Monday, October 5, 2009


Well, here we go again. Off to Las Vegas, an annual trip with The Husband and group of people integral to his business. And The Wives. Do you feel the same way that I do about The Wives? You know, your husband has some friends and the next thing you know, you are all getting together and you get to meet The Wives. They are nice enough, you make small talk, sometimes you are even thrown into more er....intimate situations with them, such as having them as guests at your lakehouse. You are now in what was a familiar setting, only with The Wives running around in jammies and various attire, borrowing dental floss and asking for Spiced Chai Tea at breakfast... Well, sure, I would have to be a zombie, not to mention terribly ungracious not to make attempts to befriend these Wives, but when they leave, I have a hard time controlling the urge to do the happy dance. So off we go to Vegas. Over the years I have perfected the Blondie Code of Vacation Rules. Blondie does not like to have breakfast (true). Blondie likes to watch Oprah and takes an inordinate amount of time to get ready for the day (true, and if the hair will not straighten properly, I don't have lunch either). Blondie thinks that all trips require a 2 hour siesta from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. (True, I like to read, talk to the kids on the phone, order room service or hit the mini bar for one of those mini bottles of wine and a bag of M & M's). I like to emerge about 7:00 p.m. (like an nocturnal animal) for our group dinner where inevitably, The Wives are seated at one end of the table together. I get to hear all the gossip about their day at the pool or in the sauna or when they got their facials or massages in the salon. They try to include me in plans to shop and I graciously manage to get out of that because The Husband you know, has a black belt in shopping, and we have to do that together.

This is not so much the ordeal I am making it out to be. These are all very nice women. I am just sort of on the shy side and don't open up to people that well. But I have had one on one lunches with a few of the ladies here in Chicago, and if the food is good, I actually enjoy myself. Anyway, we leave Saturday for 5 days in Sin City. The Wives and I will be seeing Cher. Ooh la la. Hasn't she retired about six times already? I am excited to see her costumes and headdresses.

I take you from the bright lights of Vegas to a rainy day in Three Oaks, Michigan where The Husband and I stopped for breakfast Saturday morning on the way to the lake. This is one of those quaint little somewhat artsy towns in the middle of nowhere. We ate at Bailey's (horrible picture above. There was storefront seating so I just couldn't stand in front and take a picture with people eating right there and it never occurred to me to go across the street). The owner is French and there were some very cool things on the menu. I had Eggs Benedict over Crab Cakes. Imagine...Three Oaks, Michigan! I wish you could click on larger but somehow my computer ate up that option and I don't know how to fix it.

Two little toney shops across the street...

...and an art gallery

...and a butcher shop. Think you love the pig in the window??

Aren't these cute?? There is something that sort of makes my arm hairs stand on end when I see something adorable like this, all the while knowing they are selling the same thing inside in a much different form.

Now this is something that I have wanted to post about for the last few weeks. Blondie bought a sewing machine! I really didn't want to say those words. I want to say The Husband bought me a sewing machine and I will tell you why. A few years back I went through a time in my life when I was really down in the dumps. One day The Husband came home, dragging in an artist easel, a beautiful cherry box with a huge assortment of oils and acrylics and watercolors. Bags of pastel chalks and colored pencils, the finest brushes and canvas. He set it all up and said, "Paint!". I thought he had lost his mind. Years ago I used to draw and paint, but I sort of fell out of it. He was trying so hard to get me off my bum and do something. Well, sadly, I didn't do much but Emily whipped off a few oil paintings in no time at all. Okay, to speed this along, he bought me a new bike this summer so that we could ride together, and again, to get me off my bum. This is going pretty well, but I could be doing better. And then he surprised me with a fishing pole a few weeks ago and I am embarrassed to say that although I love to fish, I haven't tried it out yet (said very meekly...). But Emily tried it. Somehow this all reminds me of that saying 'A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle'. Hmmm...
So anyway, for the longest time I have been wanting to sew. On a machine. I could kick myself for not trying harder when we had sewing in Home Economics in high school. Threading the machine and following the pattern really boggled my mind. But now when I see the beautiful creations our blogger friends make, I really long to do the same. So I hinted to The Husband that I'd like a machine. I googled machines and showed him all of the ones on sale. No response. I bought the book Sewing For Dummies. He nodded and said, "Good idea". What I really wanted was for him to buy it for me! Why? Because if I failed, it was his idea!
It didn't happen. Last week I went out to Joann's and a lovely girl helped me pick out this beauty. See Martha on the front:

I have to think she would approve of my endeavor. Heck, she may have the same machine. I can see her whipping out pillows and curtains when she is not standing knee deep in a cranberry bog or collecting rare eggs from her ostrich coop. But here is the thing...I don't have a clue what to do with this bad boy. The only thing standing between me and 7 sets of curtains for the Summerhouse is the User Manual. And I am terrified. The Husband really hasn't said anything. A few days after I bought it, he said, "I see you took it out of the box." Last week he said, "Oh, you put the cover on it." (Have to keep dust from collecting). But I am going to do it!! I have a very adventurous To Do list that I am working on. Sewing is at the top followed by learning to ski and then para~sailing...I mean it. It's a new improved Blondie.
But first things first. I need to go shopping for some 'Cher' worthy outfits and then I am going tanning. Sewing can wait until after Vegas...
Have a happy week!!


Stacey said...

Have fun on your trip! Does Cher still wear head dresses? You'll have to come back and tell us. Have fun with those wives. :)

Unknown said...

You will enjoy sewing. Keep it simple at first and take a few classes to learn the basics. Especially take a class on how your machine works, you will not regret it.

Have fun in Vegas!!!

Ashley ~ said...

You had me LOL for real at your story about, THE WIVES. Hilarious*!
Now, as for Vegas, if it were me, THE WIVES would be on their own, while I spent the afternoon slaving away over the slot machines*! ChaChing*!!! ((Hugs))

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

Girl, I know just how you feel about the "wives" but I hope you have a wonderful time and I hear Cher is unbelievable!! I got a sewing machine too, but so far, I haven't done much with it either!!

We need lessons!

Have a great time!!

Lou Cinda :)

Julie Marie said...

Oh Jane, you are just about the cutest lady I know! So honest and down to earth... I am actually shy too, and Jack and I do things together and don't like big get togethers... I know how you feel about "the wives" I am sure they are all very nice,(maybe) but then again, maybe some aren't! I picture you as being so kind and gracious to everyone though... guess what! Jack bought me that exact same sewing machine at JoAnnes Crafts for my birthday in May! Guess what again! I got it threaded the other day! (now it is October, see it didn't take me too long) I did a test stich, it worked fine... I bought some fabric... it looks nice sitting in my craft room...maybe for my 200th post I will show what I have sewn by then! Have fun in Las Vegas! Can't wait to hear what Cher looks like now! (She was really pretty I thought when I was growing up, before she had all her plastic surgeries)... Anyway Viva Las Vegas! That was my favorite Elvis movie... I always wished I was Ann Margaret! Bisous... Julie Marie

The Quintessential Magpie said...

We are leading parallel lives, Janie. I want a sewing machine in the worst way! I have a broken one in the attic, but I want a brand new unbroken one so I can make curtains! I'm convinced I can do this. It is not rocket science. LOL!

I hear you about the trip. Go and have a lovely time. Laugh and talk with them like you laugh and talk with us online. And hey, I would love to see Cher! Supposedly she puts on a great show. Wish I were going with you, and I can't wait to see the curtains you make when you get home!


Sheila (I feel so liberated, Janie, being back online!) :-)

Lori E said...

I know the whole wives thing. It is hard when they are the wives of your staff and then when their dear hubbies get reprimanded you are the bad guy. I finally just stayed away from them.
Check out Cher's outfits carefully and you can sew some up for yourself when you get back. Wear one to lunch with the wives and don't worry, you won't ever have to again.
Have fun.

June said...

Jane you cracked me up with this one and then I sighed, because I know all too well how the thing goes with 'The Wives'.
Now onto the sewing thing, I think you will LOVE it.
Have a great time in Vegas!
I love your humor girl!

Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

"The Wives" Thank heavens my husband was in business for himself [Pharmacist running old fashioned corner Drug Store] and I never had to deal with "The Wives." :-)

But you do make it sound funny...

Good luck with the sewing machine! Perhaps I'll have the one languishing upstairs, send a note to yours... "Good Luck" and all that. -giggles-

Going tanning?!?!? Quelles horror! The pale look is in with all the young. Come now. It's time to show up The Wives. As their skin gets more and more leathery, yours will make them sooo envious. When your face doesn't resemble an old piece of rawhide. -heh, heh, heh-

I didn't tan, and I have very good skin, at 72. :-) Honest. Oh I suppose my Mother's genes had something to do with it too. But, she never tanned either. ,-)

Have fun!

'Aunt Amelia'

Brenda Pruitt said...

Well, I avoid parties like the plague. I'm not much of a chit-chatter. Oh, I could talk your ear off. But inane crap just doesn't do it for me. My daughter (who's a mother now herself) says I'm brutally honest. But then I guess you'd know that. Recalling the little rooster incident with my letting my fingers do the talking/walking! Let your eyes glaze over and smile every once in awhile.

Lorrie said...

Hey girl I hope you manage to tough it out in Vegas. I know just what you mean about having trouble hanging with "The Girls." Have fun seeing Cher. She is probably in her 6th or 7th reincarnation by now, but she can put on a great show!

Enjoy your new sewing machine. I learned to sew from my mom when I was in junior high school and it has brought me years of pleasure. It's never to late to learn.

Sandi (Meme) said...

Have a great time in Vegas. I saw Bette Midler last year in the same theatre that Cher is in, it's really nice. I'm going to be in Chicago this weekend - DD#2 is running the marathon, sorry you aren't going to be there! Have a great week.

Sherri said...

I went to Vegas for the very first time this summer. Now a Cher show I would have went to! Or the Bette one but she wasn't working that week. I would LOVE to learn to sew too. Oh and I love an afternoon 'break' on vacations as well.

2 Dogs said...

Jane ~ Sorry I don't live close by. We would have that sewing machine up and running in no time. My mom is a seamstress and I've been sewing since I was a young girl. You can do it!! It's fun! Hugs

CJ said...

Hi Jane, Your post was lovely. I loved those pigs in the window and on the road.

My mom has a singer sewing machine too! She is very possessive about it :).

Have fun in Vegas!

Cass @ That Old House said...

Oh Jane, I loved this post --- first of all, I could totally travel with you; we'd be on the same schedule. I like to take my time especially in a hotel -- it's such a luxury NOT to be hurried. Howard just sits and keeps meaningfully glancing at his watch.

As for sewing, I've been using a sewing machine since I was about 10 -- if you've got any questions, just ask. It's pretty simple. The trickiest part is learning how your individual machine works -- which SHOULD be in the (dreaded) manual. Many machines come with DVDs or tapes to show you how to thread it, fill the bobbin, etc.

Have a blast in Vegas. I've never been there and probably never will, so take lots of pictures and tell us all about it.

best ... Cass

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

What fun! You be sure to get some great Cher pics. I used to want to be her when I was little. I even named my Tuffany Taylor doll Cher because her hair color would change quick like Cher's. LOL. Cant wait for that post. I hope you have fun. I know you will. You sould like me. I am comformatble with my friends, but put me in a new group and I too am a bit shy and not to revealing of my true self. I know you will have a great time! I cannot wait to hear all about it. Swing by when you return so I am sure not to miss anything.
Good luck on finding an outfit!

Sue said...

Jane, Just be yourself in Vegas, tolerate those women as best as you can, then enjoy yourself. It's only for a few days... When you come back you can regale us with crazy stories about the wives. And bring back pics of Cher and her plastic face and body. Haven't seen much of her for a while...
And when you get back home, learn to sew!!! Go back to Joann's and take a class or two. Not hard, just play on your machine for a while to get familiar with its features. HAVE A GOOD TRIP...
hugs. Sue

Kat said...

Have a fun trip, although I must admit that I'd rather go to that small town than go to Vegas. I totally understand about the "wives". Neither DH or I are terribly social, but you do what you have to do right? Let me know how the sewing thing goes. When I took Home Ec in Jr. high I managed to run the needle right through my finger! So needless to say I've been hesitant to try it again lol. Have fun at the Cher show! Hugs, Kathy

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Janie,
I so can relate to your wives story! Especially with my ex, I would get thrown into situations that seemed stuffy and a bit too much social climbing for me! I was in Vegas once and it was fun but I too would rather explore quante little shops like the ones you found! Seeing Cher would be awesome though, can't wait to hear about that! Hugs and all, looking forward to December. Cindy

Rhondi said...

Hi Jane
If I lived near you I'd come and teach you how to use the machine. It is very easy once oyu get the hang of it :)
Hope you have fun in Las Vegas!
Hugs, Rhondi

Knitty said...

**Jumping up and down over the sewing machine!**

Ahem, now with decorum, congratulations on your new machine. :)

Count me in with others who have offered to help you. If you want small projects that could be fun and a good way to familiarize you with your new toy, please let us know. Confidence grows with successful projects, so don't start with a wedding gown. ;-)

As for the wives story, boy does that bring up some memories AND the big ones happened in Las Vegas. I should post about that soon.

If anyone is a big eater, or two people want to share a portion, go to the Peppermill on Las Vegas Blvd. I was never there at night for the nightclub, but often there for breakfast meetings. Good lord, the bowl of oatmeal could feed three women or two men! The food and service are both great.

Please tell us Cher has wrinkles and varicose veins. Even if you don't see them, lie to us. We'll feel better. :)

Barb said...

Hi Jane, have a wonderful time on your trip. It sounds like you are going to be busy.

Still keeping you in my prayers, sweet girl.

Hugs, Barb ♥

Ticking and Toile said...

Just found you & really like your blog!! Can't wait to read through all your posts!


Unknown said...

Hope you enjoy your trip!

You have motivated me to get out my sewing machine and see what I can create...been so long!

April said...

Have a fun time in Vegas! It's an exciting town with lots to do...been there a couple of times. I do understand your story about "The Wives" and I am much the same way. I just prefer to do my own thing. I love how you lay everything on the sugar coating here! :)

xinex said...

How exciting, Janie...Vegas! Take lots of pics to show us, maybe join me on a Sat (hint...hint!!:-) You know, I know exactly what you mean about the "Wives". I feel exactly the same way, not that they are not nice or what but I just like to keep to myself and kinda shy socializing with people I am not too buddy buddy with. It's funny, but I feel more at ease with bloggers even if I am only meeting them for the first time.

Cher should be fun. John and I were just talking about going somewhere maybe to Vegas (if he has a show there) to see a Paul Anka concert, before he dies :-( And you probably don't know them but I want to see the Platters. Another good show to see in Vegas is Jersey Boys. I really enjoyed it.

Some sellers on ebay has a "Buy It Now" option and those you can buy right away w/o having to wait for the ending of the auction to bid. Email or call me if you need instructions on how to bid.I can walk you through.

I do a post on my blog even when I am away on a trip except when there is no free internet access.

Don't be afraid of the sewing machine. It's easy to use and fast once you get used to it. Have a happy and safe trip!....Christine

savvycityfarmer said...

sounds like u can make fun happen where ever u go. soak it up girlie, you just never know you might make a new friend.....thanks for the reminder to drag out the sewing machine


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! I've never been to Vegas, so I'm looking forward to seeing pictures. :)

The "whipped cream in the face" is a birthday tradition at the Mexican restaurant. They put a sombrero on you and sing Happy Birthday, and then smear whipped cream in your face. We go every year for our birthdays.

I'm a sewing novice myself. I can make curtains and pillows, but not much else. I made a burlap pillow this weekend that I'll be posting about later this week.



Kathleen Grace said...

I am much like you, when thrown into a social situation where I have to make small talk I find it very difficult. I like to choose my own friends and having to entertain someone I haven't gotten to know on my own feels awkward. I hope you have a great time in Vegas though! As for the sewing machine, don't let the manual get in your way! I don't even know where mine is! lol. Just open that baby up, put some thread on and hit the pedal:>) My sister bought a machine at JoAnnes and it came with free lessons (I think), regardless, if you go in and talk to the salespeople during a slow time I am sure they would be glad to go over the basics with you. After all, they sure don't want you returning it because you can't use it!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...'ll be sewing! As I think you know, I started early this summer and now I can't stop myself! I'm surrounded by tote bags (my specialty :-) and pillow covers. The downside is...I've been buying fabric (in the form of vintage linens and tablecloths, etc.) like there's no tomorrow!

Have a blast in Vegas. I'm going on a fancy getaway, too, with my friend Jean. Sadly, I think it will involve buying more fabric. :-)

SmilingSally said...

LOL Jane you are funny! Go to Vegas, take notes so that you can report back on Cher's wardrobe.

Then, call the store where you purchased that wonderful Singer and ask them about beginner classes. You'll be making those puffy pillows in no time!

Muffins: I have never liked bread, cake, or muffins. Well, cake with thick icing is good, especially with a large scoop of ice cream on top.

Kathy said...

Fun story about the Wives - I get it. Felt the same way before my husband retired a year ago. But I know you'll enjoy Vegas - it's always good for lots of fun. And when you come home your Singer awaits! You'll have those curtains whipped up in no time!

Have a good week and a fabulous trip...Kathy

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

Sure wish I was going to see Cher.Hide me in your suitcase will ya ! LOL.

Karin said...

I sure enjoyed your post ~ you're hilarious :)
Getting to see Cher sounds like some good entertainment.
I gave up on sewing when I was a teen and got so mad at the machine/thread for breaking repeatedly so I tried to sew a seam in a thick leather vest manually, and chipped my front teeth as I was trying to pull the needle through with my teeth ~ ENOUGH OF THAT! I'm sure sewing machines are much more high-tech now!

Laura said...

I finally figured out that I may be shy-
In fact, I enjoy doing things with my husband or daughters or even by myself more than the thought of being with others.

Is that crazy???


Sue said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this post!! I think what you need to do is stop everything else and write a book,You sound so much like one of my favorite authors, Erma Bombeck.
And since she left us, there has not been anyone to replace her.
I am still laughing over your rules, so funny! Hope you have a great time in Vegas,and please post about your trip when you get back.
Good luck with your sewing, I know you will create something beautiful.

KarenB said...

Leslie, I hope you have a wonderful time in Las Vegas. There are some incredible restaurants and shopping there btw. Just enjoy and pamper yourself. It's your time away, anyway. Sometimes on those trips, I plan my own "excursions". Sometimes a Wife or two will come along. Other times I go it alone. Enjoy Cher, she will definitely entertain.

I agree with the recommendation to start small on the sewing. Some "instant" gratification will help you take baby steps to the bigger projects. I need to dust mine off and make a few things myself.

Have fun!
Karen @ Elderberry Street

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