books that are not repeats and two of the G kids can read so I took that into account and tried to find books that are right for their age and reading ability.
A bunch of my Christmas book project books

The kids love silly books and I thought Santa's Underwear was perfect.

Another of the books from The Christmas Book Project

Are you feeling as busy as I am?  I think my list just keeps growing and it never shrinks even though I try to accomplish a number of things every day.  I will freely admit that when I first started blogging I felt like I needed to do it everyday.So my reading came to almost a complete stop.  Now I am back to reading three or four books a week and blogging less.  I hope you will still find a few minutes to "take a look at my life"---- Oh my gosh that is a Neil Young lyric....Old Man.  I think I just used that song....scary
You can never have too many princesses

Costumes from years past

Pinball Wizard by The Who

"He's a pinball wizard
There has to be a twist
A pinball wizard's
Got such a supple wrist
How do you think he does it?
I don't know
What makes him so good?"

It is just a little over a week until The Desert Trip.  The Who are on Sunday night......

Coming Soon:

  • The Desert Trip Realized
  • The Kitchen reno
  • Decorating for fall outdoors
  • Neighbors Craft A Thon
  • A few friends houses decorated for fall
  • Tribute to Papou
  • Garage Makeover
Love, Ya-Ya

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bridget Jones, Neighbors and Two BDay Parties

Estimated Reading Time....2 minutes, 58 seconds

I am sooo lucky.  I have been going a mile a minute.  I am just coming down for a landing.  It has been a hectic several days,  but all good.

I promised to give my opinion about Bridget Jones Baby- it was cute and a good girlfriend movie. The soundtrack is really good- if there is good music,  I can stay interested.
Happy BDay and Many more----

I was lucky enough to celebrate a girlfriend's birthday with a spa day and dinner.  She asked if I would blog about it and I said no but she wanted to be on the blog so here it is taken by my phone--- I am not very good with the phone.  We joined our husbands for dinner at a small Italian restaurant on the Scottsdale Waterfront called Marcellino.  Their pasta was homemade and delicious.  Parking is ugly,  so valet ---always my favorite thing to do.
Tag Sale Yah!!! Make some money!  This is Not a picture of the junk I sold, this is from an old sale- I might be embarrassed to show you the junk I discarded this time---

My neighbors held a garage sale and I told them I had a couple of bins of Halloween JUNK that I was getting rid of.  I took the junk over to my friends house, marked almost everything $1.00 and made about $125....really- Maybe I should have exerted some effort and then I would have made $500- The bins were all ready to go to Good Will or Salvation Army as I did not really  think there was anything of value there -----just goes to show you that one persons junk is another persons treasure and garage salers LOVE items for $1.00.... I felt a little guilty because I really did not help out but I did take the money they gave me.  I had so many things already planned for the weekend and the G kids always go to the top of the event calendar.  I can pay for pizza a couple of times or a burger night out---Maybe I should take my good neighbors out to lunch.
First football game of Fall 2016 season....

Saturday was the kickoff of flag football and we had two games in one day.  I was tired just watching two games,  imagine playing in two,  and it is still a little hot.  The boys had some great plays and they made progress from their first game to their second game.  The boys had fun and that's what it's all about.  They were cheering for each other and chanting "Go Pack" and it was really fun to watch. Next week soccer and football.  Ya-Ya and Pop-Pop stay very busy on the weekends attending as many games as possible.

The G girls started at a  new dance and cheer studio.  They were thrilled and loved it.  One of the girls said she learned to do a handstand and the other one a cartwheel so stay tuned for pics when I see them actually doing the tricks.
Football-Fall 2016
We had a family celebration for one of the DIL's birthdays.  One of the kids said she must be 25 years old and she was good with that assumption.

Happy 25!  Per one of the kids---okay I think she will take it.  Photo was actually in Cali this past summer but it is a really cute pic of the birthday girl--- she is very photogenic.

We had brunch to celebrate the family birthday and cake and can you believe it I did not take a photo of the cake.  We could not get the candles lit because we were out on the patio and it was too windy but we sang anyway and disrupted all of the other diners.  They may have been happy to be disrupted as the Cardinals game was on and they did NOT have a good day...The kids wanted me to take some photos and I did not grab my camera this morning so I tried to take some with my phone.  Not great but you will get the idea.  I think the G kids know that Ya-Ya will actually do something with the pictures and now they want me to take pics of them-- Yahoo--- it is all good.

The kids wanted their picture taken----other kids in the background...

Extra girl on the left- she wants to be in our family....

A couple of extra girls in the background-- taken from my phone

Now an extra boy and girl- oops....

 "Old Man" by Neil Young----
"Old man take a look at my life
I'm a lot like you
I need someone to love me
the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
and you can tell that's true"

Listen to Sirius Station 26 - lots of references to The Desert Trip....

Coming Soon:

  • The Desert Trip Realized
  • A Neighbors View of Halloween Decorating
  • A Tribute to Papou
  • Outdoor fall Decorating
I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Iowa State won their football game after losing all games until now-- So "Go ISU".  Not so lucky for the Cardinals today- oh well- there is always next week.

Enjoy all of your family events and games and birthdays.  We try really hard to celebrate each birthday with something, either dinner or brunch or at least pizza and we always have cake and sing and have cards and presents.  Life is too short to not enjoy a little birthday fun.

Love, Ya-Ya

Thursday, September 22, 2016

What is an album?

Reading time 1 minute, 26 seconds.......................

Wow- did I ever feel ancient yesterday.  The G girls were at the house and we were discussing the Beatles.  I wanted to take the G kids to the Beatles documentary and had checked it out online.  I found out that the film has an age restriction of and this is the Beatles touring years - I thought it would be safe but I guess not.

So while I was telling the girls about The Beatles documentary that I could not take them to, I told them that The Beatles sold more albums than anyone in the world ever.  They just looked at me and said what is an album?  Really?  I proceeded to explain that there was a time when there were no CD's, DVD's, home computers, satellite radio, etc.  We had turntables and played record albums.

The Beatles sold 1.6 BILLION albums.  I know it is an amazing number.  The Rolling Stones sold 250 million.......No comparison.

The Beatles wrote the most covered song of all time, Yesterday, covered by other bands more than 3000 times.  The Stones wrote a song that has been covered a lot- I Can't Get No Satisfaction- Covered 98 times......

The Beatles had 27 number 1 hits, The Rolling Stones had 8.  The Beatles released 13 albums, not including compilations and live and solo albums.  The Rolling Stones recorded 24, not including compilations and live concert recordings.

The Rolling Stones first hit, "I wanna be your man", was written by Lennon and McCartney.

The Rolling Stones are the longest touring rock group of all time, touring since 1962.  I was ten years old when they started touring.  The Stones have had a few change-ups in their group makeup over the years, due to death or retirement.  But Mick Jagger just keeps on rockin'.  The Beatles quit touring in 1966.

I Can't Get No Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones
"When I'm drivin' in my car
And a man comes on the radio
He's tellin' me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination
I can't get no, oh no no no
Hey hey hey, that's what I say"

Coming Soon:

  • Tribute to Papou
  • The Desert Trip Realized
  • Fall Decorating Outdoors
  • Some interesting Halloween goodies----glitz and glamour
Love, Ya-Ya

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Halloween is 41 days away, Desert Trip is in TWO weeks

Estimated Reading Time.....3 minutes, 13 seconds

I did order the Halloween costumes for the G kids as I told you I would.  They arrived and we have had a dress rehearsal.  Good thing that we did because one the the G girls decided that now she wants earrings and when we ordered she was adamant that she did not want earrings.  So the earrings are ordered.
We will have one Ninja on Halloween---

One the the G boys did not have the right shoes, so I ordered those also.  The costumes were a huge hit and I can't wait for the real events.  I hope that the kids will have plenty of opportunities to wear their outfits after the photos are taken in mid October. If you have not thought about costumes you might want to get with it.  This year we will have four really special costumes.  I was worried about two of them and they all four turned out really fun.
We will have a Queen this Halloween but she needs some earrings....

Kitchen Renovation Update:  Just an FYI- Double your expected budget

  • The reno is underway at least paying for the reno is underway.  
  • I wrote a big check to the cabinet guy- he is scheduled to start work on Nov 1.
  • I still need to pick the cabinet hardware.
  • The installer is scheduled for the demo and the floor and backsplash installation.
I am looking for a lumpy subway tile.

  • I am struggling with the tile selection.  I have a little too much resale on my mind instead of picking what I would like if we were here for the long haul.  
Fake wood floor- made from tile

  • Appliances have been selected but I do want Marty to take a look before I say "go" because as you know he is the cook around here.  I did not go crazy on the appliances as we know we will not be here for more than 5 or 6 more years?????Then downsize???
  • I still need to schedule the paint contractor.
  • I am acting as the general contractor so wish me luck.  The expense seems to not be worth it to hire a general for such a small job, so I am scheduling each thing and will try to make it all happen when they are promising that it will.
  • I have to have all of my stuff out of the kitchen before the reno starts.  All cabinets empty.  Maybe we should just throw everything away and start with all new stuff....just up the budget a hair....
Halloween in Ya-Ya's dining room

Ya-Ya's Halloween dining room

Fall Decorating is kind of completed.  I think I just ran out of steam.  Maybe it was when I had my teeth cleaned and they said I had a cavity--- really- I have not had one for at least 15 years.  I had it repaired yesterday and it wasn't that bad but don't you just hate it when they tell you there is something wrong.  I am such a huge dentist wimp.  I go religiously every 6 months for a tooth cleaning but I dread hearing that there is anything that is not right.  Then I obsess over it until it is completed.  I have told you before that I have a couple of loony tendencies and this is one of them.
Ya-Ya's Halloween chandelier- dining room

I will include a couple of pictures so you can see what I have been working on.
Cart made by Marty many years ago- I love to decorate it for every season

We went to see "Sully".  The movie about the airplane landing on the Hudson River.  It was troubling for me to see and emotional.  I was a little shook up after seeing it.  I guess I should stick to chick flicks with a love story and a happy ending.  

I went to see Cabaret last week and I did not like the "new"version.  Very dark.  I don't remember the old version being such a downer.

This week I am seeing Bridget Jones Baby which looks like it is a really funny one.  I will report back next week.  I also want to go see the Beatles documentary--- I may have to go alone- no one seems to be too excited to see it except me.

It is  two weeks until we leave for the Desert Trip. If you do not know what the Desert Trip is one of our kids is calling it "Old Chella".  It takes place in the same venue as Choachella but it has some of the greatest bands of our era.  The first night it is Bob Dylan followed by The Rolling Stones, night two is Neil Young followed by Paul McCartney and night three is The Who followed by Roger Waters(formerly with Pink Floyd). Listen to Sirius Channel 26.  They talk about Desert Trip a lot.  

I hope you are making it happen.  And thank you to my Florida buddy for getting me inspired to make something happen.   xxxooo and I hope to see you soon...
Coming Soon:
  • Decorating outdoors for fall
  • A Tribute to Papou, a Greek Remembered
  • The Desert Trip
  • My Favorite concerts
Love, Ya-Ya

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Great idea for a Family!! Food Bank Contributions until Christmas

Reading Time- not even 1 minute...............Read and share!!!

I just read the best idea on Facebook.  Thank you Megan!!! Start a box right now.  Every day from now until Christmas Eve put something in the box to be donated to your local food bank on Christmas Eve.  Involve the kids,  they will learn the power of giving.

We have adopted families and done all kinds of holiday giving projects but this is a no brainer.  I am starting mine tomorrow and hope to involve all of our families to do the same thing.

I urge you to start along with me tomorrow.  Support your local food bank and if we all do it the results will be phenomenal.

Love, Ya-Ya

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Queen Doesn't Cook

Reading Time............2 minutes, 12 seconds

I know that I have been telling you that I was going to learn to cook.  Well, not quite yet.  But I did buy a few bread mixes from Williams Sonoma.  I made a couple of them last year and they really were delicious.  See Ya-Ya can cook....from a mix where you only add a few eggs and butter.

I do have a story from the first mix I made last year.  The mix called for melted butter, so I put the butter in the microwave to melt it.  I was not sure how long it took to melt butter but I just put it in and started the microwave. To save time I decided to break the eggs into the bowl and get that started while the butter was melting.  I did a bad job breaking the eggs, there were bits of shell in the bowl. While I was fishing out the shell, the butter exploded in the microwave.  It was all over the microwave and the biggest mess imaginable.  Totally gross.  Lesson learned, stand and watch the butter melt and it only takes a few seconds.  Do not push start and walk away or you may have an explosion on your hands.

Part of my last years cooking experiment included buying the coolest pans at Williams Sonoma that have pumpkins in the design.  I can't find them.  I think they are is storage with my missing stuff....I am going to have to use a regular bread pan if I can't find the cool one.   This is the sign of a person who has too much stuff
I also tried a different mix from Trader Joe's last year.  I thought I was really a good cook because I had a small amount of success with my Williams Sonoma mixes.  The Trader Joe's mixes were not nearly as go straight to Williams Sonoma.  There may be other good mixes but these are for sure tasty.

I have another good story about buying cheap stuff versus buying the good stuff.  I was told to drink green tea for it's antioxidants.  I thought that would be easy and I put green tea on the grocery list.  Marty bought some generic green tea bags at the grocery store.  They were so bad that I needed to plug my nose to get it down.  So I was telling one of my friends about how awful the green tea was and that I did not think I could choke it down.  She started laughing at my tea ignorance and told me to go to a real Tea Shop and buy some really good tea.  So I went to TeaVana and said I wanted some green tea tea bags.  They started laughing.  I told them that I did not drink tea and that I had been referred to them.  They proceeded to teach me how to do one cup of tea a really easy way and without a tea bag.  They have this nifty cup that you just dump the tea into, steep the tea and then it strains out into your tea cup.  They also suggested a couple of teas to mix with the green to help a novice like me like the taste.  I did it.  My favorite blend is Jasmine Pearls Green(2 scoops) mixed with Lavender Citrus(1 scoop).

Cup of Tea by Kacey Musgraves.............
"You can't be everybody's cup of tea
Some like the bitter, some the sweet
Nobody's everybody's favorite
So you might as well just make it how you please
Cause you can't be everybody's cup of tea"

Coming Soon:

  • The Desert Trip
  • Fall continued
  • Tribute to Papou- A Greek remembered
  • Projects
  • Cheap Internet Shopping