Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hello Out There

Time passes by and I find that I've neglected blogging. I have read and commented some but not a lot. I haven't forgotten any of you - I've just been really busy.

There's not much to write about. This week I have just been taking care of chores - not as many as I'd like have been done. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Do I buy a large plastic tub to house all my cake decorating "stuff" and store it in the storage room or return it to the pantry and cabinets when the October/November cake decorating is done? How can I best store needle work "stuff" that isn't currently being used - another plastic tub in the storage room? What about my art "stuff" (oils, acrylics, brushes, easel)? I want to paint this winter so I want it kept close. I repeat, decisions, decisions, decisions. At least my plants are cleaned up and in their winter homes in the sunroom.

The two older grandsons celebrated their 5th and 6th birthdays this month. They are no longer babies. The youngest grandson is growing and thriving. We are really looking forward to having our granddaughter and her parents here for Thanksgiving. Ricky, my nephew, will also be here. I can hardly wait for it all to begin happening. My panic over the masterbath has been laid to rest. They'll all love me even if some things here are in disrepair. . . clean and working but ugly

We had a freeze last night and tonight promises to be a repeat performance. Old man winter seems to have his eye on us. For my part, I hope we do have a significant freeze this winter to kill some of the insect larvae. A few relatively warm winters has left us with lots of creepy crawlies in the yard. I don't spray poisons so I mostly have to depend on the winters for natural control.

Do you have plans to be with family at Thanksgiving? I hope you do and that you are warmed by love and peace. We still have a few days to make plans so if you haven't why not start now?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Home for Sunday

Sunday morning and all is well. We spent the night Friday night in the hotel where the reef club meeting/swap was being held. Yesterday (Saturday) was the event. We drove home afterward and got here in the late evening. This was the first event for the Montgomery club. It was one of the smaller that we've attended but it was well organized and well attended. The meeting room was the best we've seen. It was a pleasure to meet this group of reefers.

Harry and I were two tired old farts but a good night's sleep fixed that problem. Now it's time to check the treat cabinet. There is a shortage of KitKat's and Pizza Pringles and I must fill that void. I must because I promised.

The boys will have lots to tell us today. The school fall festival was Saturday and they will be full of "Guess what" and "Did you know" and "Can we make a (many blanks to fill in here)." They will want to make/build everything they saw. At least it won't be, "Go buy."

Gotta get at least some of the clutter out of the way. It'll be good to see all the kids. I wish everyone a happy Sunday afternoon and a pleasant week ahead.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Off to See the Wizard . .

We're off to see the wizard; the wonderful wizard of OZ. Well, not really. We're leaving in a few minutes to drive to Montgomery, Alabama. In the rain, I might add. We'll be home late tomorrow (Saturday) evening.

This is yet another live coral swap between reef clubs. More and more I realize how popular this hobby has become. The reefers (pun intended) stroll around to view the coral that others are showing and sometimes get really excited when they see something that they would like to put in their reefs. This is a unique crowd but everyone is nice, polite, and full of fun. I'm odd man out but I still enjoy seeing folks and hearing their stories.

I'll be able to read blogs and I think posting won't be a problem. We'll see.

I hope everyone is doing well and looking forward to the weekend. Soul, if you read this take care and do everything the doctors tell you to do.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday to me. My lifetime friend called to wish me "Happy Birthday." Carolyn June, you really made my day with the call. It was so good to hear your voice. My oldest son, Joe, made blueberry/strawberry muffins and added 7 candles. He said each candle represented 3 years - that makes me 21 years old today. Believe me it took more than 21 years for me to grow all these wrinkles. James and Jesse drew pictures and made cards for me (the best kind of cards). This is a picture of the frig magnet that Jesse drew, painted and gave to me.

Keith, Mary and the boys also gave me a stainless steel kitchen can that I've been coveting. That was a big surprise and I absolutely love it. Hey, I'm in the big time now with a step-to-open and slow closing kitchen can. I can now throw away my 15+ year-old kitchen can that is so ugly.

Kitty is doing much better. She's relearning how to do some things and is once again a happy kitty. She spends a lot of time sleeping in her new kitty bed. She seems to want to be where she can see either Harry are me at all times.
I believe most of my regular visitor's are also followers of Soul's blog. She is in the hospital and has been on my mind all day. I hope and pray that she is comfortable and responding to treatment.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Calm Day

Is it Saturday evening already? My, my how time flies when you're havin' fun! Today has been the first day that truly felt calm in days. I still am behind the timeline but at least I know the big things are either put on the back burner or will be done by my target date. I want to go on record as the old fart with the most discombumerated (is this a real word?) master bath in the world. Not coordinated but working as well as any million dollar bath in the world. Hot water, cold water, fast drains, dependable flush, and no leaks - yep, that's how it is. Everything important is covered. It's on with the show - so to speak.

Today was our first really cool day. Temps were in the high 40's this morning and high 60's this afternoon. I'm glad the sweltering heat and high humidity are past for this year.

I don't have much to write about. I've been a slug all day - tomorrow will be the usual - Monday I have to hit the deck running. Wish me luck.

I haven't been a dependable blogger or reader for several days, but I promise to do better in the future. Meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying the weekend.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just a Note

It is Wednesday, isn't it? Where does time go? From my stand point, time just melts away.

When the central unit leak was discovered we decided to turn it off until repairs are made. Temps have been fairly comfortable and we have windows open. Last night I woke up to a bird chirping just outside the window beside my bed. There is a large fig tree out there where Mr. Bird was perched. He apparently decided that it would be appropriate to serenade me. Thanks pal! It's been a while since I listened to night sounds and I'd forgotten how relaxing it can be. I'm a country girl at heart. No surprises there. Right?

Nothing much happening here. I'm so wrapped up in being concerned about all the work I need to do and the short time I have to finish it that it's hard to think about much else. I know it's a pain to read about home repairs and that's about all I can deal with right now. I remember you, my blog friends, think of you often, and wonder what you are doing. Are you well? Are you happy? What's happening in your world?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Reflections

The new header picture is a peep into our back yard. The brown leaves in the foreground is the "Miss Kim" lilac. It drops its leaves very early.

The leaves of the Tulip Popular are beginning to turn. Before long both the Tulip Popular and the Gingo Tree will be blazing yellow.

I'm trying to concentrate on things outside of myself. Fall is my favorite season and I'm making the most of it. Fall is a time to be thankful for the bounty of the harvest and a time of calm while the land prepares to sleep and dream of yet another spring awakening.

The kids will be here soon. Plans for Halloween pumpkins should be a topic of conversation today. We also need to discuss James and Jesse's B'day party and the kind of cake I need to build. I can't believe they are 5 and 6 already. Maddie is bearing down on being 2 and Baby Hooper (aka Mav) is 6 months. Time really, really flies.

Mav was here to share the Friday play day with James an Jesse. He is really interested in every move the older boys make. They were playing with matchbox cars and Mav was holding his "6 month appropriate" Fisher Price dump truck. Mav was active as part of the crew of boys for the first time. Our blessings abound.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you visit again soon.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Leaks and Bad Knee

Not having my best days but at least they aren't the worst. My knee is on a real rampage but I'm trying to ease along and get past having to walk with a cane. I had a pretty serious injury several years ago and the knee was one of the casualties. It doesn't take much to really set it off. I have all the appropriate meds for the situation so it'll just take time. Harry has two old gals to take care of now - Kitty and me. He surely is a good sport about it all. I have to tell you something he said this morning. In answer to his question about how my knee is this morning I told him that at least I could get it into position (while sitting) and have some almost pain free time if I didn't move. He told me to go sit on the potty and he'd give me a bell to ring if I need anything. That way I wouldn't have to move. He promised that he'd bring my meals to me. Do you think that maybe he'd like to file me away for a while? Life at this house may get tedious at times but humor is always lurking around the corner.

Keith went under the house this morning to see just how bad the condensation line (from central unit) really is and how much damage it has caused. He took the camera with him and made pictures. There is no doubt that there is a leak and that it is significant. However, even though the subfloor is wet it isn't rotted. The pictures make that clear. We think that the folks who removed the underfloor insulation caused the problem. The drain line is pulled loose and laying on the ground and raised at the point it should drain. That's been only a short time so we believe that correcting this and a shop fan to aid in the drying process should solve the problem. I'm going to let the contractor give me his estimate for correcting the problem and see what happens. He lead me to believe I had a major structural problem and said he'd be back the first of the week with a detailed estimate. This will tell just how honest he is. Little does he know that I'm not a total dunce when it comes to construction. My father was an architect and had a construction company, too. I learned some things just by being present at the dinner table. Thanks to Keith, I no longer believe the house will fall down during the night. All I can say is, "Even this will pass away." (...and I no longer think it'll cost $20K plus)

This day isn't all bad. My knee is telling me that it's time for meds. Gotta go. Thanks for stopping by. Have a fun weekend and look for the silver lining - I think there's one there somewhere.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

One Day in the Life of an Old Woman

What a day this has been. The latest in a procession of contractors was here on time and ready to repair the floor in the Master Bath. (The simple fix.) Both Harry and I like the young man who owns the company and his work is excellent. No bull - just professional and ready to do the job. While he and his crew were doing the work he spotted a major trouble spot. (Keep in mind that a home inspector, Orkin, insulation removal crew, and the fellow who installed piers under the reef tanks all very recently said all was sound under the house except for the small place in the Master Bath.) This contractor came and told me that I didn't need to be thinking about cosmetic upgrades right now because I have a serious problem. He had to show me to make me believe him. He was 100% correct. My central unit (heat and air) has had a leak in the condensation line for a long time. It isn't apparent except when you remove the filter and another gizmo but the whole floor under the unit is rotten - not damaged but out and out rotten. I don't know why the unit hasn't fallen to the ground. We don't know how far the damage goes but this won't be a simple job nor will it be pretty. This didn't begin recently. Needless to say, I'm very discouraged. I don't know how this will play out with the holidays, but it will have an impact. I'll have one big pity party and then just get over it and get on with what has to be done.

On a happy note, my sofa was back from the shop with new upholstery. It is really nice. The fellow told me that the frame is solid oak put together with dove tails and screws. Good to know. As soon as I get things in place and in some manner of order I'll post pictures.

Last, but not least - I had a big fall this evening. Boy did it happen fast and it hurt like everything. My right knee is hurting again. It's the knee that had a serious injury a few years ago. Well, again, I'll just get over it and get on with life. Harry, on the other hand was really, really frightened. I was so glad he didn't start wanting me to go to the emergency room - I really don't need to.

If you've read all this post, you're ready for a nap. Sorry. I'll be fine. Really I will.

Hope all is smooth in your world.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's Just My Weird Sense of Humor

I hope I don't offend anyone with the following. I just can't resist adding it to my blog. If you hate it, I'm sorry - I just have a weird sense of humor. Notice that it is non-partisan. I just find this amusing.

THIS IS A NON-PARTISAN JOKE THAT CAN BE ENJOYED BY BOTH PARTIES! NOT ONLY THAT... IT IS POLITICALLY CORRECT! While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance. "Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you." "No problem, just let me in," says the man. "Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we will do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity." "Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the senator. "I'm sorry, but we have our rules." And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a club house and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises... The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St.Peter is waiting for him. "Now it's time to visit heaven." So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St.Peter returns. "Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity." The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell." So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he is in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above. The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. "I don't understand," stammers the senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and club house, and we ate lobster and caviar,drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there is just a waste land full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?" The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning... Today you voted."

Could It Be . .?

. . that fall is on the way? I believe it's just down the street.

Our fall flowers are in full bloom.

The orchids just keep on keeping on.

A cool slow rain is falling and clinging where it can.

Dogwood berries are waiting for just the right bird to happen along.

. . And so it is in my world today.
Hope your day was a happy one and that tomorrow is even better.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Making Preparation for the Holidays

Sunday has come to an end. It wasn't a bad day, but it was relatively quiet. Joe was here to watch the cars go round and round the track at Talladega (on TV). It was a good race. I'm sure the win will be a big controversy but for the time being Tony is considered the winner.

I talked to Jesse and James just now. They are at the beach enjoying their fall break from school. Those boys love the sand and surf. Mommy and Daddy are ready to go eat but the boys are attached to the water.

We didn't hear from Sarah today but I know they are busy. Buddy works on Sunday afternoon and Baby Hooper keeps Sarah on her toes.

As soon as I publish this post I'm going to sit down and make a schedule for myself. I have a lot to do between now and mid November. We'll see if I can apply my project management skills to my own life. Wish me luck.

My best to everyone. I hope your are all doing well.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Getting Back to Normal Routine

Harry and I just watched the vice presidential debate. I'm not going to make any political comments more than saying I was pleased to see that each candidate showed respect for the other. They didn't agree but they didn't (in my opinion) launch personal attacks. Cudos to both for that.

Well folks, as you know I've been trying to get the master bathroom project ready to begin next week. In an email from the contractor's wife and business manager (which I received yesterday) I was informed that they have three projects ahead of mine. Three weeks ago the start date was 6 or 7 Oct - confirmed in written form. I had all manner of problems getting numbers for allowances for fixtures and optional addins. I didn't get that information until three days ago. I called the lady on her cell phone over a week ago to remind her that she needed to give me the information so I could gauge where I stood financially. She told me that she was very busy but she would call be with the information between 2 and 3 PM (of the same day). She went on to explain that she was very busy shopping and it was inconvenient to receive my call while she was in PetCo buying her dog a Halloween costume. Let me add that it took another phone call and an email to get the info when I did.

Now that I've vented; I called her today to let her know the project will begin as first stated or it won't begin at all - at least they won't be working for me. It seems that their schedule was changed because a family member needed some work done. I'm a "witch with a B" but this company will never ever work for me.

I'm just taking a deep breath, stepping back, and letting the whole mess go. I'll find someone to repair the subfloor, reset the toilet, and move right along with holiday plans. Everyone who will be here will love me just the same - even if the bathroom looks rough. Important thing is that it functions. I refuse to let this stress me out or define my plans. To quote myself, "Just get over it and get on with life."

Next week is fall break (local schools) and the boys are taking their mommy and daddy to Panama City for a few days. The boys are so excited and can't wait to put their footprints in the sand.

I went with Harry to the golf course today. I didn't play. I just enjoyed riding in the cart and being in the fresh air. This course is beside Guntersville Lake and is beautiful. I thought about my blogging buddy who loves to fish and wished that she could be here to catch that really big bass that I saw jump.

I better get to bed. Tomorrow will be a busy day. My best to everyone.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Zinnia as a Teen Ager

Oops! I've been absent for a few days. Just been busy spinning my wheels. Judy, our daughter, finally commented on my last blog. I'm so glad she did. She suggested I tell my readers a special Zinnia story that took place when Zinnia was a really young kitty and Judy was home with us.

One evening Zinnia refused to come inside and we couldn't catch her. Result, she became an outside kitty for the night. In the early morning hours I woke up to the sound of what sounded like a serious cat fight. Lots of noise and bumping around. Of course, I rushed out to the deck (before it became a screen porch) to rescue our precious baby kitty. She was on the deck, could hardly walk, head held low, little whining meows, and every sign of a badly injured animal. I picked her up and she was limp! Very little movement. It scared me to death because Zinnia was Judy's special pet - Judy rescued her from a life as a stray. Anyway, I rushed her to Judy's room, woke Judy up and told her the bad news. I gave the limp, pitiful kitty to Judy. Judy took her to bed and laid down with her while I went to call the vet emergency number. The next thing I heard was Judy telling Zinnia to "Stop it!" Not a good thing. When I got back to Judy's door she was yelling for Zinnia to "stop running laps around my bed." As soon as I left the room the poor pitiful cat began chasing her imagination around Judy's bed and being a rowdy kitty. She was just pretending to be injured and put on a convencing show. I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Zinnia was a real stinker when she was a teenager. Nothing was sacred to her. She hid my watch and keys many times then sat and watched me hunt them. At times I swear this cat was laughing at me.

With time and age she settled down and is now a good pet. While not a lap cat, her disposition is good. We are so happy that she's doing as well as she is. She can eat and drink on her own. Is grooming herself - not as much as before but grooming, never the less. The litter box is no longer a challenge. All in all, she holds her head at a funny angle, walks a bit unsteady at times, but seems happy and content. I think she'll be here to welcome her original Mommy home for Thanksgiving. Get ready, Judy. She may decide to run laps around your bed.