Monday, May 30, 2011

School is Out and Summer is Here

Harry and I are having a quiet Memorial Day.  We two old farts are just cruising along with the flow.  Sometimes a slow quiet day is a real smile maker.   Whatever your plans are for today I hope you are safe, secure and happy. 

I did a big happy dance when my Oncologist told me that he doesn't think another PET scan is indicated.  That's one chore I won't have to fit into my schedule every six months.  I'll still have blood work every six months for some time to come. 

We had Taco Day at our gathering yesterday.  Adults ate and complimented the cook (me).  Kids chowed down!!!  The meal was followed with root beer floats.  I wanted to do something a bit different.  I don't remember when we had tacos on the menu.  James said it was a school's out celebration.  Leftovers went home with the boys. 

Jesse is still collecting Pokemon Cards.  James is busy with his pogo stick.  That little fellow can jump for what seems like hours.  He reminds me of Tigger (from Poo) - just bounce, bounce, bounce.  Both boys are starting to get involved with racing remote control cars.  Their past two or three Saturdays have been spent at a local RC race track.  They aren't actually racing yet but they are learning to control the cars.  Did you know that those cars can do burn-outs?  Did you know that the advanced racers have cars that can travel at up to 45 miles per hour?   Nana and Papa are having a learning experience.

Well, that's about it from our sunny world.  My best to everyone.  Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Didn't Go to Jared's. .

. . but I did go to Sam's Club today.  What a trip!  Harry was nice enough to go with me and help with the shopping.  We had two - that's correct - TWO carts full.  Most was paper products and cleaning stuff.  Also other staples.   Except for milk, OJ, and eggs we can avoid the grocery for at least a month  - maybe more.

The grand sons look forward to Papa's BBQ chicken.  That's on the menu for Sunday gathering.  All the local kids will be here.  We always think of the two who live far, far away and wish they could be here, too.  Last Sunday everyone came for a short visit but we didn't have a meal.  I was preparing for my PET scan so we just played it cool. 

Speaking of the PET scan, I was given a light injection of ativan (spelling??) because I'm claustrophobic.   I was given the same dosage as before but this time it wasn't enough.  The minute my head went in "the tube" my heart started racing.  Result:  Stop the show and administer more ativan.  Wow!!  That drug laid me low.  No racing heart - just peaceful sleep that lasted the rest of the day.  Medical appointments can get real interesting.

Our oldest son, Joe, is finally at home in his new place.  At least for the most part.  There are things here that need to be packed and moved.  We do miss him but we're happy for him.  He's still teaching CISCO related classes.  Joe is a good teacher but he surely has a complicated but boring subject to teach.  He is perfectly comfortable with it, though.

The last day of school is May 25.  The boys are excited!  They have big plans that will keep the grownups busy.  In a few weeks the growups will be praying for school to begin once more.   I plan to just roll with the flow.  James is in a pogo stick frame of mind.  Jesse hasn't made his focus known yet.  I'm sure he will very soon.  The boys are so grown up.  Jesse (8 years old) is only about 1 inch shorter than me! 

That's the news from Hooperville for now.  Hope everyone is well and looking forward to the warm weeks ahead.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bits and Pieces

I can think of several things to write but not much about any one thing. Let's see if I can make this work.

Tornadoes, floods, earthquakes and various other catastrophes have taken over the spring of 2011. Not to mention wild fires and various other tragedies. In so many ways the flooding is the worst!!! It destroys everything a person owns and then leaves snakes, spiders and other vermin to threaten during clean-up. High water line has past Memphis but there a lot of folks downstream who still face the horror.

Tornado clean-up is progressing. FEMA started out strong but fizzled out after a couple of days. Local groups have come together to help neighbors dig out of the destruction. Our communities will heal, rebuild, and move forward.

In early spring we watched a robin trying to build a nest in our cherry tree. It must have been his/her first because there were construction related problems. He brought a long (at least 4 feet) piece of grass and tried to weave it through the other material. It was a partial success. There is a long strand of the grass hanging below the nest. The couple was a little later hatching their brood than some. (Another robin couple has already raised their babies.) The Cherry Tree couple has hatchlings that seem to be growing and doing well. I wonder if they will raise a second family during the summer.

James and Jesse are having a fun spring. There is a free running creek behind their house that attracts wildlife and gives them a place to fish. Currently they are watching an owl family. There are three young owls that are learning to fly. They fly in the late evening. A beaver has taken up residence (which may mean trouble down the road) and the boys are fascinated. Youngsters have a wonderful view of the world.

Harry is building a controller for the reef system. It will monitor the water conditions, temp, etc. Harry can monitor tank conditions from his computer from anywhere he happens to be. He started with what looked like about a thousand little electronics and a lot of knowledge about programming. He is testing the temperature and calcium readings now and will add other applications when he is satisfied with the current configuration. This is all well beyond my abilities to even explain.

That's all I have for now. All-in-all I have written a lot. Hope it isn't too much information at one time. Anyway, we are all doing well and beginning to settle in for the upcoming summer. Thanks for remembering me and stopping by.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Latest Scoop From Here

I’m sure everyone knows middle and north Alabama was victim to historic tornadoes last Wednesday (April 27). The warnings began around 2 AM and were constant until after 10 PM. It wasn’t unusual to have two or three warnings being tracked at the same time. While I haven’t read an official statement, reports that at least 4 tornadoes met the criteria for F4 and one F5. There were numerous others that were smaller but still destructive. There is no such thing as a little tornado!!! You’ve heard all the statistics and seen the videos so this is all I need to write about the storms. Bottom line – Much of North Alabama is in shambles as are many other areas from Tennessee to Virginia..

As for our little family, we are well. No damage worth mentioning. Everyone is safe. We’re just doing what everyone else is doing – trying to keep the necessities of life moving along with no electric power and most businesses unable to operate. We do have a generator that is keeping water circulation in our live reef tanks, running the refrigerator/freezer, and allowing Internet access. (The live reefs are a total of 700 gallons of water and a wide variety of tank raised live coral and fish. Without water circulation everything would die.)

I could write volumes about individual stories but those are online.  Here are some things brought to our attention during the past few days:

1. If you open the storm door and leaves, flower petals, and seedpods, etc, blow into the room. It doesn’t matter – so what!! Just calm down and walk over them and be glad that you still have a floor.  Leave the broom where it is!  Just be careful to not trip on the heavy duty extension cords running to the generator.

2. Keep an extra full tank of propane or large bag of charcoal for your grill. That alone could make you the envy of your neighborhood.  Share!!

3. Pier candles work best if you don’t have other light. A pier candle that is 2-3 inches across and no more than 6 inches high work better than regular candles. They can be set on an oven proof plate and placed in your bathtub or kitchen sink. At least you are fairly safe from fire and can walk safely around your house.

4. The little inexpensive solar yard lights make excellent night lights without an open flame. Of course you do have to take them outside to be sure they are charged – assuming you have a bit of sunlight.

5. If your dishwasher is sitting idle think about using it for a drying rack for those dishes you have to wash in the sink. Harry thought of this after seeing me draining dishes on the counter atop towels.  This sure does keep a neater counter.

6.  It's a good idea to fill your vehicle's gas tank when it reaches 3/4 full.  Without power stations can't pump gas. 

Most of all, we are reminded of how blessed we are.  So many folks have real challenges ahead.  We, on the other hand, have only minor inconveniences.

We appreciate the email from so many.  I was able to respond to everyone this morning.  If I missed anyone please know that we truly appreciate all concern, prayers, and happy thoughts.  It's time for me to sign off with thanks to one and all.