Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday Come - Sunday Go

My menu today was a large green garden salad with several different dressings available, baked garlic chicken, scalloped corn, and cookies/ice cream to close the meal. I took a baked chicken, mac n cheese, and turnip greens to the middle son and his family. I didn't want them to have to think about cooking today. Both my son and his wife are fighting off a bug. I hope they're successful. My son works full time, goes to college full time, and still finds time to spend with his sons. His wife takes full charge of the house, shopping, care of the two boys, and errands. They are both really, really tired. I try to help them as much as I can. The children are with me at least one day a week. I enjoy every minute of my time with them.

The other two sons were here along with my other daughter-in-law, Sarah. Sarah is just making the "I'm pregnant" announcements. Yeah, I'll have another baby to rock and love. Happy, happy me. I told you a little about Mary, the other daughter-in-law in an earlier post now it's Sarah's turn.

Sarah is from Wisconsin and is a wonderful young lady. I've never seen anyone sweeter and more gentle than she. We have a good relationship and enjoy talking and comparing notes on any number of things. She's from Wisconsin so it's sometimes hard for her to manage being in the Alabama heat and humidity but she never complains. Her parents have visited several times. Last Christmas we all spent both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day together. They fit right in with the rest of our "bunch" and everyone had a good time. How much more could anyone ask for?

The day is winding down and I have lots of dishes in the sink. I nixed Sarah's helping with the kitchen - she looked a little green around the gills. When NASCAR decides to either race or quit promising hubby will help me. He's a good put-dishes-in-the-dishwasher-slave but he ain't worth a darn at clean-up. Not complaining, that's my job. Folks, I really love that man.

When things settle and the house is quiet, I'll read about everyone else's day. I'm looking forward to that. Take care and be naughty if you have the chance.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Family and Cliff Dwellings

I just got a phone call from my daughter-in-law, Mary, saying that she and my son are coming down with what seems to be the flu. They won't be here tomorrow for Sunday dinner. The grandsons aren't feeling well either. That means that for Sunday dinner we'll be 4 folks short. If the grandsons aren't running fever I may pick them up for the afternoon so their parents can rest. Bummer that they are sick.

Speaking of my daughter-in-law, Mary. She is one in a million and I couldn't love her more if she was my own daughter. Since my sons are from my first marriage she has the same last name that I had for years. Not only that but we have the same first AND second name. For almost 8 years our names were identical. We really enjoyed confusing folks when we were shopping together. It was a real conversation starter. We have the same ideas and no problem is so great that we can't solve it together. Lucky, lucky me.

Something about the weather - or maybe it's my mood - has me thinking about a particular work-related trip (Before I retired I was in travel status a lot of my work time). It was a two week trip to Colorado Springs at about this time of year. The aspens were quaking golden, the air was crisp and clear, and the Great Divide. . . .well, I haven't adequate words to describe it. Right outside Colorado Springs driving towards Pike's Peak off to the right are some ancient cliff dwellings. During my travel I saw cliff dwellings in various places but somehow those captured me. They didn't appear to have any real significance; they were just there - a testament to a time and people long forgotten. Do you ever stare at places long forgotten and wonder about the people. Were they happy? Were they alone or with family and friends? Did they have the necessities of life? Would they be my friends if they were here now?

Enough of my rambling. I'm off to bed and hopefully to dream-land. My best to my new found friends. Thank you for visiting.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Movie, Popcorn, Sprite, and Rose Bushes

Hubby and I went to the neighborhood theater this afternoon for a matinee showing of The Brave One. Jodie Foster is outstanding in her role. No fancy wardrobe and upscale makeup in this one. . .just Jodie and her intense role. The ending was a surprise to me but it was a satisfying ending. On the way home we stopped at Subway and picked up sandwiches for dinner.

Subway is our favorite place to pick up food to bring home. Neither of us enjoy the fried fast food from most of the popular drive-thru restaurants. I haven't done anything to make me exhausted today and I feel better. Tomorrow is Saturday and I hope the outside temps will allow me to work outside.

A few weeks ago I ordered a new rose bush from a place in/near Tyler Texas. (My mom always thought any rose worth having had to come from Tyler.) It's a heritage rose and has been dubbed Peggy Martin. I've seen the rose many times over the years and always wanted it but could never find it for sale. The rose was rediscovered following hurricane Katrina. It was blooming among the ruins and desolation. The lady who owned it is named Peggy Martin. She allowed cuttings to be taken and propagated for sale if a portion of each sale went to a fund associated to revival of New Orleans. It seems that no one knew the name of the rose so the nursery named it "Peggy Martin". Anyway the rose was delivered on Thursday and is a beautiful plant. I hope to get it in the ground tomorrow morning. Did I think to mention that it has no thorns? Even mature plants are thornless. In case anyone is interested I found it at Chamblee's Rose Nursery.

I'm going to sign off for now. Hubby and I are going to eat our Subway sandwiches early and watch news or whatever. My best to everyone. Plan for and have a fun weekend.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Today was new hairdo day. I didn't have a big change just a little update. This 'do' is shorter and will be much easier to keep neat. I know everyone was waiting with great expectations to hear all about this event. . .NOT.

Hubby and his friend played two rounds of golf today. He hasn't played in a couple of weeks and I guess the trip to the driving range wasn't enough to keep him in shape to win. He is tired but the day was a success for him.

I'm starting to plan for all the October birthdays. There are four to keep me busy. Cakes and menus to plan, gifts to buy, and secrets to keep. My birthday is in October too but I just let it slide and no one notices. Halloween is another planning session. Then comes Christmas. I need hellllllp! Everyone just assumes that I'll take care of the festivities and I try not to let them down. Wonder what will happen come New Year?

Folks, I'm really tired tonight. Can't seem to get my thoughts to flow so I think it best if I just say, "Have a great evening, a peaceful nights sleep, and a bright new day. Maybe I'll be more focused tomorrow."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Routine Can Be a Good Thing

Another beautiful day has dawned; temps are predicted to reach 93 today. (Our norm is 81) Again I ask, "What happened to fall?" I want to go play outside but it's just too darn hot. Someone remind me of this when I'm complaining about the cold winds of winter.

I don't have much to write about this morning but I wanted to put in an appearance. The day promises to be another indoor day for me. The good fairy didn't do chores so I might as well get busy. I have plenty to keep me busy. Hubby is going to the driving range in a little while (golf). He plans to play golf with his buddy tomorrow. The grandsons will be here for a couple of hours in early afternoon so I'll have playmates later. My world may not be exciting but it surely is satisfying.

My best to everyone who stops by. If you have time leave a "Hi there" so I'll know I'm not writing in a void. Thanks. See ya later.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Coffee and Memories that Make Me Smile

I woke up early this morning...well,early for me...made coffee and sat on the screen porch to survey our kingdom. (Our kingdom is a little patch of lawn, shrubs and borders that need attention, and lots of birds and squirrels.)

I read a post by a fellow blogger about a couple of funny situations she's had. It make me think of some of the situations I've been in that were really funny after a "cooling off" period. Here is one.

My sons were almost 3 and around 18 months. A little girl (almost 4) lived next door. She liked to come to our house to watch my big fresh water aquarium with the boys. The tank was around 75 gallons with lots of fish and those kids knew each one. They named most of them. Their favorite was Blue Boy. Blue Boy was a blue beta with scarlet veins in his fins. Well, one morning Blue Boy was belly-up (dead). The boys were crying and begging me to make Blue Boy swim again. Finally they decided that we could bury him in the flower bed next to the patio. I found a little white box and we laid Blue Boy to rest on cotton balls, put the lid on, and went outside to finish the job. The little girl saw us digging and came to see what was happening. When she heard she clicked right into her characterature of a dictator and informed us that Blue Boy couldn't be buried in dirt. Silly us we should know that Blue Boy could only be happy if he was buried in water. The dictator informed us that the only acceptable way was to flush him. (Stupid me. Why didn't I think of that.) We all moved to the bathroom, put Blue Boy in the potty, and I started to flush. Dictator informed us that we had to sing a "church" song before we flushed Blue Boy away. After much discussion between the three year old and Dictator we decided that "Rock of Ages" was appropriate. So here we are...a mother, her two sons, and the 4 year old dictator from next door on our knees, staring into the potty, and singing Rock of Ages. Meantime our new pastor came to the door, heard the singing, and came in to join whatever service was in process. Can you imagine how embarrassing that scene was for me? The pastor was a real pro. He didn't laugh. He opened his prayer book and ever so solemnly read/quoted the 23rd psalm, reached over and flushed Blue Boy away. To this day I look at a blue beta in a fish store and I want to laugh. Silly story, right?

Quiet time is over. I gotta get moving. Several things need to be accomplished today. Maybe I'll get one or two done. Hope everyone is well, happy, and rearin' to go.

Monday, September 24, 2007


I filled the bird feeders and the very first visitor was the squirrel who thinks he has feathers on his legs. The brat! He'll leave his dinner table to invade someone else's. Hubby says I've created a flock of welfare birds because I've fed them so long that a generation has forgotten how to forage. Maybe yes, maybe no, but I'll keep feeding them.

I still haven't started my part of the yard work in prep for fall/winter. Our one day of fall has reverted to summer and I hate trying to weed, trim shrubs, deadhead flowers, or whatever when it's HOT. Hubby is mowing the lawn and probably thinks I should be doing something productive. Maybe I will. I need to do some light shopping and unfortunately I read the sale blurbs in yesterdays local paper. Hmmmmmmmmm, now let me see . . . One more cup-o-coffee while I make a list. Don't want to leave anything out.

To me shopping is no longer for the latest clothes/shoes/accessories. The day I retired I came home, took off my suit, hose, heels, and all the trappings associated with my work. I have no intention of ever wearing a business suit again. When it's over it's over.

My shopping is for the grandkids, my neglected house and yard. Our home is a 35+ year old ranch. (Something always needs repair.) It's the house I came to when I left the mountains. That was over 25 years ago. My boys grew up here. It's their home. Several years ago (when I became "single again") I decided to build a house in a different part of town. It was a big house for one person (the boys were on their own). Why I ever built that house is still a mystery. It was a two story job with a room for everything. The back yard bordered a wildlife preserve. While I lived there I watched deer, coyote, raccoons, and various other wildlife. Two notable events were the bobcat that had kits under my deck and the wild hog I tried to chase with my broom because he was eating my sage. All-in-all it was a lovely house but it never became my home. I missed the old neighborhood so to make a long story short I sold the "big house" bought the old home and moved back.

In July 2000, I gave up my single again status and became a wife again. It's one of the luckiest things that's ever happened to me other than my sons. Hubby and I talked about buying/building a different home for ourselves but it was just too much trouble. Our retirement home is here.

Cup-o-coffee is gone, list won't be necessary, gotta get a move on 'cause time's a-wastin'. Hope everyone is well and happy. Later, friends.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mother Nature and Remembering Happy Memories

Mother Nature didn't get caught sleeping this first day of fall. The sky is that particular color of blue we only see in the fall and there are fluffy white clouds floating around. If the drought hasn't ruined it we'll have a kaleidoscope of color soon. Then comes the gray, cold, wet (hopefully) winter. Time does march on doesn't it?

I have many want-to-do projects on my plate. I'd like to complete at least some of them while the weather is cool. The 100+ degree weather we've had this summer robs me of all ambition to do more than find a cool spot. Thank heavens for air conditioning. I'm originally a mountain girl and I've never acclimated to the hot humid summers here.

Last evening there were some documentaries on Alabama Public Television about Appalachia. It really made me homesick. My hometown isn't in Appalachia but I lived there for several years where I taught school and strived to become part of the community. Living in Carter's Valley was a comfortable and happy time for me. I made many friends who I will never forget. A lady who was born and raised in the mountains taught me to make chicken 'n dumplings but she forgot to tell me that, in her recipe, the first step is catch the chicken. That and what followed was a real education. I lived through it but vowed my version of the recipe would begin with "go to the local grocery and buy a ready-to-cook chicken." I had lots of adventures there and cherish each and every one. I'd love to go back for a long visit but my home is here now. I closed that chapter of my life years ago.

Let's go outside, take a deep breath, and be glad for all our adventures then take a minute to plan another.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Few Odds and Ends

Weather is dull, hot, and dry. Hubby is watching NASCAR Busch as only Hubby can. I'm cooking a simple dinner but one Hubby likes. Polish sausage, simmered with onion and bell pepper; liquid almost cooked away. Served over rice.

We lost our big shade tree in the front yard to a storm. This fall is the time to replace it so I've been reading about trees. At this point a rather large willow oak looks good. I'll have the nursery bring it and put it in the ground in late October or early November. Old folks can't do that kind of stuff, you know. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Make note that this is the last day of summer. Does that make tomorrow the first day of fall? October is a busy month for me. A birthday for every week and more. I make the cakes. I hope I can be creative enough to make them all without buying another Wilton cake pan because I already have several and they take up a lot of room. I'm retired now, you know, and I have lots of time on my hands to take care of these things.

The best to everyone. Outta here for now.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Lazy Friday - Sleepy Day

Yesterday afternoon with the grandsons was fun. The four year old sees life on the fast track - the three year old is more laid back. All their antics make me tired but I wouldn't trade my time with them for any other.

I'm having a lazy day that I don't deserve. My chores are at least two weeks behind but who cares? They aren't high on my priority list. Instead of doing chores I'm beginning to think about spending a few days at the coast. Gotta try to plan around the fall storms and hope for the best. I want to be still, listen, watch, and smell the sea. Best place in the world to put a smile on my old face. We'll go the Alabama/Florida Panhandle coast. Anyone have any suggestions for places to stay? I'm looking at Legacy By the Sea on Panama City Beach but haven't decided. Hubby leaves these decisions to me - - that's both good and bad.

Our vacation this summer was really fun. The first day we drove to Tarpon Springs on the west coast of Florida. It's a little village south of Tampa. From there we spent the next 9 days driving around the Florida coast (both west and east). I'd never seen much of Florida so most of it was new to me. Hubby planned several firsts for me but the most daring was a ride-along in a NASCAR Cup car at Daytona Speedway. It was three complete laps at racing speed. WOW!! Who would have thought that an old lady would actually crawl in the window of a race car? But then I've never been known for being cautious.

I want to wish everyone who visits my blog a wonderful weekend filled with peace and the things most wished for.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Live Reefs in North Alabama

This one's for you Dr. Ethel. The first three pictures are our 190 reef. It was set up in Feb 2004 and is fully mature. The last picture is our 225 gal reef. It was set up in May 2006 and is just beginning to mature.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for being interested in seeing our reefs.

This is my first effort at uploading pictures and I hope it goes well. If not I'll find help and do better later.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Beautiful Day in Hometown, USA

It's a beautiful day here in Hometown, USA. Fall and cooler weather is knocking at the door. Hopefully it will bring much needed rain. Routine rules for the most part. There's lots to be thankful for. Hubby is home with a promise that within two weeks he'll be fit-as-a-fiddle.

We are expecting a new grandbaby in the early spring of 2008. Our youngest son and his wife made the announcement last Sunday by giving us a Grandparent's day card that read, "Get ready to love, to laugh, to play . . A new little one is on the way!!" Having the fourth little one is just as exciting as having the first. As an only child of older parents I used to dream about having a large family. My friends had sibblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents that gathered for special occasions. It made me lonely to watch them. Finally, late in life I have a real family. We gather almost every Sunday afternoon. I prepare a meal and we enjoy being a family.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Nervous First-Timer

Here I sit trying to decide how to begin my blog. Do I list a cast of characters? Do I begin as if I've been doing this for months and just plunge into this day? What is proper etiquette in the blogging world? Is there a special 'language' of terms that seasoned bloggers use? I feel a little out of my element. Please excuse the "OH-NOs" I know will happen.

OK Here goes. . .

After being single for a number of years, I married my bestest buddy. A perfect decision. I have two sons and he has a son and a daughter. We decided that our children wouldn't be mine-and-yours but that they'd all be ours. There are three beautiful grandchildren and another on the way. We have a kitty that allows us to live with her as long as we agree to her terms. There are also 2 live reefs in our house. One tank holds 190 gallons and the other 220. The reefs are Hubby's hobby.
If anyone happens to actually visit this blog and is curious about the tanks, I'll post a couple of pictures.

I think I'll let this post stand alone and move on as though I've been in the blogging world for years.