Monday, December 31, 2007

Message for the New Year

There's an old saying: "Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened". New year is the time of beginnings. It is time to start afresh and do things that would make someone else smile. Make at least one person happy and you'll see the difference it can make in both your lives. The essential message of New Year is let go of the past and embrace the future. Harry and I wish only the best for each and every one of you in the coming year and beyond.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Year 2007 is Fast Fading

Today is the last Sunday gathering of 2007. Everyone was here. We ate home made taco salads and then we all watched the ultrasound video of the new baby. It's unbelievable how detailed those scans have gotten to be. Doctor says everything looks perfect. We could even see the four chambers of the baby's heart. I can confirm the rumors that we're having a boy. Ain't no doubt about that. Sarah is doing so well. She is positively glowing and Buddy is, too. They will be model parents. We are so excited. The little ones watched the video, too. The oldest was concerned that Aunt Sarah might find all that wiggling around painful. We reassured him that it wasn't and then he was OK with the event. The youngest just kept saying, "WOW!!" and looking at Aunt Sarah's tummy. His big questions were, "Is a baby boy really in there? Can he hear me? When will he be done?"

Everyone has plans for New Years Eve. The old folks plan to be just that - Old Folks. I'd like to go out until I try to decide where I'd like to go. It's then I realize that there's no place like home. So home it is. New Years day will be spent at home as well. The two married sons and daughters-in-law want to spend the day together at their homes. The unmarried son has three or places he intends to visit. He never tells all - I guess that's a good thing. We probably don't want to know.

I'm not making New Years Resolutions. I'd just break them and then feel like I failed myself. I can think of a few I should make, but that's another story. No use going there this evening. What are your resolutions? I'd love to hear all about them.

I'm fast turning into the proverbial pumpkin. Good Night to all.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

It's a Big Sunny Day

As the oldest grandson said this morning, "Nana, It's a big sunny day." He is correct. The boys were here for a little while this morning and I was so glad to see them. They and their dad decided to let their mom sleep in. Dad was taking the children to a little cafe for breakfast and they were talking about what they would order. I was listening and heard the oldest say, "I don't like green eggs and ham." To which the younger said, "I like whatever they have if it's breakfast stuff." By being quiet and listening I hear some of the most interesting conversations between those two.

I've been thinking about all the work-related travel I did before I retired. Every place has an icon in my mind. Rock Island, IL - Iowa Machine Shed; St Louis, MO - The Hill; Alexandria, VA - The Fish Market; Washington, DC - The Mall; Rockville, MD - G Street Fabrics; El Paso, TX-Wings (on the reservation just east of the city); Las Crusas, NM - Organ Mountains; San Francisco, CA - The Persido; San Diego, Ca - Balboa Park. Boston, MA - The Green; Baltimore, MD - Aquarium, Chambersburg, PA - the Amish market on Saturday morning. This is only a few; I could go on and on. No wonder I'm tired. I worked long hard hours most of the time, but my job gave me something I would never have had if I'd had any other career. It gave me a picture of the world. Once more I give thanks for all my blessings.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Gray Day in Huntsville, AL

Last night was stormy with lots of wind and some rain. The storm was the flashy, noisy kind that always gets the cat in a strange mood. I slept through most of it but woke periodically when the cat would decide to lay on me. Today has been just about the same. The front is almost past us and we have the promise of colder weather for a few days. (Colder for north Alabama, that is.)

I haven't accomplished much today. The gray, yucky days just leave me with no get-up-n-go. The grandsons didn't spend time with me today so I didn't have anyone to play Legos or watch Diego with me. In other words, just a blah day.

It's probably a good thing that the boys didn't come because I'm developing a sore throat and I think my ear would like to hurt. Maybe it'll be gone after a good night's sleep. I seldom develop a full blown throat or ear infection. Being a tough old girl does have advantages.

Our big news of the day is that our daughter in law, Sarah, had a definitive ultrasound today and there is no mistake that the baby is a boy!! We saw the pictures and we can confirm that. She and our son, Buddy, sounded really happy, as we all are. Time is really moving fast and now that Christmas is over things will begin to come together for them. The nursery is almost ready and most of the essentials are either in place or on hand. Sarah's mother and father, who live in Minn) will be here somewhere around January 25th and stay for a few days before going on the the coast for their winter sabbatical. Later they'll be back for the birth and to spend time with new grandbaby. We're walking on air at the prospect of a new grandson. I have my rocking chair at hand and will have it warmed up just in time to rock our new bundle of joy.

Harry always says, "Leave 'em with a feel-good note." The expected new baby boy is my feel-good note for today.

Hope everyone is well and ready for a new day tomorrow. My best to everyone.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

How Not To Workout

Sorry, everyone.

I just couldn't resist.

A friend sent me the above video. You may have seen this many, many times, but it was new to me. I need exercise but not at this gym nor on a machine that is kin to this one. I'd never walk again!! At least someone came her rescue before rolling with laughter.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Last Days of 2007

Here we are, the day after Christmas 2007. It's time to file Christmas away under memories and move along. New Year is the next biggie - well, a biggie for some, a plain old day for others. I'll watch the Rose Bowl Parade (hope Harry will watch with me) and drool over all the flowers. One day I'd like to see the Parade in person and close enough to be able to reach out and touch the floats. Even though I'd like to watch 2008 arrive with festivities, I know Harry and I will look at each other, yawn, and just sleep through the arrival. Ho-Hum!!

My next big project is to clean out my closet to the bare walls - both of them. I still have clothes in there that I wore when I was working. I'll never ever wear them again by choice. Someone should be wearing them as they are quality clothes and basic classics in like new condition. I trust that Goodwill will find them a new home. I'll empty my shoe chest as well. After I finish the closets, it's back to the kitchen to get the upgrades to the cabinets. I want pull-outs added to the lower cabinet shelves so I don't have to get on my knees to get things out of the back. Not all that lazy just gettin' older.

The big thing happening here is that the heat pump is on the blink. The axillary heat is working but that is really expensive to use for everyday heat. I certainly hope it's just a relay or something simple to repair. I'm prepared to be told that the compressor is bad since the unit has been in use since 1989. If that is the case, I'll have a whole new system installed. Big bucks, but it's just money, after all. What am I going to do with the $6.99 I have in reserve? Leave it to the kids to fight over? Not! I dread the process but I'm not stressing over it.

I took a long look in the mirror a few days ago and was absolutely shocked at how much weight I've gained. In some ways I knew it but, darn, that long look was too much for me! Gotta be some changes made. I hope Harry will support me in a diet change. I'm sure he will but will he join me? More on that later. For now I need to move along.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I look forward to your comments.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day, 2007

Christmas Eve with all the kids was a blast to say the least. We all ate like we'd never had a full breakfast. Even the grandsons ate as if they'd been working outside all day. We had a Southern Country Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, peppered bacon, country ham, sausage gravy, home make biscuits, and a big bowl of mixed fresh fruit. Of course there was also plenty of butter, jellies, honey, etc. It may sound hokey but we all enjoyed eating this food - we don't often have a really big breakfast. It's a treat for us.

When it came time to open gifts, Papa (aka Harry) filled in for Santa.
(As an aside comment. Harry painted the picture in the background.)

True to form, the eldest grandson is interested in the toy. (Bumble Bee Transformer)
The youngest is checking out the wrapping paper.
He likes to keep samples of all wrapping paper.

The absolute highlight of gifts was the armor that the eldest son made for the grandsons (his nephews). It was a monumental task in that each scale and the base had to be assembled and attached by hand from very basic material. He makes the armor according to historical descriptions. This armor is constructed so that it can be adjusted to size as the boys grow. This gift can - and hopefully will - be handed down to generations. Folks, below you are looking at a gift of pure love!
The eldest grandson being outfitted for the first time
by his uncle who made this awesome gift.

The grandsons admiring their newest treasure.
They were really proud of their "really, real armor."

Today Harry and I are being quiet old farts. Harry gave me a gift certificate good for an all inclusive trip to the beach whenever I want to go and for however long I want to stay. (Is that dangerous or what?) Harry's gift is a Garvin GPS thingy so we can find our way to the beach and back home again. Remember we are old and need all the help we can get. Our three sons and families are enjoying their Christmas day together. We're sure our daughter and her family are having a wonderful Christmas in Phoenix with her husband's family. We miss her but are glad she has family there and is happy.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas is Here!!!

It's Christmas Eve!!! The treat boxes for each household is complete. Breakfast for dinner, per the request of our three sons, ingredients are ready to sizzle. It's cold with a big frost this morning, but I know many of you are really having bad weather. I really don't know where all of you live but some are in the mid-west and the weather doesn't appear to be user-friendly there. Please be safe.

I had a little fire in the kitchen last evening. I haven't told Harry - he was already in bed fast asleep - so it will be news to him when he reads it here. It wasn't serious and the clean-up was easy but the blaze was tall. If/when you make peanut brittle remember that it reaches the "NOW!" stage all at once. Don't forget to turn off the stove and make sure nothing is close enough to fall on the burner. Then look back to be sure everything is OK. That's all I'm going to say about that.

What's in the treat box you ask? A full pan of brownies, choc covered peanuts, Chex party mix, turtles (Crusty's recipe), the traditional 1 lb bag of M&Ms............and the peanut brittle.

I can hardly wait for the children to get here. The house will be filled with frantic gift opening, giggles, and lots of love. Christmas day will probably be quiet with just Harry and me and that's good, too.

A very merry Christmas to everyone. Be safe, enjoy the excitement, and remember the reason for the season. Give thanks for all your blessings.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

May Christmas and the coming year be
Filled with the blessing of peace.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Santa's Watching

This was kids and Nana day. We made a couple of gifts for Mommy and Daddy but didn't get the Sculpey project done. Some things just take longer when you're 4 and 5 years old. Lots of questions to answer and lots of other stuff happens. I'm sure you understand. Since Mommy and Daddy sometimes read my blog I won't say more than that. The boys want "things" to be a secret.

The last two nights have been pretty sleepless for me so I'm really tired tonight. Harry is cooking on the grill (thank heavens) and I'm just being a slug. When I'm a slug, I'm a slug of the worst kind!! I intend to get an early start tonight and get a full night of zzzs.

Yesterday Harry and I went to a movie. He's instructed me not to tell that we went to see this movie so I won't . . NOT! We saw Enchanted. I enjoyed it and so did he even though it's hard for a real man to say the movie was nice. There was no stress, bad language, blood and guts, or bare bodies. Just a cute fairy tale. Wasn't Harry sweet to go with me anyway? I think so.

Dinner is ready. I'm going to be served, eat, and chill. Bedtime will be early. Have a wonderful evening yourself and be good boys and girls. Santa is watching.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Three Musketeers

This is a picture I promised to post so the kids can see themselves on the computer. The center little boy is my 5 year old grandson, Jesse. At kindergarten these three have earned the nickname "The Three Musketeers" because they are always together. The little girl, Emma Mae, is the grand daughter of my best friend. The child's mother and my sons were like brothers and sister. They didn't want to be seen together unless something went wrong with any one of them and then the three solved the problem together. Emma Mae should have been a little younger than Jesse but she decided to be first and made a premature entry into this world. As a result she's almost two months older than Jesse. I think this little girl is an angel and I so proud that she and Jesse are friends.

Harry and I were both busy today. I didn't have time to cook dinner and that sure didn't break my heart since I'd been making Christmas candy most of the day. Harry suggested we go to Ryans this evening. It's an all you can eat buffet so you just walk right up, serve yourself, sit down and pig out. I wasn't bashful and built the biggest salad I could get on my plate. While I was eating I watched people circle the feed bins somewhat like starving animals. I was so disgusted that I circled and filled my dinner plate with baked chicken, lima beans, and a couple of things I can't name but that tasted pretty good. It was a quick and easy dinner but we certainly didn't go our cholesterol or sugar levels any favors. I feel like a stuffed turkey and look like the Goodyear blimp. It's gonna be a looooonnnnngggg night - so I better get started .......................................have a good night and an even better day tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Where Does Time Go?

Is it Tuesday already? Where does the time go? There was extra room in my freezer after the Sunday fish fry. I did cook a lot but in the overall scheme of things it hardly made a difference. Deep fried fish and hush puppies are something I only hear about in the south. Some people here fry everything. I really don't. I prefer the grill.

Today was Sam's Club day. Harry went with me today and I was certainly glad. I bought the things I buy in bulk, Kleenex, paper towels, detergent, etc. Harry was there to put the loot in the car and bring it in the house. Tomorrow I'll go to the market to buy ingredients for baking and making candy. Thursday, weather permitting, I'll be at the golf course and Friday the boys and I will make Mommy and Daddy gifts. (The Sculpey web site is a great help, Cheryl. Thanks for suggesting it.) A week from today is Christmas day. I'm so blessed to have Harry sit on the sofa with me and just enjoy being together for the day.

Does anyone have plans for New Year? We don't yet. Even though I'd like to enjoy New Year away from home I don't guess we will. We'll probably turn into pumpkins about 9 PM.

As you can tell, I'm having trouble writing. Nothing comes to mind worth sharing. So - - Good night and sweet dreams to everyone.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fish Fry in December

Hello, again. A sincere thank you to everyone who left comforting posts. They really meant a lot to me. I don't often have really, really bad days. However, this time I really hit bottom. Having the kids here yesterday, the kind comments from you guys, and getting a lot of rest for the past few days all served to pick me up. I'm still sad but realize that life goes on. I did talk to my sister and she could respond. Time will tell what's next. She's still in Eisenhower Hospital in Palm Springs, CO.

We did have the fish fry yesterday. I pulled my big fish fryer out of storage, washed her, filled her with peanut oil and fired that baby up. I did batter some of the fish but I also fried some of it "nekked" as one son said. The hush puppies were things of joy to hear the kids tell it. I made them with beer and they were really crusty. I learned many years ago that if you have the oil hot enough when the food goes in the food forms an instant seal and doesn't soak up the oil. The trick still works. Harry and I strained and returned the oil to its original container and very little was missing. Now I have a large container of used peanut oil to dispose of. Minor detail. I might add that clean-up was a breeze. Oh yes, we had our usual green salad but with lots of add-ins for those who wanted them. Big yummy M&M cookies were dessert. No one went away hungry. Even the 4 year old sat up at the table and insisted on "spectin' for bones" under my watchful eye. Bones weren't an issue but the little ones are always encouraged to be mindful of possible bones anyway. Enough about fish fries.

I asked the grandsons if they would be really disappointed if I didn't put up a tree this year. They understood and said it was OK if I didn't. I'm so very glad about that. Everyone will be here Christmas Eve for the traditional "breakfast for dinner" and the children will get their gifts from us then. Santa will make his delivery later that night. Harry and I intend to have a very quiet Christmas Day together. We are very content to have it that way as long as we know the rest of our little family is happy. We'll just sit and hold hands like the two old farts that we are. . .maybe watch the Rose Bowl. . .maybe not.

Again, thanks to everyone for the kind words. Everyone get comfy, curl up, and dream wonderful dreams until morning calls. I intend to try.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Not My Best Day

As you can see, I still haven't resolved the issue of my header picture running away. I haven't had much time to think about it, though.

We all know that nothing runs smoothly for long and I've hit a snag. I won't let the children know that I just want to go and hide in a cave. I'll keep a bright smile and move along.

The first upset happened just after 9 PM last evening. Long story short the Huntsville police received a call to respond to an accident not more that three blocks from our home. The current story is that when the police arrived a man who was inebriated was sitting on the curb. When the police tried to arrest him the man pulled a hand gun and shot one of the two policemen between the eyes. The standing policeman and two citizens managed to wrestle the man to the ground and apparently they weren't very gentle with him. There were sirens, blocked roads, phone calls going back and forth between houses, and a myriad of other confusion. The police are still holding details close and people are really confused. It was well after 2 AM before I could get settled down and even longer before I went to sleep. (Judy, it was on the northwest corner of the Bailey Cove-Weatherly intersection in front of the grocery store.)

Harry let me sleep until I woke up this morning so I missed the initial phone call telling me that my sister had a stroke while visiting her son in Colorado. She was air-lifted back to Palm Springs. I just called the hospital and she wanted to talk to me and did try. I believe her mind is fairly clear but she can hardly talk. There is a full time nurse with her so I don't worry about her being alone. She is the lady whose 91st birthday picture I posted a few weeks ago. Only she and I remain as representatives of our generation (in this family) and I do not relish the idea of being alone in that role.

Harry went to a reef club meeting and I'm making the effort to gather myself and move forward. I have so much to be thankful for and I must keep a positive outlook. Especially with Christmas only days away.

Bottom line: If I'm out of sight for a couple of days, please understand. If I start to have a pity party, remind me of all I have to be thankful for. I'll be OK when I catch up on sleep (again) and get my mind settled.

My best to everyone. Tell everyone close to you that you love them and include a big hug/kiss to seal the statement. Hugs to all of you.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Play Day

Blogger seems to have issues with me today. The picture in my header disappeared, I tried to reload it. No luck. I tried to load another picture into the header. Still no luck. Oh, well, I guess Blogger is having a bad day. Maybe it'll have a better day tomorrow. Imagine that - it's probably something I did.

The boys and I enjoyed our play today. Later in the day, Harry got in the picture. He had those two boys wound up tighter than a seven day clock. The three of them were playing in the living room and making so much noise that the boys mom and I couldn't talk in a normal voice and we were in the sun room (three rooms away). They had a tickle fest followed by a wrestling whoop-de-do and ending with a wild silly conversation about talking to Santa. I declare this house is mostly fun and games.

I didn't cook this evening. Harry and I went to our favorite Chinese restaurant. The food was good, as usual, and I love their hot tea. I hope it doesn't keep me awake but if it does I'll just remember how delicious it was and how much I enjoyed drinking it. This restaurant also serves steamed sticky rice that is wonderful. None of that instant processed stuff. I can usually get a serving from the edge of the steamer - my favorite. This family is all about food.

Tomorrow morning I'll make the trek to buy the rest of my Christmas cooking 'stuff' and a couple of extra goodies. I have wine and various drink ingredients in house already, but because our expectant mommy is only drinking soft drinks now, we may just leave those on the shelf. Not really a bad idea overall. I'll begin making goodies on Monday or Tuesday. For some reason Christmas doesn't seem to be a chore this year. Everything will happen at the correct time and will be fine. The important thing is that we'll be together.

Folks, it's high time I take care of a couple of really small chores and settle in for the rest of the evening. Be happy, safe, and well. My best to you all. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Uneventful Day

Tomorrow is grand kids day with Nana and Papa. I don't have a lot planned for them to do but will come up with something. Planned activities are much better than just finding something to do. I may help them work with modeling clay in prep for using sculpey to make Christmas gifts for Mommy and Daddy. Gifts have to be made at the last minute because the boys want to give gifts as soon as they're done. Whatever we do will be fun. I'll feel better after spending time with them. They always make me laugh.

I received the results of my blood work yesterday. (I had a checkup last Friday.) I have copies of all the results of blood work done since 1997. Since 2004 everything has been excellent. My readings fell almost exactly in the mid range. Not this time. There were 5 - yes 5 - elements out of range. Cholesterol is excellent. Those 5 out of range elements may have something to do with my being washed out more than usual for the past few weeks. I don't know much about medical "stuff" so I'll wait and let my doctor give his opinion. Then I'll ask questions. I'm not sick and I'm not in pain. Maybe there's nothing wrong with me except that I'm mean.

It was a damp, rainy, gray day today just perfect for an outing. NOT! I had to go to Madison Square Mall because that's where the Sears store is. For play, the boys wear Toughskin Jeans that can only be found at Sears (I believe). I thought the mall would be packed but it wasn't. I was there just after they opened and was in and out with no trouble. Not pushing my luck by going back before Christmas.

As everyone can tell, nothing exciting happened today. Harry and I did spend some time talking and had a few chuckles. We are both just so thankful for all we have. I pray that everyone is well, reasonably happy, and content tonight. Bed time, nite nite.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hump Day Blahs

It's 66 degrees at 8:08 PM here in Huntsville, AL. This just ain't natural. Global warming? There may be a dusting of snow over the weekend, if we believe the weatherman. I'm not optimistic. I see the reports of the destructive ice in the mid-west and north-east and remember how beautiful the ice is when sun shines on it. I also remember how treacherous it makes any form of movement and the long power outages. Please, everyone travel safely.

I'm really tired and a little distracted this evening. It must be the blahs! I think I should just say good night to everyone and wish each of you a wonderful evening and a good nights sleep.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Normal Routine and Happy Plans

Back to the normal routine. I love my routine so I welcome it. I have all our Christmas gifts but still have to wrap them. I like doing the wrap because I can be a bit inventive. Creative outlet, you know. ;-) Everything that needs to be is in the mail and/or shipped. I have my recipes together and will start the serious baking next week. This week is the "Gathering-of-Ingredients" stage of the holiday process.

Our little group made the Christmas plans together. Everyone will be here Christmas Eve. The kids sort of requested a winter breakfast feast served at dinner. Of course, that's a wonderful idea. On Christmas Eve the kids can open their gifts from the aunts, uncles, and Nana and Papa. On Christmas Day, our individual little families can spend part of (or the entire) day at home together - whatever they choose. I'll have an early traditional (for us) dinner for everyone who wants to come and eat on Christmas Day. Harry and I keep everything casual so the young folk don't feel rushed or obligated to meet any schedule because of us. We love having everyone here with us but we're comfortable with each other, too.

We're beginning to get really excited about the new grandbaby. Will it be a girl? Will we have another boy? One of both, perhaps? Papa and Nana are so happy that we will get to spoil this baby, the way we did the boys. By the time baby arrives I'll have my rocking chair warmed up and ready to go. Papa already has his new grandbaby strut turned on. We miss having our granddaughter who lives in Phoenix with us. But we know that their little family is happy in Phoenix so we are happy for them. They are very close with our son-in-law's parents so they aren't alone is the big southwest and our granddaughter has grandparents to spoil her. All is good in our world.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Proof is in the Pictures

Final over all results. Joe's 25 pounder is the dark fish (cobia) in the center.
Just off the boat and very proud.
Left to right: Oldest son, Joe; Harry; Middle son, Keith (boy's dad); Youngest son, Harry Jr. aka Buddy (dad to be).

The proud winner of the "Big Fish of the Day Award"

He is thinking - "Hurry up and take the darn picture. This baby is heavy."

What more can I say. Picture is worth a thousand words. Other than that Harry says the red necks on the coast - he's one - call the cobia "Lings".

NOTE TO RICKY: Be sure to read the blog following this one. And show it to Jenna and Jade.

How To Know When You're Old - And Blessed

These two beautiful young ladies are my great-great nieces. Yes, that's right. Ricky is my nephew; his youngest daughter, Jill, is my great-niece; Jill is the mother of these two beauties. The pictures were taken on the 4th of July. I believe Jenna was approx 7 and Jade was approx 5. Correct me if I'm wrong, Grandpa. The picture was taken on Ricky's deck in Vista, CA. Yes I do feel old when I think about it but I'm also blessed. (Notice the bubbles floating around the girls.)

The men folk are on their way home. Harry called earlier and said they'd be home early this evening. I'm proud to say they had the fish cleaned, packaged, and packed in ice by workers at the dock. We'll have to divide and repackage them this evening and get them into the freezer pronto. If they have as much fish as they say they have, we'll all grow gills before it's gone.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday is Over and Monday is On The Way

It has been a good day. The two daughters-in-law, two grandsons, and I went to our favorite Mexican restaurant for a late lunch today. Everyone enjoyed the food, watching the boys manage their soft tacos (which they ate), and having a good time. After eating we came back to my house to talk and laugh some more. Our little expectant mother is beginning to bloom. She has that special glow that goes with pregnancy. We are all waiting to find out if we're having a boy or girl. That should happen on their next visit to the doctor. This week our middle son, Keith, will be taking the crib to the new nursery. The nursery is so pretty and is almost complete. New babies are so exciting.

Harry called me from the dock after the boys day on the water. Between the four fishermen they caught aprox 50 fish. The largest catch of the day was a 25 pound something-or-the-other ( the wind made hearing on the cell phone difficult). I do know that Harry said it was a good eating fish. Our oldest son, Joe, was the proud fisherman who caught it. I understand he was worn out after he landed it. I think all four of our men were dirty, smelly, and tired; but there was a lot of excitement in the air.

It seems the weekend has been an all around winner. However, I'll be glad to have our little group together next weekend. I'm already planning a menu.

I'm going to shut down the computer, make some tea, and read for a while then early (I hope) to bed. Kitty just told me to hurry up. She wants to knead and purr before going to sleepy town.

River Road

It's Sunday morning and I feel as though I've visited another time, another place. This comes from an extended reading of River Road last evening and night. The author, speaking here, is discussing her desire to write a "true to history" novel about New Orleans River Road. From the preface:

I persisted, "I want to write a story about the River Road - the one that used to be the main thoroughfare between Baton rouge and New Orleans, with all those big sugar plantations on it. Then the air line was cut through, and traffic and trade were diverted. Most of the old families felt they couldn't hang on any longer, in their huge houses, under changed labor and living conditions."


He had picked up a cigarette and had begun to smoke quietly. He did not interrupt and he did not try to hurry me. Those were both such unusually goods signs that I was encouraged.
"Well, but some of them did hang on. I'd like to tell you the story of a family that managed to."

Thus "River Road" was born. The author wrote the book while living in a cottage on River Road. (She always lived in the setting of each book she wrote.) The book was published in 1955 and the story is set in the 1860's. It is 622 pages of historic truth built into an enthralling work of fiction.

Well, now you know how excited I get about my books. This is the third (as least) time I've read this book over the years and I never get bored with the story. But now I've bored you with my over exuberance I must begin my day.

I hope your day is a satisfying as I expect mine to be.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

. . And They're Off

The men folks are on their way for their guy's holiday - fishing on the coast. They left our house with big grins on their faces and a let's get going attitude. I called the girls to invite them to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant on Sunday. It's all arranged and everyone is happy.

I'm going out to pick up new shelf paper and turn tables. This afternoon everything comes out of the pantry and order will reign - at least until the man of the house gets back. The fridge and freezer are on my list, too. This evening I'll curl up with my books, a cup of tea (or two), invite kitty to join me, and we two girls will have a purring good evening. Rain is predicted so it should be perfect.

Take care and enjoy the day.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Another Day, Another Blog

There is a craft fair in Huntsville this weekend. As do most of these events, it runs from Friday morning through Sunday afternoon. Harry and I went today and, as usual, made plans about where to meet and then dived into the crowd. We long ago realized that different things catch our attention so we make things simple. After we meet we have something to talk about on the way home. . "Did you see . . . ?" "Yes, did you go to the tasting table?" (The tasting table question was Harry's and no I didn't go to the tasting table.)

The men folk are getting ready to leave for Florida at 9:30 in the morning. It's a 6+ hour drive to the coast and they seem ready for the adventure. The women folk, on the other hand, are looking forward to good-bye kisses, projects we want to devote time to, and welcoming the men home on Monday afternoon. I have a couple of books that I want to read and I am going to turn off every television in the house and let absolute quiet roar through the house.

My doctor has me come in every 4 months for blood work, etc. My four month appointment was this morning. In the past I've had some pretty serious health issues and doc keeps a close watch on me. Everything looks good and he doesn't expect that any of the tests will be out of tolerance. A few years ago he told me that he thought that I had gotten bad health out of the way before I was too old to put up a good fight. He's been my doctor since 1981. He's not at all like Dr Beige or Dr Brown Eyes. His nurses love him and have been with him for years. Summer, I wish you had someone just like him in your office.

As usual, I've rambled on in a somewhat disjointed manner. I'm a creature of habit, yes?

I'm thankful for my blessings and wish many blessings for each of you.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Slow Day In My World

Today has been a quiet day in our little corner of the world. The birds are competing with the squirrel with feathers on his legs for food. (The squirrel doesn't really have feathers. I say that because he won't eat his own food in the yard next door. He comes to my bird feeders.) I enjoyed watching the birds for awhile today. My favorite is a Downy Woodpecker. He can eat upside down, right side up, or any position in between.

Today Harry did a bit of shopping for the guy's fishing trip this weekend. I hope they have lots of fun and catch big fish. I understand Red Snapper is biting but they are out of season and have to be thrown back. No telling what they'll bring home. If they intend to have a fish fry, I want to cook it on the outside stove.

As everyone can guess, based on my writing, there's not much happening in my neck-o-th-woods. This has been my "be a bum" day. Tomorrow the tempo has to pick up. I've let things slide long enough.

Think happy thoughts and sing happy songs. Later, friends.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

All Is Well That Ends Well

The youngest grandson spent the morning and midday with me today. His older brother's class went to a retirement center to sing. The youngest grandson and I played cars, watched Noggin, and made pancakes. He really did help by getting the eggs, milk, and syrup from the fridge without being told what to get. He also used the wire whisk to stir the batter. When the pancakes were ready to go into the skillet he got a fork and sat at the table to be ready to eat. He ate 3 large pancakes with butter and honey. I thought I'd have to scour the table and floor after we ate but there were no spills. His hands were really sticky, though.

I have the beginning of a sore throat tonight. Maybe it'll be gone by tomorrow. It's been several years since I've had a cold and I'm hoping this won't be the year to break my record.

I think I told you that I ordered Christmas gifts on the net. Well, it's worked out really well. I have everything in-house that I ordered the first day. Two days later I ordered another couple of gifts and they should be delivered tomorrow. I do want to pass on an interesting situation to you. Last Saturday I received a letter from the Birmingham Post Office telling me that a package addressed to me had an unknown substance spilled on it and they couldn't send it on. They told me I could pick it up at their facility. (Picture me with a frown on my face.) I called Monday afternoon and told them that I wasn't about to drive 100 miles one way to pick up a package and that if it was damaged to return it to the company that sent it. The lady was really nice and explained that the letter didn't explain the situation very well. It seems that a mail bag had a liquid spill that couldn't be identified and everything that was affected was held for inspection. Today I received another letter from the same post office telling me that the substance had been inspected and found harmless so all affected mail would be sent forward. The package came and the contents were fine but the outer wrapping smelled like a strange mix of wintergreen and cucumbers. Do you think that a package from Body and Bath might have gotten broken? Anyway I tell you this as a long way of saying the postal service is being watchful of any possible problems with the mail.

I hope those of you with snow had safe commutes and are enjoying the evening. As for the rest of us, we can only wish for snow. My best to everyone. Take care, be safe, and have a wonderful evening.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It Was a Good Day

Didja? You bet, Summer! I was asleep by 10:30 PM and didn't get up until past 9:00 AM. What a luxury!

Our two live coral tanks have grown to the point that it's either sell some of the live coral or have two coral reef tanks that are just too crowded to enjoy. Harry advertised a few frags (frags are to coral as cuttings are to plants) on a reef bulletin board. I have been surprised how many he's sold. Over the past few weeks he's shipped to all parts of the country and some folks have driven here to pick up rather than have us ship. Tonight we shipped 8 or 9 corals to Florida and 7 to Illinois. I have to say the tanks look better for it all. Even the fish are happier. Below is a shot of about 1/4 of the 190 gallon tank. All the coral is live. If you look closely you can see 2 fish and a snail or two.

I don't know a lot about the coral but I enjoy seeing them and watching the fish swim among their branches. There are always chairs in front of each of the tanks so folks can sit and watch.

I'm going to curl up and listen to the Christmas music on Alabama Public Television. Celtic Women concerts are the best. Hope everyone is having a quiet, restful evening.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Blank Slate

Here I am ready to write in my blog and nothing comes to mind. Last night was one of my "I can't sleep nights." I hate it when that happens and I have nothing new to read. I hate it even more when I can think of nothing worth writing about. Even the cat seems subdued tonight. She usually comes and talks to us before she goes to bed but tonight she just went straight to bed.

The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

The best thing for me to do is to say, "So long until tomorrow." and take myself to bed. I hope everyone had a good evening and is enjoying a restful night.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The House That Mary Built

I'm moving a bit more slowly than usual this Sunday morning. Nothing wrong, I just feel lazy. Reading the blogs of my blogging friends has become a regular routine. It's something I look forward to. This morning two of my friends wrote about places they lived in the past and it made me look back.

While Ricky was visiting he asked me to show him the house that I built in the early 90s. I loved that house but sold it because I needed the highly inflated equity to make life easier. After selling the new house I moved back to the house where I lived prior to building. The house I built - or should say had built - was across town from the old neighborhood. It had a small front yard and a huge back yard that bordered a wild life preserve. The house was too large for one person but I had something to prove and let pride and determination guide the plans. When Ricky and I parked on the street in front of the house I had a moment of pride in what I was able to accomplish followed by teary eyes thinking of how far I've come. We rang the doorbell and explained to the young man (a soldier home on leave from Iraq) that I had the house built and was the first to live there. He invited us inside and showed us through the downstairs rooms. I was pleased that everything is still lovely and well cared for. The sunroom was filled with plants and the back yard was as well groomed as the front. Memories of the bobcat mother that had kits under the deck, the wild boar eating my sage, the deer drinking from the birdbath and then eating my favorite rose bush, and all the small animals that visited my yard were unbelievably vivid. I had a content life there but nothing to compare with my life now. I'm happy to have had the experience and I savor the memories but wouldn't trade what I have for anything.

Ok, I've rambled on and proved, yet again, that I'm an old woman who may look back but feels blessed by the now. Have a good day.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Nothing but Paperwork

It's Saturday night - almost 11 PM. It's been a busy day doing nothing - I said NOTHING - but paper work. Year end is upon us and I want to have everything in order to close out quickly. Harry does our taxes. At least I don't have to do that anymore. The bright side of this coin is that I'm finally through.

Tomorrow is gathering day and I believe we'll be one couple short. The youngest son works for a local TV station and was busy filming the downtown Christmas parade today. He called late this afternoon and said that he and his wife (our little mother-to-be) might stay home tomorrow and keep their new sofa company. We'll miss them but I know they want to spend private time together. Everyone else will be here. No sounds of NASCAR to fill the family room - the season is over. It will be a good chance for the adults to just visit and watch the children play. In other words, a perfect day. I think comfort food is in order. How about broccoli cheese soup, toasted croutons, the ever present salad, lots of veggie finger foods and dips, and something sinful for dessert? Sounds like a plan to me.

Next weekend is the Man Trip. Harry and the three sons are going to Florida for their fishing trip. The lady folk will have time to do girl stuff and believe me we won't miss the opportunity. We have no plans so I'll just have to report what we did. Several days until that happens.

I just looked at the calendar and realized it's only three weeks until Christmas. Time moves faster and faster as the years roll by. Today we're raking leaves and tomorrow we're planting flowers. Is that a sign of aging? I think so.

It's time for me to turn into a pumpkin so I better wish you all lots of happiness and joy before the clock strikes. I know it's not midnight but my clock strikes early.