I’m having a group of folks over this weekend and I’m looking for some nice fall like drinks that could be made up ahead of time in a pitcher. It’s not really a Halloween party, but it needs to have alcohol for sure. I was thinking various beers and hard ciders? But maybe one type of cocktail, too?
All ideas are welcome!
Yesterday, like many Americans, I woke to the horrible news of another mass shooting, this time at an outdoor country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. At least 59 people were dead, more than 500 were injured. The number of guns and amount of ammunition this 64-year-old shooter had in his hotel room and home is utterly astounding. And the current speculation is that he used a semiautomatic rifle that had been illegally, of course, converted to a fully automatic rifle so that he could shoot almost continuously for 4 and 1/2 minutes from a 32nd floor hotel room down into a crowd of people gathered across the street. This is madness…
The morning news pretty much ran into the noon news with the story run again and again. There are some bright spots. We’ve heard amazing stories about the Las Vegas first responders and ordinary people in the crowd who helped and protected each other amid the chaos and fear Sunday night. So many people lined up to give blood that some had to be turned away.
I then got a message from a former neighbor asking if it was true that one of our friends had died over the weekend. I hadn’t been home much so I was totally shocked to check messages on Facebook and find it was true! My lovely neighbor, Sue Smith, whose family moved into their home across the street the same summer that we moved into this house 25 years ago, died suddenly from a brain aneurysm this weekend. Sue worked in the school district as a special needs aide, planted gorgeous flowers in her yard and took care of my dogs many times when I went on vacation over the years. She was truly the glue that held her family together and my heart is breaking for them.
Then I heard that my brother’s sister-in-law, whom I knew was on a river cruise in Europe with her husband, developed a brain bleed and is hospitalized in Switzerland! If doctors agree to allow her to return to the States for treatment, she will need to be on an air ambulance from Zürich to Chicago and in an ambulance to a hospital here. My sister- in-law is understandably worried sick about her sister, Lynn, having to make that flight. I’m humbly asking for your prayers and good thoughts for the coming weeks.
And if all that wasn’t enough awful news, singer Tom Petty suffered a massive cardiac episode and was removed from life support Monday afternoon. He did not make it through the night.
I really am grateful for all wonderful people and things in my life. But Monday was a truly sucky day. I’m going to my happy place, even if it’s just in my mind…
I’ve just gotten back from a short vacay in Virginia Beach and the older I get, the shorter the visits seem! My only sister and her family live there as my brother-in-law is retired military. I so wish our houses were closer but thank goodness the plane fare is not too bad nowadays. The only downside is getting back to cooking, cleaning and real life!
Before we left well ahead of Hurricane Irma, we got to see one of my dear nieces and her hubby and two boys because they live close by. Her sister is in northern Virginia and we only get to see her and her family about once a year or so. It’s tough when family is spread around the country.
I’m sure many of you have the same situation as me. I’ve got two sons and a stepson and family in Illinois, a stepdaughter and family in Tennessee and another stepdaughter and family in North Carolina. My sis is in Virginia, my brothers are in the Chicago area, but already one nephew is married and settled in Wisconsin.
We’re planning a few vacations next year, one to Las Vegas for the over 21 crowd and my sis and her hubby and my hubby and I are taking a cruise from Boston to Canada next fall, just a week long getaway for the four of us. Yes, it’s a lot of work and some expense, but it’s worth it to reconnect with each other. We also do our Memorial Day weekend trip to Tennessee for hubby’s family reunion.
I must say, there are way more benefits than disadvantages to having such a big and wonderful family, including lots of great places to visit. We love each and every one of you!
Some thoughts from me while it’s still Monday in my part of the world!
a) Does this ever happen to you? Twice now I’ve been in a restaurant where there is just one person who has the type of voice that carries so loudly and clearly that I can hear every word they are saying as if they were at my table. And they’re not even sitting that close to me.
All the other 50 or 60 people’s voices are normal. I mean, I know there are conversations at each table, but nothing that interferes with the conversation at our table. It drives me bonkers because I just cannot tune out that one voice and I really, really don’t care about the details of their life/recipe/school/shopping trip/work/whatever! Do people really not realize how loud they are speaking?
b) I apparently give off some vibes that make me seem approachable. Relative strangers tell me personal things. All the time. The gym where I go to work out early in the day has a wide variety of people from young adults to older couples. This very nice older Indian woman has been talking to me for a few weeks now as we’re there at the same time most days. Her oldest daughter is in her late 30s and lives in a western state. She is either divorced or never married, but has at least one son who is a teenager.
The problem is she hits up her older parents who are retired for money all the time. It sounds like they’ve sent her literally thousands of dollars over the years. The latest story is that the daughter lost her job because of the heat wave and she became dehydrated and had to spend time in the hospital. Now, I don’t think that would actually happen because I’m pretty sure you can’t fire someone for having to miss work while in the hospital, but these parents don’t want to believe their daughter might be lying to them.
She tells them she won’t move back with them, they can’t visit her because it’s never a good time, but if they don’t continue to send money they will come back in the next life as cockroaches. The cockroach thing seems to bother my new friend a lot as she’s mentioned it to me more than once.
I gently suggested they go out and surprise her anyway, talk to a counselor here for some advice or pull a tough love move and tell her, sorry, they can’t afford to send her anything more. I get how easy it is to feel guilty, especially as a parent, but it sounds like the daughter is a master manipulator and I’m out of ideas.
c) I’m trying to get back to writing fiction, but it’s been very difficult for me to be creative lately. I’m just not motivated and nothing comes to mind that seems worth writing. I’m still hoping for that inspiration to just hit me!
d) The weather here is so gorgeous for the middle of August. It’s low eighties, sunny, breezy — and I think I’ll just go outside…
Do you know this game for your mobile devices? It’s a free app to play and your points can be turned into real rewards through M Life and MGM. MGM owns several of the casinos and restaurants in Las Vegas as well as, apparently, interests in lots of other things worldwide. I figured that playing this game would be more worthwhile than, say, Candy Crush, which is fun, but doesn’t really earn you anything but bragging rights.
Well, I’ll tell you right now, it’s fun, but it’s also addictive. You can download free coins every four hours and the more you do, the more they give you. There are different levels you earn, which give you higher percentages of free coins and loyalty rewards, too. It’s downright evil genius.
I’ve got my family playing now, on the chance that we may meet up in Vegas next year sometime for a long weekend. The awards really do translate into free or discounted hotel stays, shows, and meals. I’m sure many people spend money buying more points to get more awards, but if you don’t do that, the only thing you’re spending is your valuable time — ulp! And therein lies the problem.
If you have an addictive personality, and I’m not saying I do, but maybe — it’s hard to quit before your eyes are crossing from the strain or you run out of chips. I refuse to buy chips, which is the only thing saving me. But I’ve been neglecting reading and writing stories on my blog and even reading the books I have.
And here’s the thing. I have an iPhone, which the game will play on. I did have it on my Kindle HD tablet, but the game updated somewhere around the beginning of July and it will not update on Kindle. If anyone has one and plays this game and knows the secret, please let me know! There is also a my Vegas Blackjack and the loyalty awards cross over between the two games. That now refuses to open on my Kindle also. Any ideas other than buying an iPad?? Just wondered if you knew…