Wednesday, November 30, 2016

No sleep til Greece

Flying from London to Athens on Aegean Airlines was interesting, to say the least.

First of all, the flight left at 10:30pm and arrived at 4:30am in Athens - and it was COMPLETELY FULL. My mom and I were both stuck in middle seats, and let's just say we were the only blondes on board. The girl next to me had a baby (clearly Greek - he had amazing eyebrows at just a few months old), and she whipped out her boob to breastfeed several times throughout the flight. No blanket covering her or anything. (I have no problem with this; it was just a bit awkward because I was RIGHT NEXT TO HER.)

You would think an overnight flight would be dark and everyone would be sleeping. You would be wrong. The full cabin lights were on the whole time, and they served dinner. At 1am. And my mom ate the whole thing. (Some sort of couscous and lamb concoction that made my stomach turn. Or that could have been the insane turbulence.)

And similar to my experience last year on Austrian Air, they talk in their native tongue over the loudspeaker for like 5 minutes, then provide an English summary of about 10 words. I'm like - I KNOW you are giving the good emergency advice to the Greeks, and the Americans are just going to be stuck swimming for their lives in the ocean!

We then had a 6 hour layover in Athens before our 30-minute flight to Santorini - and again, the airport was PACKED. DFW at 4:30am would be a ghost town. Not so in Athens. We tried to sleep on the floor, but a guard told us that wasn't allowed. Plus I was too nervous about someone stealing my suitcase to get any sleep. So technically my 65-year-old mother and I pulled an all-nighter. Such rock stars, I tell you what.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

It's all Greek to me

We head back to London today after two days in Santorini - then back to Dallas tomorrow. Ready to get home/see my dog, but MAN. This place is so beautiful. It is off-season, so not everything is open, but it's really nice having the place almost all to ourselves (aside from busloads of Chinese tourists). Apparently the population goes from 50,000 in the winter to 1,000,000 in the summer. Opa!

We have had amazing weather - 65 and sunny - and the views are just ridiculous. I would think it was fake if I didn't see it for myself. The people are really nice, although the Greek accents are so thick we can't even understand them when they speak English. Have to admit I have eaten both Greek yogurt and a Greek salad - both of which I could get in the states (but both of which were delicious here). No ouzo, but Santorini makes it's own wine and we've tried some.

We are staying in the village of Oia, but ventured into the capital city, Thira (Fira) today. We even took the city bus! #brave

I bought some yummy hand/body lotion made from olive oil and other Greek finds, plus some balsalmic vinegar with figs and honey in it, to ensure that the Greek vacation doesn't stop when we get home.

Antio! (goodbye in Greek, according to Google)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Gives new meaning to "royal flush"

Had tea on the 35th floor of the Shard, an all-glass tower in London that has amazing 360-degree views. The food was amazing - a tray of sweets, a tray of scones and a tray of savory snacks (all of which were bottomless and refillable), plus the actual tea. The location could not have been cooler, and the food was super fun. What made it even better? The bathroom. The amazing views continued, PLUS heated toilet seats and phone chargers in each stall. Adopt me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Across the pond

Off to Europe tonight - we're having tea in the Shard building tomorrow and "Thanksgiving" dinner at one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants before heading to Santorini for a couple of days. Looking forward to getting away for a week - hope my mom is ready to travel a la Sarah (I am a big planner; she's more "I'll see what I feel like.")...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Unisex name problems

I get that my dog Charlie has a boy's name, but it's still a bit disconcerting when the groomer calls to say "he's ready for pick-up." Didn't you JUST give her a bath and haircut? And not see any male dog parts?? #itsshortforCharlizepeople

Friday, November 18, 2016

Halls? Decked.

May or may not have put up my Christmas tree and (bought and) wrapped all my packages. And it's November 18. Too embarrassed to do any outdoor decorating yet, but I can enjoy my little inner holiday sanctum. (Really it's because I'll be gone for a week over Thanksgiving and wanted to get a head start, but honestly I kind of love it.) #sorrynotsorry #maybealittle

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fights next door

The Next Door app is great for plumber recommendations, security alerts and lost dog notices - but when people start fighting on there, it cracks me up and saddens me at the same time. Here is a recent dispute - note that God is mentioned multiple times, and one calls the other out for having "dementia." #sigh

I have had recent experience with the Sprinkler Guy. Both times it turned out to be negative. He promises a lot, but when he runs into a problem, he leaves, promising to come back, but doesn't and won't return phone calls. He recently disrupted my gas grill, resulting in a bill of over $144.00 to a plumbing company because it was left spewing out gas for at least overnight without my knowledge. I am now left waiting to hear from him because he couldn't get a valve to work. He left, promising to come back within an hour, but hasn't, and won't return my phone calls. It has been two days. I have paid him over $800.00 with these results.

    That's not true I haven't ever got paid from you because you want to pay through PayPal. I fixed your entire system for free and you want more, what do you expect me to do? I will never work for you again because of how you treat people. God sees how you treat people that are good to you, and he doesn't like it
      The money went directly into your bank account from PayPal, as your mother recommended, and you know it. I also wrote you a check for materials for $144.00 which you have cashed. So don't try to View more say you weren't paid because I can prove that you were. Plus my system is still not working. God also know that you are not telling the truth. You know that you solved the problem of payment through your mother, who told you that I should send you the money through your PayPal account and I did which sent cash directly into your bank account. So don't think I can't prove it. And I still don't have a working sprinkler system, after all that. You really have a nerve saying that you fixed my entire system for free.

        I am hoping not to have to take legal action. All it would take would be a good faith effort to fix the problem and not promise to do it and then run off.
          Yall are only hearing one half of the story. I've done over 100 jobs in our neighborhood alone and have never had a bad review. Please go sit down and talk with her for five minutes and you will View more understand. I'm a very Christian person so I hate to say this, but Mildred has dementia, she has her good days and her bad days. Please be understanding that I did everything I possibly could to make her happy, and even with everything fixed she's still upset and bitter. I feel sorry for her so I tried as hard as I could to satisfy her but with some people it's impossible. God bless all of you and have a great night.

          you sat right in my office and high fived me when you figured out a way to extract cash from my PayPal credit card which was deposited directly into your bank account. I had View more originally told Blake that I would need to pay with a credit card. I have receipts, plus the check that you cashed. I really do not want to have to settle this in court, but you are pushing for it. All I want is for you to make good on your warranty and fix my sprinkler system that I have already paid you to do. To my neighbors in St Andrews, I most certainly do not have dementia, but I have recently been in the hospital, so I wasn't able to walk around to keep a check on what the Sprinkler Guy was doing. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way from his disruption of my gas grill, which spewed gas for at least a day and a half, and could have resulted in an explosion affecting the neighborhood, until it was discovered by a friend of mine who was helping me, and and who shut it off. I did inform Blake about the problem and he did try to light my water heater but didn't know how. He left and promised to come back after consulting with his grandfather, but I didn't hear back from him and couldn't reach him by phone. I needed hot water so I had to call a plumbing company which resulted in another $144.00 charge. He came back once after that, but ran into a valve problem, left again and promised to come back in a hour, but didn't and won't return phone calls. If Blake is the real sprinkler Guy, let him respond to my request. Meanwhile, this is a true account of what has happened to me so far.                
            This is Blake not lauren, and don't message us anymore. Your bitter and mean and you are one of the rudest people I've ever met. I was just trying to explain something to you and you would yell and View more tell me off. Do you really expect people to work for you when you treat them so horribly. Your a mean bitter person, we tried so hard to be nice and accommodating. Yet all you would do is tell me off, for what, answering your question? Please leave us alone your system works fine, this is harassment.

              If you are Blake, not Lauren, sign into Nextdoor using your own name and photo. I will continue to expect you to honor my two year warranty. Sorry if your feelings are hurt, but business is business. I do not want to have to pursue court action.

              Wednesday, November 16, 2016

              I'm going to need a card from Hallmark for this.

              Apparently yesterday was "Sarah Day" and I missed it. I'm sure it was a made up day, since every day seems to be "National Something Day," but still. There's never a Hurricane Sarah - this might be the closest we get to our 15 minutes of fame.

              Happy Sarah Day, everyone. Drinks are on me.

              Tuesday, November 15, 2016

              Is there that much traffic on a Sunday morning??

              My mom was trying to get directions on her phone to Rockwall, which is about 15 miles from my house. Her phone said it would take an hour and a half to get there. Then we looked up churches (see yesterday's post) - one that was 7 miles away said it would take 45 minutes. Confused, I asked to see her phone. She had somehow set it on "biking," not "driving." So of course it would take over an hour to ride your bike to Rockwall! Serenity now.

              Monday, November 14, 2016

              You just got churched.

              My mom and I have been testing out churches close to my house. And it kind of makes me feel like Goldilocks - this one is too small. This one has weird music. And this one might be a cult. (Kidding on that last one) We went to one yesterday that was pretty nice - I liked the female pastor, and the choir, although small, wore robes and seemed legit (I was raised in a traditional church, so that's what I'm used to). The congregation was very small, although not as small as the last one we visited (seriously, there were like 20 people) - which was nice because people stood up to ask for prayers, a cute 93-year-old WWII vet stood up when asked if any veterans were present, etc. - but fairly embarrassing for us newbies, because it was super obvious we weren't members. Everyone came over (including the pastor) to introduce themselves and welcome us. Very nice, but I was kind of hoping to just blend into the background for a while. But then a man came over and offered us official church umbrellas. You get swag at church now?? Count me IN. #amen

              Friday, November 11, 2016

              These boots were made for walking. And THESE boots were made for shopping. And THESE boots...

              I have probably 6 pairs of brown boots. Each one is slightly different, of course - one has a wedge heel, one has fringe, one has a red stripe, one camel-colored, one more saddle-colored (yes there is a difference), one is woven, one is a cowboy boot...(and I think that's already more than 6).

              And then there are the OTHER boots. Black. Red. Blue. Gold. Gray. Galoshes. Booties. I could go on and on (and on). My poor mother has to share her closet with most of my boots. (She'd be singing a different tune if we wore the same size, but alas.) I should probably count them, but I think that would just be depressing. For all of us.)

              Thursday, November 10, 2016


              Always scary to pull on jeans for the first time every year (yes, it's been a warm year in Texas) - the fear of will they fit? (Thankfully I was able to get them on and securely buttoned, but one never knows.) Now let's keep those temps below 80 so the fun can continue!

              Wednesday, November 9, 2016

              Searching for answers

              Because I'm still in shock and can barely put sentences together, I decided to show what some light searching results in on Google.

              (I am asking myself most of the questions that auto-populated, btw.)

              Good luck to us all!

              Tuesday, November 8, 2016

              What will I DO with myself after tomorrow?? (Sleep soundly, probably)

              Election Day is finally here. I feel like I have aged 10 years over the past 16 months. But regardless, it ends tonight. I keep thinking of the line from Titanic when the mother hugs her babies in the bed and says "It'll all be over soon. It'll all be over soon." Of course, they ended up going down with the ship, so perhaps not the best analogy...


              Monday, November 7, 2016

              Ancient. I am ancient.

              Nothing makes you feel old like going to a college homecoming 20 years after you were in school. That happened to me this weekend at SMU. All I did for three hours was look around and gawk at how the girls were dressed. Like hookers, to be frank. It was BROAD DAYLIGHT and these girls were in skintight dresses that barely covered their asses, with over-the-knee boots like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. WHO WAS A HOOKER. Even saw one girl in a tight short velvet number (and thigh-high boots). Velvet? Again - it was 3pm.

              Now, I'm sure these girls were looking at me with the same horror: "OMG that woman is so old! Look at her lame jeans and puffy vest - trying to be hip but SO NOT.


              Friday, November 4, 2016

              A sign of the times

              So after a few drinks during the presidential debate, my mom went outside and took my neighbors' Trump sign out of their yard. Luckily I was able to return it without anyone noticing - or at least, I don't think anyone noticed...

              Mind you, this couple is the unofficial head of the neighborhood watch and are kind of always watching my house - thank goodness they don't have a security camera! (Although they've been out of town, so who the hell knows what happens when they get back.)

              If Trump wins, I may have to chain my mom to the bed. Otherwise she might burn the neighbors' place down and President Trump will have her exiled to Mexico or some shit.

              Thursday, November 3, 2016

              You gotta think about these things, people

              Saw that Kevin Jonas (aka the oldest Jonas brother who no one really liked) had a second baby - a daughter named Angelina. Angelina Valentina. Angelina Valentina Jonas. Just let that sink in for a second. She trots into kindergarten with her cute pink backpack monogrammed with her initials - VAJ. Yikes. #initialfail

              Wednesday, November 2, 2016

              Maybe I should set up a P.O. Box. You know, just for shoes.

              It's possible that I keep buying things for myself, but to avoid the disapproving looks from my new roommate/mother, I tell her the boxes that keep arriving are Christmas gifts. And then open them in my room and put them away before she's the wiser.

              This evil scheme won't be as easy to pull off in March, however.

              Tuesday, November 1, 2016

              Zero trick or treaters. More Kit Kat for me.

              I don't get it - no kiddos last night! And I literally have kids that live next door and across the street. Where did they all do? Perhaps it's a Halloween mystery. Or perhaps they knew that better candy awaits in the richer neighborhoods. They're no  mummies dummies.