Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fairy Tales and Other Interesting Stories

I hate renovation projects. Guess who called at 8:15 this morning with this news. "Mrs. Hooper, I'm so sorry that I can't get there this morning. I forgot that my aunt died and I have to go to the funeral home. I should be at your place sometime around 12:30." Me: "You forgot that your aunt died? I'm sorry for your loss. Please don't forget that our bathroom has no potty or lav and that we have a potty sitting in our bathtub." Contractor: "I'll be there this afternoon."

He forgot that his aunt died? Funeral home in the morning hours? This is one of the Better Business Bureau's top references! Lord, please help me to get through this ordeal without going stark raving mad.

Kitty is having a breakdown because of all the confusion and mess. She normally has her drinking cup sitting on the end of our bathroom vanity. (It's 5 feet long) It's now on the floor in the 2nd bathroom because there isn't room for her drinking cup and all our necessary stuff. She just doesn't understand why things changed and keeps going to the masterbath vanity and meowing. Cats are truly characters of habit and when things change they have problems adjusting.

What an adventure, this saga of the Master Bathroom!!!

I'm having Delta's stainless "Lahara" installed in both the sink and bathtub/shower. They are rumored to last at least 20 years. I certainly hope so.

Thanks for listening. Chuckle at the whole mess if you can - that's what I'm trying to do.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Today is the Day!

This is the day!! At least, I hope this is the day. The master bath renovation is scheduled to start this afternoon. The guys came this morning to confirm the job and sign the paperwork. If this falls through you'll hear me scream no matter where you are. All the fixtures and tile are in-house (here) so ordering those can't be an excuse to hold the work. I opted to do the painting, etc. The minute the work starts I'm off to buy the paint and primer. Wheeee! Looks as though this is the day I've been waiting for since before Thanksgiving.

Jesse will be here this afternoon while Mary takes James to music class. I don't have an activity planned so will just "play it by ear." He'll be happy with whatever we do. I do love spending time with the grandchildren. They say the cutest things and ask the hardest questions to answer. Does anyone know why our hair has to grow and make us get haircuts? Any answer I could come up with met more questions. "How does kitty know it's cold and not ask to go outside when she hasn't been out there to check it out?" You'll have a star in your crown if you can answer that one.

I gotta go study up for playtime this afternoon. Later, my friends.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Information Only

I'm not advocating this site, but it does hold promise. I'm only posting this because I thought some of you might be interested. I don't know how much press the following site will receive. Likewise, I have no idea how well kept or accurate the web site will be. I did go to the site and it is ready to view with only the promise that when the bill is signed information will be posted there.

After Congress hammers out the final bill (ref. Stimulus pkg) and it is signed into law by President Obama, the public will be able to track how the government spends federal funds in the package at

Monday, January 26, 2009

An Old Hermit With Cold Feet

It's Monday once again. I write in this blog once or twice a day - problem is that I write in my mind and never get to the keyboard. When I get to the keyboard it's all gone.

Yesterday was gathering day. Buddy, Sarah, and Mav (Baby Hooper) weren't here. We all missed them but understand how hard it is to drive approx 20+ miles each way with a little one. Mav is nine months old now and sweet as can be. The rest of the gang was here. Menu was beef brisket, broccoli, boiled corn on the cob, slaw, and the usual "everything else."

The other day I heard Harry explaining why we wouldn't be attending a Sunday afternoon reef club meeting. He told the fellow that, "Sunday is our day set aside for family. We're just not available." I like the term "Family Day" much, much better than gathering day. The only thing is that Family Day excludes anyone not family. Our gathering days are not limited. I believe I'll call our day "Family and Friends Day" - Now, I like that.

As to what's happening in our world. Everything - and I DO mean everything - is moving in slow motion. There's so much to do and it's so hard to get workers to actually show up and do the work. Grrrrr.

It's cold in our world but not as harsh as it could be. I've only worn my really, real winter coat one time this winter - but then, I haven't gone many places. Does the word "hermit" mean anything to you? That's me. I'm an old hermit with cold feet.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you here again soon. Meantime take care.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Whitehouse Web Site

Nothing new happening here. We watched the inauguration - most of it. I watched some of the festivities last night. Too much TV.

I don't know how many are interested in seeing the new Whitehouse web site but it was changed to reflect the present administrations ideas. I have to say that, in my opinion, it's a vast improvement. If you're interested here is the web site I plan to "check it out" frequently to see if our President's good intentions follow through. At the very least there is a lot of information that you might find interesting. Explore and enjoy.

Until next time, be well and happy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's a cold Tuesday morning in north Alabama. Winters here tend to be cold - just not so much so. Brrrrrrrr! It's a good day to stay inside.

Yesterday Harry and I drove to a little town about an hour's drive away. Harry bought a new small tank so small corals can 'grow-up' in proper style. We went to see the shop where the tank is being built. It was a new insight to the industry. I wasn't very interested in the glass portion of the shop but the wood working was awesome. They were heating the huge shop with a wood stove - lots of scrap oak wood for fuel. Nothing is wasted in that shop. If it comes through the door it is consumed. I'm also getting our 225 gal tank cabinet re-faced and I'm really, really excited about the new improved facade.

Our Sunday gathering was really fun. The boys selected a birthday card for Harry. They signed them and drew pictures of "things Papa likes" inside and on the envelope. They also selected a birthday cupcake with a blue rose for a special cake and a large bag of special coffee as a gift. Our rule for birthdays is that adults only get cards from children old enough to know it's an adult's birthday. Harry's big cake was an Italian Creme. Talk about calories!!

Nothing other than that to write about. I think I'll catch up some small tasks today, watch the swearing in of our new president, and maybe take a nap. No cooking required today - left overs rule.

Have a good day and stay warm.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Never Trust the Weatherman

It's Saturday morning and the temp is 29 degrees. The news/weather last evening was all about how our temps wouldn't be above freezing for at least two days. This morning the same weather dude had a silly smile as he said temps will be in the high 30's today and only drop to around 34 tonight. I was all ready for a cold, cold trip to Nashville. HA Never trust the weatherman.

Have a good day in your world.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ramblin About Little

Oh what a week it was, it really was! The weekend promises to be interesting, too.

This was my day with Jesse and James. James spent the day with me and I picked Jesse up after school. We went to the shoe store and the boys got new athletic shoes and socks. They both got to "spin the wheel" for socks. I don't think they'll need socks for some time. Well, maybe dress socks but not crew socks. Mary, their mom, is out of town for a few days so I baked a pork loin roast for Keith and the boys. They are having a "Boys Fun Three-Day Weekend" complete with videos, games, and special food. Maybe they'll even have a fire in their wonderful fireplace.

Tomorrow (Saturday) Harry and I go to Nashville, TN, for a reefer's sale and swap. It'll be fun to see a few other reefers that we know and to meet others. (Remember our brand of reefers are coral reef hobbyists.)

It is cold here in the sunny south. 9 degrees this morning. Yes, NINE!! I know some of you will laugh at me but, darn, that's cold. Temps aren't predicted to be above freezing for at least three more days. Brrrrrrrrrrr! The good side of that is: The insect population will be reduced to tolerable next summer.

We'll be recognizing Harry's birthday on Sunday. Now he's as old as I am. He likes to remind me that I'm the oldest. Yeah, big deal - less than 3 months. Hey, I'm the oldest so I get to be the boss. Right?

Good night to all.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I Remember

In 1968 (yes I'm old) my husband, two sons, and I moved from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to a little town on the edge of Appalachia. We lived there for 10 years. During those years I came to love the mountains, the people, and the life. The memories of those years visit me often - so many memories of another life.

I remember the smell of a dewy morning, the hush of falling snow, the way rain would rivet down the windows and freeze in trails, the fresh dampness of a summer fog, the smell of rain in the evergreen woods, the beauty of frozen fog in the morning sun, the feeling of anxiety during a winter thunder storm when there was ball lightening. (I remember the "Blizzard of '78" too.)

I remember the pride of a well planted spring garden, the pride in sharing the bounty with others, the fall harvest, and the gatherings to share in preserving the winter’s food.

I remember the making of apple butter, molasses, and syrup in the fall. Families would come together to share the day long labor and enjoy being together.

I remember families going to church on Sunday morning. The children sat with their parents and listened to the message with reverence and respect.

I remember the simple beauty of the mountains, the love and respect the people had for each other.

I remember the Saturday night family gatherings when everyone brought their musical instrument. There was music, singing, dancing, food, and plenty to drink – spring water and stronger stuff, too.

I remember a place of peace and contentment.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Of Tile and Exploding Pressure Cookers

It's been six days since I wrote here. Bad girl! I'm just having trouble finding subject matter in a hum-drum everyday world. You can only post so many menus and tell so many grandkids stories. For the most part that's my world right now.

I have had a bit of a hoop-la trying to locate an adequate number of the tile I selected for the master bathroom. Remember the bathroom project from before Thanksgiving? Well, we've lived with that ugly situation long enough. I finally - just today - resolved the problem of getting the exact tile I want. Monday I'll call and schedule the workers to come and put us back in good order. I hope they'll be available soon.

I promised one of my best blogging friends that I'd write about having a pressure cooker explode. So here goes. This happened years ago when my boys were five and seven. I used my pressure cooker at least once a week - maybe more - so I wasn't the least bit afraid of something going wrong. Well, this particular day I was making chicken and dumplings. As was my usual habit, I cooked the chicken in the pressure cooker, took it out, pulled the meat from the bones, and put the meat back in the cooker with the broth. Then I made the dumplings .

All this time the boys and a couple of their little friends were playing on the deck just outside the kitchen. From time to time one would open the door and asked, "Are they ready yet?" I was tired and wanting to finish cooking so the kids could eat and settle down.

Well, I put the dumplings in the hot broth, set the lid back on the cooker - I didn't lock it down - and set the heat on low. I went out to the deck to watch the children and rest my tired feet and legs for a few minutes. Next thing I knew there was a loud noise in the kitchen. I jumped up and started back through the door. As soon as my feet hit the kitchen floor I was skating and ended up sitting on a floor covered with dumplings, chicken, and gravy. The lid on the cooker was heavy enough to cause a certain amount of pressure to build up. Gravy spewed out through the steam valve and the lid blew off.

Before I could get up one of the kids stuck his head in and asked, "Are we ready to eat?" Those kids were laughing and jumping around. They thought it was a real funny show. I told them to stay on the deck while I cleaned up. What a mess! I was busy trying to salvage some of the stuff from the pan and looked around to see one of the neighbor kids eating a hot dumpling that he'd picked up from the floor. It was a nightmare.

Have you ever seen gravy drip from the ceiling onto the floor and run down the front of your cabinets? I truly hope not. Service Master came and cleaned the grease and smoke from everything. Can you believe our home owner's policy paid for the damage?

Have I ever used a pressure cooker again? Nope!!! If you do, beware the exploding steam vent.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Paying the Penalty

Sunday came and gathering day happened. The little ones are getting bigger every week. The adults all continue to dote on their every move. Today's menu, you ask? Well, let me tell you . .

No cooking in this house today - except for the microwave. I looked in the freezer and decided to treat everyone to meatballs with a choice of Chipotle, Teriyaki, or Sweet & Sour sauce. . . And what else? Look! A big box full of frozen mini corn dogs. Those dishes popped right out of the freezer and into the microwave. Refrigerator yielded cheddar cheese, three kinds of mustard, cream cheese, celery, and carrots. The pantry was hiding three opened boxes of snack crackers and some white bread. It wasn't a balanced meal nor was it necessarily a good meal. Every tummy was full, no one complained, and my freezer now has room for the next round of cooking.

Last night (Saturday) while Harry and I watched TV I ate several (more like a lot of) dark chocolate M&M's. Big mistake. I knew better but it just happened. I fell off the wagon in a weak moment. Have I told you that chocolate is to me as straight Bourbon is to you? Not only was I inebriated (that sounds better than being just plain drunk) but I had a hangover this morning. You can laugh but chocolate is a major mistake for me. I enjoyed the day with all the kids but the headache is still with me.

I'm going to bed and try to sleep off last night's mistake. I hope none of you have a day long hangover.

... And a happy Monday to you.................................................

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Three Down and All is Well

We're three days into the new year - so far, so good. Here's an overview of the first three days of my year.

1. I watched the Rose Bowl parade and three bowl games. It's the first time I've watched football in years. Ya know, it wasn't too bad. It was kinda fun to snuggle down with Harry and watch the action on TV.

2. Judy and Rick closed on their new house and are moving in this weekend. We wish it was here but - once again - I have to remember that Phoenix is their home for now.

3. I was invited to go along with Mary, Jesse, and James to the Early Works Children's Museum downtown. It was awesome! The boys had three hours of non-stop fun. I found a bench and enjoyed watching all the children play together. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the bone-heads who run this world could be peaceful with each other and play nice the way children are?

4. I've set up my checkbook/finance program (on my computer) for 2009 and it still works as well as ever. I wrote this program several years ago - back when my brain still functioned. It ain't fancy but it works well for me. Nothing fancy just plain Jane bookkeeping.

5. I'm making plans and arranging my schedule to get the infamous master bath taken care of. I've been embarrassed by it long enough. Everything is here except the floor tile. As soon as it's in house the workers will enter the picture.

Now you are up to date on the life of an old woman who is determined to make 2009 a better year than 2008.

I hope your year is beginning with a promise of being the year all problems and heartaches are solved/left behind.

Take care, my friends. Hugs to everyone.