Monday, May 19, 2008

Another glorious weekend!

Hi there friends and fam!

Well, it's Monday again. Ho hum. I have to admit, however, that I am not at ALL depressed! I had a great weekend, and on Saturday morning, I leave for ENGLAND for a week!! Cheerio, Yanks - Aunt Crazy is OUTTA HERE!!

Samantha Pickett (soon to be Crane!) and Simon

On Saturday I ran a lot of errands, then hit another Richmond party starring Ledfoot. I really am quite the groupie! They get better and better every time though!

Yesterday we had a GLORIOUS garden party brunch in Susan's amazing backyard. All I did was bring a bowl of mixed fruit, but Leslie brought Pomegranate Champagne Cocktails, Susan made muffins, sausage and an incredible frittata, and Kristen made Bean Pie! I know, I've never heard of it before either, but it was DELICIOUS.

Afterwards we did a Girls' Junk Swap. Every American woman should do this twice a year. we brought all the cosmetics, magic potions, hair tonics and clothes that we realized we'd never use again, and we swapped them out of the trunk of our cars. It was truly a cleansing experience! I'm taking the unwanted items to the Luals' this week. They have 5 teenage girls. These things WILL be used, including the tiger-print sparkly powder puff!

After digesting, I headed to Charlottesville for our friend Roger's graduation brunch. Apparently I'd missed the REAL party the night before, which ended with folks falling out of taxi cabs and broken lawn chairs, such as this poor thing.

Roger Geyer is now a PhD. I personally believe that it's only because "Doctor Rog" sounds so incredibly cool. Congratulations Roger!!

Ladies love a Doctor. It's a fact.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lots of Haps to Catch up on!

OK, where do I start?

Well, the most important news, of course! Uncle Bill reached the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro this weekend!! He had a little help, but all in all, not to shabby for a kid who spent most of his life at sea level. The elevation of Virginia Beach, VA is 10 feet, so after metric conversion, 5895 meters or 19,340 feet... minus 10 ... well, that's roughly 19,330 feet higher than he's used to. Wow.

We're all extremely proud of him.

Uncle Bill, at Kilimanjaro's peak

Cute story... My sister tried to explain to Lauren what Uncle Bill did and how big a deal it was. She kept looking for Sydney and Aunt Crazy in the picture. Ha! I got news for you, kid: Aunt Crazy won't be anywhere NEAR that picture without some SERIOUS Photoshop!

Latest pic (from Sister Crazy) of Nieces Crazy, Lauren (with crazy morning hair) and Kyla

I went back to Virginia Beach on Saturday to help my Mom with one of the final cleanouts of her abode. It was a great weekend, and although not a traditional Mothers' Day by any means. That's OK - we had a fun and productive time.

After furniture moving, we checked out Mr. Geyer's new training center digs for his company, HyperLearning.

The brothers Geyer, George and Roger

Then we headed to Neighbor's Pizza (YUM) and to Jake's baseball game at the Kempsville Pony Baseball park.

Jake on the mound

Jake's brother, Noah (blonde and center) had already played earlier in the day, so I joined him and his friends for a photo

Mom's house is so empty it's almost unrecognizable! She's done a great job of pacing herself, but even Mema had to admit that giving away her piano on Saturday really hurt.

Mema in the kitchen on Mothers' Day morning. In answer to your questions, well, 50/50. She liked the bike, but she wanted NO PART of the dollhouse. Oh well!! I'll deliver the bike to her new digs in North Carolina this summer when she's all moved in. Meanwhile, it looks like Aunt Crazy is stuck with a dollhouse!

On Sunday evening, we had the chance to meet Padma's new boyfriend, Daniel. He's a great guy. Unfortunately, he lives half a world away! At least for now .... :)

Monday morning Aunt Crazy was up at 5:30 to chaperone a field trip to Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg for the Tuckahoe Middle School English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Awut roped me into this, and I'll admit, I'd forgotten what a PAIN teenagers can be! It was a really interesting day, but quite cold and quite ... well, teenagery.

Governor's Palace

Awut is second from the left

Awut handled my presence remarkably well. I had told her ahead of time that chaperones are mean. Was she sure that she wanted me to come along? She said yes, so there I was. One kid was particularly awful to me. I was trying to corral the kids from the gift shop into lunch. I said "OK, bring what you're going to buy to the register or head over to the cafeteria. The food is ready." He stared up at me with a look of pure disgust and said "No." Really? Seriously? So because I had no authority at all, I paused and said "Please?" He just ignored me entirely. So I left him there.

At lunch I told Awut I didn't like him. She said "I know. I heard him saying you were getting on his nerves." Haaah!! Oh well. The important thing is that she and I are still friends!

Shwew! I guess that's it. I was supposed to go to my sewing class again last night, but ... well, you can already guess how that went!!

SCAM ALERT! Charge from "TLG*GREATFN" on my credit card

And here's the kicker... they consider this an AUTHORIZED TRANSACTION! They will cancel if you call, but here's what happened. I found this link, and I don't even need to retype it all, because it is exactly what must have happened to me.

LESSON LEARNED: Don't click on those "Click here for $20 rebate!" pop ups... as soon as you do, all of your personal information is transferred from the website (from which you're buying legitimate stuff) to some organization called "Great Fun", who charges you a "membership fee" of $12.99.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Life is Good

I received this in an e-mail today, and I about fell out of my chair. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Put your headphones on, kick back, close your eyes, and have a listen.
Have a great weekend!!
- Aunt Crazy

Thursday, May 8, 2008


I am truly a poor, poor excuse for a student.

On Tuesday, we Richmond girls made our tradtional pilgrimage to the European Market before Sewing class. Although Leslie was too late to enroll in the class, she's joined us the last couple of weeks for our pre-class dinner and bottle of wine.

Kristen, on the other hand, decided to cut her losses. On Monday we all received the e-mail announcing that, in fact, she hated sewing, and she would not be returning to class. This would not, however, usually keep her from the European Market, but she had a date with some work and a climb this particular Tuesday, so we took her raincheck.

Our new best friend, Amanda, custom built this cheese plate for us. She also picked the wine. As a result, it is Amanda I blame for the subsequent events of the evening.

Halfway through our creamy chevre, white stilton, walnuts, quince and apple slices, Susan and I realized that there was NO WAY we were going to Sewing Class that night. So we all ordered a second bottle of wine.

Flash forward to the Martini Kitchen & Bubble Bar a few hours later ...

Yes, I'm embarrassed to admit, this is Aunt Crazy. I couldn't help myself - the band was playing Turn Your Love Around. When's the last time you heard that song?? You'd have done the same thing.

In answer to the question you are most certainly asking in your head, no, I don't remember what we were talking about at the time this picture was taken. It was fun, though!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Mothers' Day Surprise or Disaster?

Well, most people get their Mom something shiny and new for Mothers' Day. Or something that smells good. Or something that tastes good.

I'm giving my Mom back two things she recently gave me.

Now I know that on the surface this does not sound like a good gift. I admit, I will probably not win daughter of the year on this one. This is my reasoning.... OK, here goes...

My Mom is in SERIOUS CLEAN-OUT MODE right now. She is downsizing and moving to North Carolina, so all she can think about at the moment is getting rid of STUFF. As a result, she gave me her beautiful, teal bike (which my Dad bought her and she used to love to ride on the beach) and the dollhouse her grandfather ("Bepa") built her when she was a child.

It must also be noted that I have trouble with change. I like things to be the SAME. I always have. When my parents bought a Ford to replace our VW bug when I was a child, I refused to drive in it. When we moved only a half-mile away when I was 16, I threw a complete fit. (More than a normal 16 year old fit, that is.)

So in the back of my mind, as I project my own feelings on to my mother, she did not want to say good-bye to these items! She was just overwhelmed at the work it will take to make them functional again.

Therefore, for Mothers' Day, she gets them back. New and improved, of course (I'm not a total tightwad!), but back. So Agees of Carytown has fine-tuned her bicycle, and it is now like new and ready to cruise the Del Webb Senior Active Lifestyle Community circuit. The dollhouse, on the other hand ...

Here it is. Pretty cool, right? Bepa built it in the late 40s/early 50s to be a quasi-replicate of my Mom's house in Green Acres, Bethesda, MD.

My project space in the backyard - beautiful weekend...

Sydney, my brother's dog, eyeing me suspiciously. This dog is absolutely NEUROTIC about being left alone, so this is her way of guarding the inside and outside to monitor my presence.

Will I EVER possess an old house that someone has NOT painted over the wallpaper? Even the DOLLHOUSE has 2 layers of wallpaper under one layer of paint! Ugh.

I will be sprucing up the house with various new furniture pieces. Now, because I like to spend my money on toys (e.g. new silver set, dog and dog crate, red wagon, gumball machine, etc.), I decided to be cheap and order the $16 "furniture kit." Well, guess what? This means ASSEMBLY ... there goes 3 hours of my life. (PS - the gumball machine makes it worth it - it's so cute!!)

Wish me luck getting this cleaned and painted before the weekend!!

LEDFOOT tears up Mechanicsville!

On Friday I crashed a private party in Mechanicsville, VA where my friend Courtney's band, Ledfoot, was playing. Although instructed to keep my expectations to a minimum (they are still new; this was the singer's first 'gig'), we had a great time! Originally, Kristen (Courtney's wife) and I were only going to stay for a few songs ... cut to the next scene, it was 1 AM!

This is only my second time seeing Ledfoot play, and Aunt Crazy is going to have to do her best not to turn into Mel from Flight of the Conchords.


Kristen and Courtney

Kristen had the unenviable role of designated driver, but she enjoyed the worms-eye-view of the frozen-margarita-infused dancing. (Is that enough hyphenated imagery for you?)

Enthusiastic audience member - she danced for a long time!

Bill and Dan on guitar

Brian and Robin, a friend of his from work... don't tell Spies, but she was actually allowed to play!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy (belated) 40th, Spies!

Happy birthday, Spiesie Weezie!
I went to Ocean City on Saturday for Mrs. Spies' 40th birthday dinner. What a blast! It was a long trip in the car, but contrary to forecasts, the weather was GORGEOUS! It was great catching up with her and all her buds. High School friends (i.e. Dark Ages), Kelly & Robin are pictured above. Spies is next to me in the pink sweater.

Robin (AKA "Small") scored this ring from a taxi driver... why is it I never MAKE money from a taxi ride, and she does?? These pictures are from Harborside, home of the world-famous Orange Crush.

Spies, Ted, and Erin at Sunset Grille

We missed Moge, though, who was buying a minivan. Boy how times change!!!