Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wind and Rain

Weather here is really wild. No bad storms predicted but it's raining really, really hard and the wind is blowing! Local weather station says the wind is at 40 MPH gusting to 50. I believe it.

Nothing new here tody. Same old, same old. I'll post again tomorrow but for now I'm closing down the computer and finding a comfy place to listen to the wind and rain.

Hope everyone has a good night.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Making Lists

Harry and I went to see The Bucket List today. Of course, we went to the early movie. Old farts need to be home before dark, you know. We both enjoyed the movie - sad parts and funny. We came away discussing what we would put on our bucket list. I was shocked when I realized that I couldn't think of anything. I've always done the things I wanted to do. Sometimes it took time and hard work but I can't think of anything important to me that I abandoned. Think about it. What would be on your bucket list? I'm going to give it more thought.

I've enjoyed the day and am ready to rest. I'm going to grab a book, make myself comfortable, and try to settle into a good night of sleep and happy dreams. Good night.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Today I've been tired and sleepy all day. Know what that means? I have a chore than has to be done before I can make progress on other things and I don't want to do it. I have many, many small samples and remnants of drapery and upholstery fabric that I need to sort. I also have fabrics for shades, duvet covers, and slip covers that need to be sewed and put to use. The kick is that I have to get all my sewing mess in better order before I can be sure I have everything I need. All excess is going out the door.

How did I get so many fabric samples? After I retired I had an insane moment when I decided to return to school. My chosen course of study was Interior Design. There were mega projects in that course. Story boards, sample boards, and scale drawings to name some things that were part of each and every one of those projects. I never liked school when I had to go and this course was no different. The engineering courses and financial courses that were mandatory for my career could be forgiven for making me miserable. Interior Design did not fit that mold so I quit! Now I have all this "stuff" to sort and either use or pass along. Yep, that's right, I'm a dropout!

Now that I've admitted my lazy streak I believe I'll call it a day . . err . . night.

Monday, January 28, 2008


A few days ago in one of my posts I complained that I couldn't figure out how to create a link when writing a blog. My blog friend, Cheryl, made it so simple that even I can now create a link. Thank you, Cheryl.

I always try to think of something interesting or different to post to my blog. Usually all I can think of is the current day's events. That translates to nothing exciting or different. For me, that's fine. For my readers - not so. It gets boring, I'm sure. This evening is different. Reading The Captain's blog (posted on Sunday evening) gave me an idea for this evening's post. Has anyone wondered how I came up with "Pathways" as the name for my blog? Being a little self centered, I'm going to assume the answer to that question is, "Yes."

In the summer of 1983, I was on a three week work related trip to Chambersburg, PA. The weeks were full but weekends were long and needed to be filled with something other than gathering data, running regression analysis, watching television re-runs, and other dry boring stuff. On the first weekend I decided to drive to Gettysburg. I had been there a couple of times on previous trips but had pretty much just driven through while looking at the memorials – mostly from a distance. On this particular Saturday the sun was bright and the grass, which had been mown a couple of days earlier, was curing. The fragrance of new mown hay was all around. I had the whole day with nothing rushing me so I decided to walk around the battlefield. My walk took me to Devil’s Den. Devil’s Den is a hill covered with large boulders. It stands out in the landscape. I thought it would be a good place to find a comfortable seat (on one of the boulders) to rest a while. Following a winding pathway that led towards the higher part of the rise, I found a shady place with what appeared to be a stack-rock fence about 3 or 4 feet long between two boulders. It looked comfortable so I decided to sit and rest for a while. The day had been pleasant but as I sat there I began to feel a heavy, sad mood starting to build. This caused me to decide to call it a day and return to my hotel room in Chambersburg. I was about half way down the path when I stopped, looked back and took a picture of the pathway from that vantage point. Before leaving the area I stopped to eat at a little inn and picked up some literature about the Battlefield to read while waiting. Imagine how I felt when I saw a picture of my little stacked rock fence with a note saying that it is believed that the youngest soldier in the Battle of Gettysburg died there. I have always remembered that pathway in vivid detail.

No, there were no unexplained orbs or strange images on the picture when it was developed. It was no more and no less than a beautiful picture. I attach no supernatural significance to the day. What I did bring away from that day was the realization that, no matter the horrors of a particular time or place, peace and beauty can return. If anyone is interested in reading a bit about Devil's Den and the surrounding area click here.

Correction - My Bad

Well, here we go again. I make a mistake on my last post as Harry was kind enough to point out. Sarah's folks are from Wisconsin not MN. My apologies to them and to Harry.

Sarah's Mother and Father are wonderful people. They are retired and free to travel with no encumbrances. It's always interesting to visit with them and I'm glad they are going to be close enough to experience the new grandson's arrival.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Another Week Begins

It's Sunday night and all is well in our little corner of the world. We were two short for gathering day. Sarah's (our expectant mommy) parents are visiting and she and Harry, Jr, spent the day with them. It's as it should be. Her parents came from MN to spend a few days before going on to Florida for a few weeks. Everyone else was here and the afternoon and evening went well. I made roast beef, garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, and a garden salad with fresh veggies. Everyone went home happy and content. They were all planning an early-to-bed evening in order to begin their week tomorrow morning rested and ready.

Next week is Super Bowl Sunday. I don't get excited about the game but do not want to miss a one of the commercials. I hope they are as good this year as they've been in the past. You are correct, I'm a sucker for silly or catchy ads. I hope everyone comes and we make a party out of it but I won't tell the children that. If they want to watch with their friends it will be OK. Harry and I will watch, giggle, and maybe if I behave myself he might even hold my hand.

For now, I wish you a good night's sleep to set the stage for a happy and fulfilling week. Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Peace - Sweet Peace

OK Everyone, my nerves are calm and my headache is long gone. I'm back to my sweet, lovable self. As I look back I shouldn't have posted such a negative event. It's over, that day is gone forever. I look forward to the days to come. A big thanks to everyone who commented. Having people ,who I consider friend, understand my ire helped me get my equilibrium under control. Now, what do I write about this evening?

The boys and I had a make-up play session today. It was so much fun to have playmates. We played cars, worked a puzzle, watched the fish in the reef tanks, and used the "see-big" (magnifying glass) to look at tiny starfish (we counted 7 in one tank and 11 in the other). We talked about their music classes - both have just been promoted to "bigger books" and they both wanted to tell all. I didn't miss a word. We had a snack and watched "Jacks Big Music Show" on Noggin (TV). The boys each played a computer game from Noggin. Then Papa and I took them home because they wanted to help Mommy roll the meatballs. They had homemade spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Papa and I went to Outback for prime rib. Yep!! Today was a winner!!

Harry and I watched "Pretty Woman" tonight. I can't count the times I've seen that movie and I always tear up when the couple is parting. I'm a softie. Harry is sweet to watch girlie movies with me and not complain or make fun. I'm not as nice to him. He likes to watch the History Channel when they are showing films of war and I just can't watch them with him. I either read or surf the computer.

Remember the gift certificate Harry gave me for Christmas . . the one that is good for a trip to the beach all expenses paid. It's for anytime I want to go, to anywhere I want to go, and for as long as I want to stay. Was that dangerous, or what? I've been thinking of cashing it in. I just have to find an opening in our schedule. If that proves impossible, I'll cancel a few things. My play-days with the boys are sacred, though, they won't get cancelled. You would think that two old retired people would have plenty of free time on their hands but we don't. Should you see two ratty old farts shuffling along at a furious pace it's probably us on our way to have a good time.

Again, thank you to everyone for your comments and understanding. My best to everyone. Have a good night.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Please, Lord, Calm My Nerves

I hate to admit that I'm in a snit, but I am. I was so looking forward to play day with the boys. Well, a lot happened - a lot changed - and old ladies don't like it when their most fun day of the week gets a blip. I have some "What would you do" questions. You don't have to answer because I believe I already know the answers:

What would you do if someone came to your house with a 2 year old in a soiled (really, really soiled) diaper. What would you say to a Mommy who didn't change the diaper but sat down to feed a new baby (who was sleeping peacefully) and told the 2 year old to go play with the children? What would you think if the 2 year old told her Mommy that she was "dirty" and Mommy said, "I'm busy right now."? After one hour and 45 minutes when my oldest grandson came to me and said that something smelled really bad, I told the mother that she needed to change the child. It took about 15 minutes but she finally did. (At some point in all this I asked the woman if she needed a clean diaper. I have a few left over. She said she had plenty.)

How would you feel if this Mommy told you that your grandsons would never be intelligent because they are being sent to public school? According to this woman only home schooled children are intelligent and those in public schools are ignorant. My oldest grandson asked me if he is ignorant and does that mean the same as stupid. I told him that he was most certainly neither ignorant nor stupid.

How would you react if the woman's 8 year old son, who was also visiting, ignored you when you asked him not to dismantle the Lego house and boat that my grandsons worked a long time to build and were saving to show to their aunt. He looked straight at me and dropped both pieces on the floor. Mommy did one of those "Now son, be good" things and said to me "Boys will be boys, won't they?" I restrained myself - I wanted to run and scream.

God does hear prayers and after over 2 and a half hours of silent prayer and forced smiles (by me) the family was leaving with the corals daddy came to get from Harry. Those children weren't easy to capture and get out of the house.

After the mob left my youngest son told me he was going to the bathroom and off he went to the boys bathroom. In just a minute he came back and said, "Nana, you need to come with me. I need to pee pee really bad and I can't." I was alarmed because he usually goes by himself and is upset if anyone thinks he needs help. Remember, I told you that the woman finally changed her 2 year old after I told her in a stern voice that she needed to do so? Well, she did AND she left a soiled smelly diaper laying open on the bathroom floor in front of the commode, dirty wipes on the floor beside the diaper, and feces on the cold water tap in the lav. I took my grandson to our bathroom. By the time I cleaned the smelly mess in the boys bathroom I was fit to be tied. (In other words - mad as a hornet!!!)

Folks, my day has been enough to make the preacher cuss - not curse - cuss! (Cuss sounds more appropriate, doesn't it?)

Harry has apologized more than one time but it isn't his fault. How could either of us know these people have different standards than we do? Harry took me out to eat at a restaurant not too far from the house so dinner wasn't an issue. None of this is Harry's fault but I feel cheated and I'm having a near encounter with a migraine.

I promise to be in a better mood when I post next time. I hope this post doesn't scare you away. Please come back when you have time.

A Cold, Gray Friday

It's finally Friday which translates to "Play Day" at Nana and Papa's house. I don't know what the boys will have on their busy minds today but it's too cold to do anything outside.

I wrote a post last evening but I deleted it. Sometimes I get carried away on an asinine tangent. Last evening was one of those "sometimes." Glad I came to my senses in time. My problem is that I just can't seem to make as much progress in getting the excess stuff out of the house as I'd like. My goal is looking 'iffy' and, in my world, goals are meant to be kept. Enough! Let's file that subject away.

I'm thinking that these blah days before spring would be a good time to have a real make-over. I'm having maintenance done on my hair tomorrow but that doesn't count. Changing my eating habits would probably be a good idea, too. Now why did I have to bring that up? Another subject to drop.

As you can see, I'm not at my best. I think I'll say "Have a good day" and close this for now. I'll be back later when my world looks brighter.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Good Read

Yesterday's mail brought something I've been looking forward to for several days. A novel written by Diane Vogel Ferri. I began reading as soon as I opened the package and didn't quit until it was finished. No time to blog when reading this book.

Diane's blog was introduced to me by Elizabeth at: (Sorry I don't know how to make links the way most of you do.) Elizabeth is also a writer who has sold her first children's' story. We'll certainly be hearing more about her work.

Diane's book,“Flying Over Midnight,” is a much more than a love story. It is a powerful story of a young woman, Elise, who is a wife, mother, and musician. She sees her life as an unending cycle of disappointments and loneliness. Suffering from depression, she accepts professional help offered by Mary Sue, a friend and clinical psychologist. Elise begins a journey to recovery by facing her demons and finding her true self. “Flying Over Midnight” written by Diane Vogel Ferri, is not a fluff novel. It’s a compelling story deserving of a sequel.

You can find Diane's book at Amazon . Visit her blog HERE

I apologize for not knowing how to do the easy, simple links that you ladies do, but it's now my mission to learn. I just bet Harry knows how. "Harry, Can you come here and help me . . . .?"

Monday, January 21, 2008

Plans and Gripes

Monday is over and I finally feel rested after a busy, busy weekend. Not complaining - I wouldn't have had it any other way. It's still cold here - how can it be so cold when the sun is so bright? Something doesn't compute. Brrrrrrr

I need to clear out another closet tomorrow. I hate to say the clothes there are mine, too. I'll take them to the Women and Children's Shelter. They need the clothes and seem to appreciate everything anyone does for them. Their clothes closet is clean and neat.

A couple of years ago when I donated clothes I took them to Salvation Army. I washed, ironed, and folded or put on hangers the clothing I was donating. I thought it would be a burden for them to prepare the clothes for someone to wear. The woman who accepted my clothes just threw them in a pile of dirty, smelly clothes on the concrete floor. The clothes on hangers she jerked off and threw on the pile, too. Never again will I take any donations there. Sorry, I need to get off my soap box.

I'm going to find a warm place to curl up with my blankie and read for a while before going nite-nite.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Coral Pictures

Everyone has gone home full of steak, steamed veggies, homemade biscuits, gravy and the perpetual green salad. I bought an Italian Cream cake from the deli. Just didn't have time or energy to bake a cake or make a pie. (Note: I don't make cookies - I'm bad at it.) The boys played Noggin games, drew pictures, and helped watch the end of the golf tournament. Green Bay and someone are playing football now. Whoever wins this game plays in the super bowl, I think. I really don't know one team from the other but I do know whoever is playing tonight is playing on frozen ground in unbelievably cold weather.

I'm posting a few pictures of corals like the ones we took to the sale & swap. The actual corals we took to Nashville have new homes. We didn't add any new coral to our tanks because we just don't have the room. The corals in these pictures are larger than the ones Harry sold. Most folks can't afford to buy large corals (we can't either) so most folks buy small corals and raise them. My terminology is probably not correct, but maybe you'll get my drift.

This is one of our Maroon Clown Fish keeping company with a Hydro

Pink Birdsnest Coral

Orange Capacornus (We also have a purple and a green of this variety)

Palawanensis (Don't ask me - I can't pronounce it either.)

Green Millie (The "hair" is feeding tentacles.)

Bama Blue Tort in foreground and Pink Cat's Paw in back

Let me introduce our Serpent Star Fish, Big Red.

If anyone wants to see pictures of our full tanks (225 gal and 190 gal) I'll be glad to re-post them. I didn't post them tonight because I've posted them a couple of times so I think most have seen them.

This is my "rest-up night" so I believe I'll surf a bit, maybe comment, and take advantage of a night to rest and a morning to sleep late. Hope everyone is warm and cozy - it's colder than cold outside.

Reporting In

The trip to Nashville, Tennessee, went very well. It was colder than cold but the road surfaces were clear and dry. The coral sale and trade was a success and gave new live reef keepers a chance to purchase new stock at reasonable prices. There were folks there that we only see a couple of times each year - it was nice to say a face to face hello and swap stories. There are really two groups within this group: 1) The live coral reef keepers; 2) The spouses who support and enjoy the results of the reefs. I'm part of the latter and enjoy being so.

It is really cold here. OK, I know our weather is nothing to compare with the weather that the Midwest is enjoying. And wind chill is another matter. I'll never forget the January and February that I spent in Rock Island, IL. It was never above freezing (seldom above 5 degrees) and the wind never stopped blowing. I could leave juice and water on my window ledge INSIDE with the drapes closed and it would freeze. (I was staying in a hotel.) Snow was even with the top of my knee-high boots. I don't remember exactly how low the wind chill registered but it was the deep minus readings. The Mississippi froze in big chunks and all the natives seemed to see nothing unusual about all this. I was not warm for the whole time I was there. My sincere sympathy goes to those of you who live through this extreme weather. On the other hand, here in the south we have heat and humidity that's unbelievable in summer. Always something to complain about. Human nature is well served.

I have to get plans underway for our gathering today. Will post a few pictures of the corals we took to the swap/sale this evening or tomorrow morning.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Busy Weekend Ahead

It's a beautiful day but cold. Temp is 34 degrees at 10:30 AM. I know that is mild for some but for old southern bones it is cold. The weather gurus are predicting snow this evening but it should be south of us. That's right - SOUTH of Huntsville. I hope they're correct. We have a lot to do. Snow would not be our friend for the next couple of days.

The grandsons will be here after lunch so I'll have playmates for awhile. The oldest has music from 3:45 until 4:30 today. He's really gotten interested in learning since he found it's possible for him to play simple melodies. The younger was promoted to a more advanced class last week. His lesson is on Thursday. Yesterday was his first lesson with the "play real songs" class.
Both boys really enjoy playing the piano and are ready to practice without reminders. I hope they inherited the musical ability that several of my family have. Time will tell. Whatever happens these classes/lessons are valuable.

This evening Harry and I will be packing the small live corals to take to Nashville on Saturday morning. (Which explains why snow will not be our friend tomorrow.) This isn't an overnight stay. Tomorrow will be a long day. We'll share the driving so there will be nap time if needed. I intend to take my camera; maybe I'll get some good pictures.

It's time for me to get up and clear the deck for a busy couple of days. I probably won't post again until Sunday but I will cruise a bit when I take a break. Make this weekend one of your best ever - don't take no for an answer. Thanks for visiting my blog. All comments are appreciated.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Just Another Day

We did have snow and then we quickly lost it. The fluffy white was pretty falling and a source of wild excitement for the grandsons, but enough is enough. A warming trend wiped all the fluffy away by morning. I can handle - and sometimes enjoy - snow but ice is a whole other story. Not a story for now, though.

I haven't done much today except surf through my regular blogs this morning and again just now. No progress on the "Hit List", as I've come to call it. It's slowly shrinking and should be completely blank by July 15, 2020, if all goes well.

Today I have been the victim of an upset stomach. I've slept most of the day away and been really still when not asleep. I did read some and watch a program on Discovery about wolves. Tonight finds me feeling well, but still sleepy. With that pearl of information sent out into blogland, I'm off to beddie-bye. My best to everyone.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Little Bit of SNOW

In Huntsville, Alabama, snow is coming down pretty fast. It's too warm to accumulate but it is pretty to watch the big fluffy flakes fall through the outside lights. I just hope the temps don't fall enough to cause ice to freeze on the trees. Falling limbs are not the friend of electric lines. Underground facilities aren't a whole lot of help when the lines leaving the substation are not. The grandsons are so excited and the old folks are just waiting to see how much trouble this will cause. Cheryl, we do have our whites, just in case.

Harry and I took a load (no exaggeration) to the Huntsville Women and Children's Shelter today. It's the first place here in Huntsville that appeared happy to get the donation. The lady in charge of the 'Clothes Closet' (which is a whole room) thanked me more than once and told me that the clothes were a God-send and that they were really needed. I was impressed at how neat and well kept everything was inside the facility. I came away feeling appreciated. Anything I have to donate for women or children will be taken to this facility in the future.

We have several things planned for the rest of the week and over the weekend. (Getting ready for a (coral) frag swap and sale and then attending the function.) Both Harry and I will be pretty tired by the time Monday morning rolls around. After all the activities, while I'm sitting still to catch my breath, I intend to check the weather on the coast. If it's not extreme I plan to smile and flutter my lashes in Harry's direction then ask if we can go watch the Gulf roll in for a couple of days. This is not vacation - it's rest time to prepare for the bleak February and early March days. Vacation is a whole other thing. More on that another time.

It has been a long day. I believe I'll exit, stage-right, just after wishing everyone happiness, comfort, and a long pleasant night.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Long Busy Day

Lots of things happened at our house today. Nothing bad just busy. This was the day I went to Sam's club and bought the usual staples, etc. I think every person holding a Sam's card was there. Yeah, and only three check-out stations were open. One of the three was for "flat bed" only. There was a lovely wait in a long line between a lady with four tired, sleepy children and a young couple who should have been in divorce court instead of Sam's. $300+ later I was loading the loot in my car and was almost cross eyed from exhaustion. Harry had several errands so we didn't try to do everything together today.

After our ventures in the outside world we packed some corals for shipping. Today's order was sent to Midlothian, VA. Yesterday we shipped to three different customers. It's good that people are beginning to buy propagated coral and let the wild coral grow. More and more people are beginning to grow reef tanks in their homes.

According to our local weather predictions, we should have a bit of rain followed by sleet and snow tomorrow. The ground is warm so I don't believe we'll have an accumulation. It seems we, in north Alabama, talk about ice and snow but it rarely happens. I'm not complaining, I'm bragging. I've seen more than my share of blizzards.

I have nothing interesting to write about this evening and find that I'm just looking for words. My mind is blank. Now that I've admitted it I believe I'll just say, "Good night."

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Well is Dry

It has been rather cold today. Not the bitter cold that many of you are 'enjoying', but cold nevertheless. I hate to admit that I didn't set foot outside today. I stood before the open door on a couple of occasions but that's as close as I went to outside.

The big thing today was to continue doing the sorting out and eliminating 'stuff' - 'stuff' that I had forgotten about. I have four big garbage bags of clothes folded and packed to take to the Women's shelter. I'll add a lot of hanging clothes to the group in the morning and then take the whole thing to the shelter. I hope someone - or several someones - enjoy these things. Most are barely worn and are really good labels. I'm strictly a jeans gal now. No room in my life for suits anymore. I don't think this is ever going to end. I need help!

I tried to think of something amusing or thought provoking to write about this evening, but nothing comes to mind. I think my writing tonight will end just about now. Monday is over so we're one day closer to weekend. Thanks for visiting. I hope your tomorrow is a happy day. Night, night.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Nana's Treat Cabinet

It was gathering day at Nana and Papa's house. We watched part of a football game and a nature show on TV while we talked and just enjoyed the afternoon. I made a lazy man's meal of homemade chili, hot dogs, buns, etc. I noticed the last time I made chili that everyone seemed to enjoy it. One of the few rules at my house is that if you don't like something I'm serving above all SAY SO! If you pretend to like something you don't, you could very well find yourself in the position of finding it on your plate again. Someone ask if the grandchildren ate good at my house. The answer is, "They certainly do." "How do manage that?" you ask. See picture below.

This is Nana's treat cabinet. If you eat all your dinner you can visit the cabinet and select a treat. If you aren't hungry enough to eat, you don't have room for a treat either. Pickup your toys before you go home and you can select a treat to take home. Like I said, "There is very little discussion about the meal at Nana's house."

Sarah, our mother-to-be, is really beginning to look like an expectant mommy. She is having a very easy time and absolutely glowing. Buddy is not really hoovering around her all the time, but he is watchful. I love watching them. They will be exceptional parents.

A new week is here and I'm still not caught up with my list. So, what else is new? I'm never caught up. And probably never will be. Ho-hum. That's my attitude.

I hope the new week is kind to everyone and there are no disappointments or hurt to bear. My best to all.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Jack Tales

I'm sure most of you know that Jack Tales are a traditional genre of storytelling in Appalachia. The tales are most often oral and seldom written so they change from storyteller to storyteller. Jack is the common thread through these tales and even though he is usually in a predicament of his own making he always comes out the winner.

I hadn't thought of Jack Tales (as defined by my father) in many, many years. It all came back to me as I was reading an article in a magazine that referred to Jack Tales as they applied to my life. As a young person for no good reason I would build up and imagine horrible situations and how they would affect me. "I have to wear that ugly dress to the sock hop after the basketball game. (one of the popular girls) told me she hated that dress. If I have to wear that dress no one will dance with me. I'll look stupid. Everyone will laugh at me and talk about how stupid I look. I'm not going to the sock hop and I'm not going to that dumb basketball game either. . . . " and on and on. I NEVER won in my Jack Tales.

I went to bed fairly early last night and went straight to sleep. Early to bed + Straight to sleep = Awake in the middle of the night. At least that's how it works for me. I woke up in the really, really early hours of morning and lay there trying to trying to go back to sleep. First thing I knew I was telling myself Jack Tales which is a sure way to start a pity party and/or make yourself miserable. My Jack Tale had to do with being on vacation at an unknown farm and telling everyone that I knew how to bridle a horse. In my tale I couldn't catch a horse much less bridle it. Then everyone teased me for forgetting how to manage a horse. (In reality, I was riding horseback almost by the time I was walking.) Now how silly is that - making Jack Tales at my age!!! Maybe I'm just getting into my second childhood.

I might add that I laughed at myself for being so silly as I went to the kitchen for a glass of orange juice. Then it was back to bed and back to sleep. This whole blog came to be because I read that article. I guess my father wasn't the only one who called kids imagined trials Jack Tales.

Have you ever told yourself Jack Tales. If so stop now - if not don't start. It's a silly, demeaning thing to do. Think happy thoughts and have a wonderful evening.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Our Day in a Nutshell

Even the best of plans go bad. Harry and I drove the 23 miles to the golf course he wanted to play only to find that it was closed due to expected bad weather. He looked so disappointed that I quickly decided we should check out Guntersville State Park and Bucks Pocket State Park. He perked up at the suggestion because he had never been to either. It was a very pleasant drive on a mild overcast day. I knew there was a state operated lodge at the Guntersville park but didn't realize how elaborate it is since the recent renovation. After looking it over, we plan to spend a couple of days there just relaxing and golfing on the course adjacent to the lodge. Every room at the lodge has large windows that overlook Guntersville Lake and the surrounding mountains. Bucks Pocket is scenic and a treasure to campers which Harry and I are not. We drove approximately 135 miles today. We decided to eat an early dinner before coming home and stopped at our favorite Chinese Buffet. Oh Yes, about the "expected bad weather" - it is big, wet, and loud. The wind is up but not enough to cause damage.

Getting caught in big, wet, loud weather reminds me of - Once upon a time many years ago, in a different lifetime. I believe I was almost 12 years old at the time. My brother and his new wife came to visit for a few days. At that time we had several horses and they wanted to ride on the mountain trails behind our house. I was to be their guide. Well, off we went - me aboard my mustang (my barrel racing steed); brother riding the sorrel with a bad temper (his choice); and new wife was riding my strawberry roan Tennessee Walking horse. We were starting up the mountain trail when I noticed clouds boiling over the mountain and suggested we turn back because storms can be rough up there. New wife-know-it-all told me to go on back to the house she and brother were going on. After a bit of conversation (which didn't go in my favor), I rode back to the stable. Long story made short a wet thunder storm raced across the mountain and two inexperienced riders held on for their lives aboard two running, spooked, high strung horses. Daddy thought it was funny, brother was embarrassed, and new wife was mad as she could be. As for me, I strutted around saying, "I told you so." as only a 12 year old can - and will - do. Mother was cool to the whole event. Her only comment was to ask if anyone would like a hot cup of tea. Life as a young person was sometimes exciting for me.

That's it for this evening. Gonna have a glass of wine, veg out, and enjoy the evening. Glad you could visit. Ya'll come back now.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Makin' Plans?

The end of yet another beautiful day finds kitty asleep in her favorite chair and Harry snoozing (resting his eyes, you understand) while the dolphins on Animal Planet save swimmers from shark attacks. As for me, I'm a bit heavy eyed myself. I'll be abed before much longer.

I'm continuing to work towards cleaning those hard to reach places in the house while hoping to eliminate at least a truck load of stuff. I opened a box that's been stored in the very back of my linen closet for - well, no one knows how long. It was full of yarn, embroidery floss, counted cross stitch canvas/cloth, and various other needle craft supplies. I even found the tapestry that I worked on for a long time. Everything in the box has either been given away or thrown in the trash except for the tapestry. I promised myself to finish it. We'll see.

It's tax time again. The forms were in today's mail. Now that I'm older it seems birthdays and tax time come more and more often. A few years ago I became dissatisfied with the bookkeeping software available so I wrote my own program just for myself. I still use it but I'm sure it would seem "old-school" to young, more experienced computer users. It's written so that I can keep a running total by month and by year. I code tax deductibles so I can make a report (a list really) of tax deductions. I can print it out and give Harry the information. He's the tax guy in this house.

Tomorrow is golf day. Weather permitting we intend to go to a course that's new to us. If the weather rains on our parade, so to speak, we'll have to make new plans. I'd like to do something outside the house because it's predicted to be cold again by Saturday. I'm suffering from fresh air deficiency.

Does anyone have exciting plans for these winter-gray days before spring arrives? I have plans to make plans, but no plans have come to mind. Everyone plan to have a comfortable night and a happy tomorrow. Bye for now.

Pet Rules

Sorry, everyone, I just couldn't resist. Nothing intellectually challenging; no profound thoughts. The notice below will not make the prime evening news. Please bear with me. This seemed applicable after tripping over the cat last evening as she tried to outrun me to the bedroom. NASCAR would have signed her on the spot. She wanted to claim her space before I had a chance to claim mine - and she did!
To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door - snout height.

Dear Dogs and Cats,

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate of food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years--canine or feline attendance is not mandatory.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Stormy Night

A big Hello to everyone. Nothing exciting happened today - well other than that the day was peaceful and Harry and I are well. That is something, isn't it - something big.

My blog will be really short this evening. The storms that wrecked a large portion of the mid-west are now in northern Alabama. They have weakened but it's still pretty windy out there and rain is making music on the windows. Kitty's eyes are big and she's walking with caution deciding where to hide tonight. We're under a severe thunderstorm warning and a tornado watch. I think common sense tells me to put my computer to bed even though there is a surge protector. Better safe than sorry.

Hope none of you had damage from these storms as they were traveling cross country on their way to Alabama.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Brown Buster Brown Oxfords

Beautiful warm day today here in north Alabama. Record high of 73. If it holds true that "Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailor take warning." is correct we'll have another good day tomorrow. Guess we'll have to wait and see what happens.

The youngest grandson came to play with me this morning but we played inside. He wanted to play a video game that's on Noggin. The little rascal can 'click around the screen' with the best of them. When I was 4 years old I was still learning to wave bye-bye. I read a little in one my new mags this afternoon and then helped Harry pack corals for shipment to three folks. (One in NC, one in MN, and one in TX) Didn't cook - lots of leftovers to feast on.

I've been playing around in my mind. Trying to find the files in my brain that hold memories. I find that most of the memories I kept are either silly or good. Not too many bad ones were saved. In thinking about my sister, Beatrice, I remember finding a picture of her with a dance partner. She was wearing a dress that was very chic at the time, I'm sure. Apparently the picture was taken during a dance contest of some sort. I was absolutely certain she was a movie star. Little country girl, me, could not imagine having a dress like that much less being allowed to take part in a dance contest. I had to wear those fashionable Buster Brown lace-up oxfords in a lovely shade of brown. She was wearing lady shoes - yes, she must be a movie star. Below is the picture I'm telling you about. Life must have been grand in Beatrice's world back then.

Enough for one night. Hope we all sleep well and pain free tonight. Off to bed - last one in is a rotten egg.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Day After the Night Before

I hope by tomorrow my world is back in sync. Last evening and night really messed up my timing. All's well that ends well so let's move on.

I had every intention of changing my blog name from Mary to something more unique but when I think about it maybe not. Mary is a common basic name and I'm a common basic woman so the name fits. For now I think I'll let everything stay the same.

I slow roasted a Boston Butt in the oven today. The convection oven really makes oven roasting easy. We had the ever present green salad, steamed cauliflower, oven baked potato wedges, and various condiments. The boys mom made some really unique cookies (white choc and peppermint) that are out of this world. She uses a variety of flour and grains in her cooking. The lady is an inventive cook and rarely has a failure. I haven't told my blogger friends much about her. Hold on to your hats. We share the same first and middle names. Mary Ruth. How cool is that? She is a lovely lady and a wonderful, attentive mother to the grandsons. I forget that she's my daughter-in-law and not my daughter sometimes and have to remind myself. She is always ready to help me at any time - and does so with love and a smile. I didn't ask permission but am going to post one of my favorite pictures of her. This picture was made Easter 07 while the boys were hunting Easter eggs in our back yard. Isn't she a beauty?
Over the next few blogs I intend to relate a few things I remember about growing up. Ricky is printing my blogs and most of the comments (the ones wishing Beatrice well) for my sister. She is doing well but finding the necessity to be in rehab a bit limiting for her taste. Can't say that I blame her. Love you Sis.
Wish me a long night of sound sleep. I wish the same for each of you. My best to all. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Can't Think of a Title - Maybe Next Time

Check the time stamp on this blog! It's 2:23 AM and I'm wide awake!! The last thing I remember about last evening is that Harry and I were watching a golf tournament on TV. I think that was around 5 PM. I went to sleep on the couch and Harry left me there. Or maybe I was just so tired that I didn't wake up when he spoke to me. Whatever. I went to sleep with my head propped up to see the television and slept that way until around 9:30. Now I have a kink in my 'git-along'.

I had a real shock when I began reading the blogs I follow everyday. One of my blog friends received a comment from someone named Mary who was asking very personal questions. (This is the first time I've seen another Mary comment on her blog.) I would NEVER ask those questions in private much less in a public forum. I know that Mary is a very common name and it's very easy for this to happen. I now understand why most bloggers use more unique "call-names." In the next few days I may remedy the above situation by changing my public name from Mary to something else. The blog site title will always be the same - I'm not planning to disappear.

I have contacted my blog friend where the comment was posted to let her know how mortified I was when I saw the questions. All is well that ends well - this is just something that's on my mind at this hour of the morning.

Now, I'm going to get in bed, put my cold feet on Harry's back, try to relax the kink in my git-along and maybe sleep some more. Tomorrow is gathering day.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Cootie Catchers and Rain Sticks

As he usually does, Harry read my blog this morning. He laughed long and loud about the cootie catchers. He said he had never heard of cootie catchers, and that everyone would get a big laugh when they read "cootie catchers". They are so common to me that it doesn't sound unusual, but I hope someone did get either a chuckle or a belly laugh when they read last night's post.

The boys and I made the rain sticks today. I think I threw away the paper towel tubes - I couldn't find them this morning. However, I did have two empty Lay's Stacks Chips plastic cans. (We usually make "pop-offs" (our name) using these tubes.) They were usable for today's project. These are easy for little ones to make - just the tubes, kitchen foil, rice, stickers and tape to keep the top on really, really tight. We didn't have enough stickers for these bigger tubes so we selected clip art from one of my computer programs , printed them on a sheet of sticky-back paper, and put the whole sheet around the tube. Picture below.

We decided to do the egg carton project another time and I surely was glad - I threw away the egg cartons, too.

It's time for me to quit writing and start reading. I want to know what my blog friends have been up to today.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Brrrrrrr - Winter Arrived

It's been a cold day here in the Sunny South. So cold, in fact, that I don't want to leave the house again until it warms up. For dinner we went to a new steakhouse that's opened for business in our little valley. We two old folks nearly froze to death! Dinner was excellent.

The boys will be here tomorrow and I can't wait. They didn't come last Friday so we have a lot of playing to catch up on. We're going to make rain sticks out of paper towel tubes, kitchen foil, popcorn kernels and tape. If that goes well, we may make caterpillars or snakes out of egg cartons and string. When they were here this past Sunday, they made cootie catchers out of pre-printed patterns. I'm so glad we have another little boy on the way 'cause these two are going to grow up and think Nana's projects are just too silly to do.

I don't know a lot to say tonight. I could ramble on and on but this is not the night for that. I'm tired and my pillow is lonesome. I must go keep it company.

Hope everyone has a restful night and a good day tomorrow. My best to everyone. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Here we are at the second day of 2008, The Year of All Good Things. Last evening Harry said that he had eaten enough black eyed peas to assure his good luck until the end of July. I noticed he helped himself to another helping (as a TV snack) while we were watching yet another bowl game. He should be covered for the whole year!
Today's blog will be a little different. I haven't mentioned my sister for several days. She has been moved to a rehab center following the stroke. Talking is difficult for her but she has so much of value to share - she still writes. I wish I had her talent for writing. Her work is beautiful. We talked for a few minutes last evening and she told me that she enjoys having my blogs printed and brought to her. This one's for you Sis.

As a little girl, it was a holiday when the "big girls" came to visit. Unfortunately it didn't happen often enough that we saw the two "big girls" (Beatrice and Jerush) who lived in California. The "big girl" (Lula Mae) who lived in Atlanta visited fairly regularly. The "big brother" (Edward) was a career military man so his visits were seldom but usually lasted for a few days.

Edward was at Pearl Harbor, injured, returned home to heal, and re-entered World War II to serve under Patton. He was injured again in Germany and spent a few weeks with us while he was healing. He was in the Korean Conflict, too. His whole life was about his career in the military. He was not sent to Viet Nam as his retirement of many, many years kept him in the states. After retirement he lived with his wife and daughter on the banks of a large lake. He restored antique motor cycles and he later flew ultra-lites. He had the life of a true adventurer. The only stories he told me about the war were the things that amused him - no horror stories from him even though I'm sure he lived them. Below is a picture of Edward. He's sitting in the window of housing at Pearl Harbor just a few days before the horrific war began in the Pacific.
Well, Beatrice, I've just about used up the time I can spend blogging this morning. I wish I could be there to visit today, but since I can't I just say, "Love ya, Kid. Bye for now."

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Years Day - 2008

Year 2008 is here in all its glory!! We have bright sunshine, almost freezing temps, birds feeding at the feeders, squirrels running through the trees, a warm comfortable house, and each other. Yep, it is going to be another good year.

We would both have slept through the change of year had it not been for someone several houses down the street shooting firecrackers. I would have never heard the firecrackers but the cat did - and she was not amused! I woke up when what felt like a twenty pound of sand hit my back and started trying to tunnel under me. That was one upset cat! She and I 'talked' it over and decided the boom-boom monster couldn't hurt us. We went back to sleep and dreamed happy dreams - at lest I did. Harry slept through the excitement. Bless his heart, a freight train wouldn't wake him if it ran through our bedroom.

Wish I had some words of wisdom to share for the new year but my word reserve seems depleted this morning. I'm just thankful that we are all well and relatively happy in our lives as they are now. I hope all of you feel the same and are looking forward to this fresh new year.

Have another cup of coffee with me and let's be thankful for this day.