Saturday, March 30, 2019

America's First Ladies

There have been a lot of "Lunch and Learn" sessions this year. And I love to go -- and I always learn something. Last month, the topic was "America's First Ladies".

Their lunches take place at the very elegant, old-school "Outing Club"...where the Davenport elite class used to have their cotillion's...

Just going to the Outing Club is a very big deal....even though, clearly, the Outing Club is from a time gone by....and I'm sure the shrinking membership is why they've opened it up to Commuity College events...
But they have a resident "chef" -- and the food is always excellent.  The crystal chandeliers add to the ambiance
And this topic was of particular interest to me.
I didn't get a good picture -- but the speaker was the same Actress/Historian who last year did the Schuyler Sisters Event.  AND she also did the Louisa May Alcott luncheon.

So -- the ranking of the most influential First Ladies:

#5 -- Michelle Obama

#4 -- Abigale Adams

#3 -- Jackie Kennedy

#2 -- Dolly Madison

#1 -- By a wide, wide margin, and by any measure -- the woman who is considered to be more influential than all the other first ladies in the history of the country --

Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, March 29, 2019


WINTER IS OVER -- RIGHT?? It's official.  And nobody is happier about that than I am.  It's been a really sucky winter...

AND Spring is here. The kids and I went on our first actual PICNIC IN THE PARK last week. It was almost 60 degrees...the snow was completely gone...and they played on the slides, the swings and the Merry-go-round!!

But, looking at pictures from the beginning of the month -- this was one of our first "outdoor" activities...
Even though there was still a bit of snow on the ground...the kids were anxious to go outdoors and DO SOMETHING!
Lilly won a big bottle of Coke at the School Carnival. So I decided it was time to do the Mentos experiment!
We watched a few YouTube videos -- then we went TO THE PARK...
I did the first bottle (Warren backed out)...
Lilly was SO EXCITED..!!
I didn't capture Lilly's BIG moment -- but it was H.U.G.E...

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Buried Treasure!!

This winter, I've been trying my best to CLEAR THE CRAP OUT OF MY drawer at time.

Holy Cow, I am such a collector...I never know what I'm going to find in the back of a closet, a box under the bed, or, in this case -- buried in the piles of dusty books and magazines that have been accumulating on my nightstand...

For years...

I found a little bag which held a bobbin necklace I bought at the Houston Quilt Market about ten years ago...

,,,My red patent leather address book from the 1970's...

And, then, it happened...






It was complete. With the instructions...AND the all-important screw.

AND -- here's the thing. I have no idea when I purchased this little beauty. Many years ago, for sure -- long before I even owned my first Featherweight.

The price tag was on the bottom of the box. I apparently paid $1.50...!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

New York City ITINERARY...

NEW YORK CITY with Amy and Nicole  April 6-9, 2019:                     3.25.19

Saturday April 6, arrive at hotel by 2:00:

·          Check into the Edison

·          Times Square!!

·          Eat at Ellen’s Stardust Diner (by 2:30 – 3:00?)

·        Walk to Rockefeller Plaza…St. Patrick’s Cathedral

·        TOUR Radio City Music Hall/TOP OF THE ROCK

·        Macy’s on 34th St. is open until 10:00

·        Subway up to Tom’s Diner for late supper

Sunday April 7:

·          7:00 Bogeda Breakfast

·          Central Park,

·          CAB tour around the Park…up Central Park West, across at 110th St.…down 5th Avenue, get off at Metropolitan Museum…

·          The PLAZA…lunch downstairs?

·          Walk over to Lincoln Center, past Tavern on the Green

·          3:00 COME FROM AWAY (Jackie and I will walk the…Highline and Chelsea Market)  we’ll hook up back at the hotel afterwards…

·          7:00  Carmine’s dinner!!  (We have reservations)

·          Walk across 42nd Street…past Bryant Park….to Grand Central Terminal.  

Monday April 8:

·       6:00 Bodega Breakfast/the TODAY SHOW

·       Subway (42nd St) to Hudson yards!! (10:00 tickets)

·       Subway to Staten Island Ferry

·       Cab (or Uber) up to 911 Memorial

·       Cab (or Uber) to Tenement Museum (103 Orchard Street)

·       Walk to Katz’a Deli. (205 E. Houston Street)

·       Magical Nights Inc. The Players Theater The theater is located at 115 MacDougal Street, between 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) and Sullivan Street in the heart of Greenwich Village. The theater is on MacDougal Street, about a 1/2 block south of West 3rd Street.


Tuesday, April 9 -- until 2:00

·       2nd chance for THE TODAY SHOW..!!

·       Westway Diner Breakfast

·       FREE Edison Tour of Times Square

·       NYC Public Library

·       2:00 -- cab to LGA

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Amy and Nicole do NEW YORK CITY..!!

Last night, my nieces Amy and Nicole (my sister Ronda is their mother) -- came over to my house so we could discuss our upcoming trip to NEW YORK CITY..!!

OMG...I am so excited, I really cannot tell you!!

We put the finishing touches to our ITINERARY....and it is going to be amazing...

We will take the subway down to the Staten Island Ferry...and Lilly still talks about her ride...


The Staten Island Ferry runs 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. They have five boats, making 109 daily trips, transporting 70,000 passengers daily...and it is totally, 100% FREE.

Well done, New York City!!

The terminal building is a beautiful public space -- with clean public restrooms, reasonable carry-on food, fresh coffee..well, I just think it's a.m.a.z.i.n.g...
When you leave the dock, you get that iconic view of New York Harbor.
And a few minutes later -- you get a GREAT view as we pass the Statue of Liberty
Life just doesn't get any better than this!!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Mary Fons Fabric Sale!

In March of 2016, I took Lilly to Chicago. It was our first trip to Chicago...our first ride on a train...and the first time I got to spend the day with Mary Fons.


You may remember reading this blog post about the time Lilly and I visited Mary Fons in Chicago.  Well, if you are a Mary Fons fan (and who isn't?) -- you know she's moving from her lovely, most perfect Chicago a smaller, pet-friendly condo...

Read all about Mary's Philip Larkin (her dream dog's name) drama on her blog -- Papergirl.

AND -- because she won't have room for her FASBULOUS, TERRIFIC, MOST WONDERFUL FABRIC STASH (which I have personally seen)...she's putting it up for sale on eBay.

So -- HERE'S THE -- go on and buy yourself a bundle of Mary Fons joy-filled fabric stash.

March 2016:  This weekend trip was Lilly's 7th birthday present from me...and I wanted it to be THE first big city experience...and it was P.E.R.F.E.C.T...

To review, Mary met us at our hotel at Noon, and we took the City Bus to the Art Institute, then we had High Tea a the Russian Tea Room,
Then she put us in a cab and we are headed -- where??
She and Lilly picked up her mail.
Then, went up an elevator, down a hall, and opened the door.
If you are a fan of Paper Girl (Mary's wonderful blog) -- you'll recognize this dresser!
Lilly loved her eclectic furniture.
We even got a tour OF HER CLOSET (and all those high heels!)
We even got a picture with Pendennis!!
My favorite picture of the entire weekend...
Lilly took this picture of a mouse on top of a mouse.
And it really was magic. Lilly and I arrived on Friday afternoon, and left on Sunday afternoon -- so we really only had one complete day in Chicago. Saturday. And from the moment we got up that morning, I cannot imagine doing anything better than exactly what we did.

Lilly doesn't even know how lucky she was on this most perfect day...but, when she is older -- it will hit her.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Princeton Library Events!

I am a BIG FAN of libraries. Really. A big fan. I have spent time in and loved libraries in every town I ever lived in.

I'm sure it started when I was a kid, and the bookmobile came to our town.

Throughout my life, walking into a library has always felt like going home.

And I hope this is a gift I've given to Lilly and Warren. We frequent seven libraries.... LeClaire, Eldridge, Davenport (has 3 libraries, and we go to all of them!), Bettendorf (a favorite), and -- of course -- our favorite little library -- right here in Princeton.

Although the Princeton library is very small, and has limited hours -- they do an incredible job of scheduling events and activities for children. I am always AMAZED (and disappointed) that more people don't take advantage of this little gem in our town.

Because, unfortunately, Lilly and Warren are often the ONLY children in attendance.
For example -- this event -- "Marshmallow Painting".  
Lilly and Warren had the room all to themselves.
That's my cousin Kim on the left -- we often meet at the library for a chat and a cup of coffee. Rachel (a new librarian-in-training) is on the right.
I go into a library once or twice a week -- depending on the events. It's where I get all my audio books (which I check out in batches of 4), it's where I took Warren from the time he was 3 for toddler Time...this year, the kids went to the Winter Carnival, last year they saw birds of prey...and they do crafting events almost every month.  AND -- it's where I go to pick up a FREE Museum pass...

Here's my point.  If you are NOT a frequent visitor to your local library -- you are missing something great.  Really.

And if you are an important person in the life of a child -- give them this gift.  It won't cost you a nickel -- and it will last for their whole them fall in love with a library...

P.S.  today, at Noon -- Lilly and Warren are signed up for a Harry Potter Escape Room at our little library.

Friday, March 22, 2019

KFC versus Popeye's

When my Sunday goes as planned, I go to the pool at the YMCA, then I visit Val. Often, I deliver her favorite food -- KFC fried chicken.

Meal #21.

One chicken breast, with a side of coleslaw, a biscuit and a chocolate chip cookie. $5.19.
Val ONLY eats chicken.  No burgers for Chinese, no pizza, no Mexican food.  ONLY CHICKEN.  And KFC  is our go-to dinner.  

But, inspired by our recent "Butterfinger" challenge-- I decided to do a comparison between KFC and Popeye's chicken...
This is what we get from KFC for about $5...and we LOVE their coleslaw...
The Popeye's coleslaw was not as good as KFC.
Popeye's biscuit on the left...KFC on the right.  Again, KFC is the winner.
Popeye's chicken was good. Crispy, but not exactly tasty...

CHICKEN:    KFC wins
Coleslaw:       KFC wins
Biscuits:         KFC wins

And --hey -- did I mention the fact that KFC had a chocolate chip cookie??

So much for our latest taste test...

Thursday, March 21, 2019

TBK Birthday "Tour"

So, it's Lilly's actual 10th birthday.   It was a cold and rainy day...John just got home from the hospital.

But, in the interest of doing something special,  I decided to do a spontaneous "mystery tour"...

Last year, a gigantic sports complex opened in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Named the "TBK Bank Sports complex" -- I knew it had indoor soccer fields and basketball courts...
The kids love exploring, and seeing new things. I figured they would enjoy checking this place out...and they could RUN AROUND for awhile...
Turns out, the TBK sports Complex has several different "escape rooms"
And there is another area that was a BIG SURPRISE...!!
A giant ARCADE..!!
They also have Laser Tag...!!
Lilly and Warren "fake played" some of the video games.
The GIANT special is the during-the-week deal...for $10, you get $10 worth of tokens, and a game of laser tag, AND a game of bowling!!
The Mystery Tour of the giant TBK Sports Complex was a huge hit. The kids loved it...and they ran around, went on the elevators (always fun)...fake-played the video games.

They felt like explorers...discovering a new continent.

It was a sweet little adventure.  (that didn't cost me a nickel)...

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

M.D.F. Breakfast Buddies

As you know, I consider myself to be a VERY, VERY lucky person.  And I am grateful.  Especially because I have such great friends....

You know about my TMBC friends...

One of my favorite pictures of Missouri Star, with Jenny Doan!!

And another regular-breakfast-or-lunch-a-coupla-times-a-month group...remember the MDF??
Me, Evelyn, Sandy and Carol in 2009. It was the first New York City trip for the three of them -- and I LOVED BEING their official tour guide...
I call them the "MDF"...which stands for "My Drinking Friends"...because, well, so many of my friends are non-drinkers. This group are the non-non-drinkers...(I could have given them that moniker -- the NND)...

We get together for breakfast at least once a month...altho, our ringleader, Sandy, goes to Florida in the winter -- we try to soldier on without her.

I wanted to share this photo-- because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what this place did with their ceiling tile!!
It's a fairly new breakfast joint -- "Berry's". The owner said that during the remodeling, the ceiling tiles were discolored...and it was going to be very expensive to replace them. So she used cans of spray paint!! genius, eh?

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Lilly's Birthday Doughnuts

Hey -- this has been a brutal winter. And just when we saw some sunshine at the end of the tunnel (50 degrees on Saturday)...we woke up to SNOW ON THE GROUND Sunday.


You already know John fell on the ice...and, for him, this winter was NOT getting any better.

He ended up in the hospital again...for an over night. So, Uncle Ross had to step in and take my place for Lilly's birthday surprise.  (A Cirque d'Soleil event!!). My sisters, Ronda and Deena were there, too...and Lilly had a WONDERFUL TIME.

But for her actual birthday breakfast, we didn't have a cake (yet).

So, before the kids woke up, I made a run to our local Casey's convenience buy BIRTHDAY DOUGHNUTS...

Every child should have somebody sing Happy Birthday to them on the morning of their important double digit 10th birthday!! And we all know that REQUIRES A CAKE...
Of course, doughnuts are any kid's favorite thing...ALMOST BETTER THAN CAKE, RIGHT?
But I didn't want Lilly to blow on the ACTUAL we stuck the candles into a piece of bread...
She was very pleased...even though our singing was pitiful...
It really is mostly about BLOWING OUT THOSE CANDLES...