Saturday, August 30, 2008

Photo Hunt: Beautiful

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is how the saying goes. After looking at lots of pictures I have loaded on my computer and moving several of them to my PhotoHunter file --- ones like a red rose, my daughter holding her new born daughter right after birth, breath taking views from Scotland ---I finally decided on a picture. This one. I captured this kiss between my mom and dad in July on her 80th birthday. What can be more beautiful than a kiss for your birthday from the one you love and have spent 61 years with?

Friday, August 29, 2008

100 Word Challenge --- Evolution

She cupped the rose in her hands. She had hoped her feelings would be different by now. That love would have evolved.

A year had passed. A year of meeting all her husband’s needs, of trying to love him, of wanting to love. Would she always feel this way? Was she the only women of her generation yearning for love? Must she be doomed to a loveless life because she is an obedient daughter? How could she have let this happen? Footsteps on the paving stones aroused her from her reverie and she turned with a smile. Always with a smile.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Haiku Friday --- I'm Leaving on a Cruise Ship

Haiku Friday

Robert and I will be going on a cruise September 6-11. The trip wasn't planned as a celebration of our anniversary which is August 31, but will be used to celebrate our time together. The pictures are from previous cruises.

going on a cruise
Caribbean here I come
calm waters I plead

no hurricane please
to rock the ship or my world
by stopping my plans

warm sea breeze blow
with plenty of bright sunshine
cool drink in my hand

yes, sunscreen I'll wear
no thoughts of truning bright red
to spoil what's to come

soon at our first stop
Mexico, a helmet dive
go down twenty feet

clear water, blue fish
it doesn't get much better
yes, I'll take that drink

married thirty years
what a perfect trip we'll have
sailing on a ship

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #9

Thirteen Random Things

1.... A couple of weeks ago going into handbells I met a group of junior high age girls coming out of handbells -- nothing strange there until I noticed one wearing a tiara. Why?

2.... The cell phone *gods* smiled on me yesterday. My cell phone was lost and returned yesterday in a span of about 20 minutes. For the complete story go here.

3.... Things will blow out of the backseat of a convertible when driving 60 mph -- a plastic bag with an empty coke can in it. Wasn't expecting that to happen.

4.... My neighbor thinks its fun to move my fire hydrant dog up and down the street. So far it has been in about 5 different yards. (It's a 18 in high dog with a hiked back leg that I have beside the hydrant at the corner of my yard)

5.... I've now made a week long project last almost 3 weeks. I really am going to finish painting the back bedroom soon.

6.... My foot didn't hurt at all on Wednesday. Maybe not walking Wednesday morning was a good thing -- or maybe it had nothing to do with the foot not hurting. I'll keep wearing that night brace for a bit long just to be sure. Not pain this morning either and we walked. I'm thinking maybe, just maybe I've gotten it well.

7.... We had a substitute director at choir Wednesday night. Young, thin with long shapely arms. She was directing in a sleeveless blouse --- no arm flab, just graceful movement. I loved watching her direct ---- bringing in each part, directing crescendos and holds with such grace and style. It was just a delight.

8.... I love the Sonic commercials. They have the best ad people. The three different pairs always are up to something. Don't ask for a favorite, they all make me laugh.

9.... I had a light hearted discussion with my oldest daughter on vanity. It seems I have a reputation in my family of being vain. I have yet to figure out why. True I don't leave the house without make-up and combing my hair and I try to wear clothing befitting the occasion. But vain -- I think not. I'm not conceited about by looks, but I do think it important to put my best foot forward at all times.

10... I am not a politically minded person. I will be so glad when this election is over and there are no more political ads on TV. Yes I care about out nation, I just don't like all the rhetoric. I have done some studying I know who I will vote for --- not that either man will do what I think should be done ---- I just want it to be OVER! The DNC nor the RNC have received nor will receive any of my viewing time. I miss the Olympics. :(

11... My granddaughter has now been in *school* four days. According to her mom she is loving it. Each morning she goes bouncing into the school with her dog ears just a flapping. The second morning she insisted on going in by herself and as she started toward the school door she stopped, turned back to her mom and said, "I'll enjoy myself, and I'll listens." Then was off to face the day.

12... I will be celebrating my 30th wedding anniversary with my husband of 30 years. (isn't that a redundant statement?) We don't exchange gifts usually. I have gotten the odd bouquet of flowers in previous years and I have given him odd little things along, but never a big blow out. I think it is because we are too lazy to actually put effort into buying gifts. We bought a new riding lawn mower the first of July and with it I said Happy Anniversary --- also we are going on a cruise September 6 --- again we just say Happy *Whatever* and move on. We like out life. No pressure this way.

13... I told you this was random thoughts. I'm much better at keeping appointments than I am making them. I have been intending to make a dental appointment to have my teeth cleaned now for a year. Usually when I have them cleaned I just set up the appointment for six months down the road. Since we have moved I didn't make one when I was in last --- well that was a year ago and I still don't have an appointment with a new dentist office. Should get off this computer and pick up the phone. :)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wordless Wednesday ---- If It's Chocolate, Use Two Spoons

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

There's a Fire! and Where's My Phone?

Event I. About 4:oo I heard siren that sounded like they were headed down out road. Because our neighbor down the street had had a fire in his house and we didn't find out about it for several days I had decided I was going to start checking out what was happening whenever I heard a siren. I stepped out the front door and saw the fire truck and the huge tanker coming down our street. They turned the corner before they got to the house so I walked across the drive to look around the house expecting to see the apartments at the end of that street on fire. That is not what I was.

There is a large vacant area behind our house that is mowed and baled on a regular bases. The bales are moved to the far end by a dirt road that runs there. Someone had set those bales on fire. I can't believe I hadn't notice them burning. The wind was carrying the smoke away from our house though. Before it was all said and done there was lots of smoke and the wind shifted causing the smoke to come right over our house. We had a little smokey smell in the house, but not bad.

Hopefully they will find who set the fire, but I have a feeling it was just some kids doing what kids shouldn't be doing. Pretty exciting stuff though with the big tanker spraying water, a little bobcat type tractor pushing bales around, firemen walking around, an ambulance sitting ready, and lots and lots of stinky smoke.

Event II. When Robert got home from work he and I headed out with food to take to a friend who has just lost his father. When Robert went to put the fruit tray in the backseat of the 'tang the lid popped loose so I went around to help him. I laid my phone on the back of the car. You think you already know where this is going. Right? ----

We drove off making five turns before we get to Nichols Street, which is a back road to get across town. About half-way to Paul and Gennie's I reached for my phone when it wasn't in my purse or in the cup holder I commented to Robert that I had left my phone at home.

As we pulled up the other couple we were meeting with more food were there at the curb. Sheila was on her cell phone and as she walked toward us I heard her say, "The person you want to talk to is right here. I'll hand the phone to her."

A male voice answered when I said hello. He had my cell phone and wanted to get it back to me.
He said when we turned the corner onto Nichols he saw it go sliding off the back of the car hit the ground and skid to the edge of the road. Can you believe that he stopped and picked it up. He said he was trying to figure out how to find out who it belonged to when it rang. It was Sheila calling to find out how far we were from P&G's.

I love Sheila's version. She said she was startled when a male voice that didn't sound like Robert answered. He quickly told her he was hoping to find out who the phone belonged to -- that he had seen it slide off the back of a red mustang and he answered hoping whoever was calling could help him. Sheila told him she knew exactly who it belonged to and was getting paper to take his phone number down when we drove up.

I was able to meet him at a service station on the side of town we were on as he was heading home from a day of work. There really are good people here --- not just weirdos.

Obviously the phone still works, and isn't too much worse for the wear. I had to take a nail file and smooth down a couple of rough edges caused from the gouges, and some of the smooth black is now dulled, but hey, the phone still works. Amazing. LG makes one tough little phone.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Boredom --- Not a Pretty Sight

Today is just kind of a blahhhh day. Oh, I've gotten a lot accomplished don't get me wrong. I've put the second coat of paint on the green in the bedroom, cleaned the kitchen and run the dishwasher, straightened the house, talked with Amy on the phone, talked with Robert on the phone about the phone call from Amy (he called me), played several games of Text Twist, and even have my Photo Hunt picture ready for next Saturday, walked down and gotten the mail, I've even had a shower. I glanced over at the clock and it is just 2:00. Either I need to make each task last longer, or I need to get more accomplished. I have other things that could be tackled. I have material to make about 10 bears and ideas for several more, I want to paint the living room (not that big a chore since it only has two walls- smile) or I could just sit here and be bored.

I think I'm missing going back to school. What was a part of my life for over 30 years is hard to change. Every year I looked forward to starting back and now hummm nothing to look forward to . There is something about all my *friends* (which that isn't true) being back in school with kids and thousands of decissions to make that just makes being home alone and with little that has to be done just a little lonely.

Isn't that the most pathetic thing you have read lately? I mean -- who whines because they don't have mountains of things that must be accomplished.

Ok, I think I'm over it. I'm feeling better already. Whew, glad that didn't last long. :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

100 Word Challenge -- Faster

“Push me faster!” she demanded as I gently pushed the swing. When she swung back to me, I grabbed her and lifted as high as I could, pushing with all my strength. This sent her rocketing toward the sky with great squeals and laughter.

“Now you’re the fastest swinger in the world,” I laughed with her.

“Do it again,” she pleaded.

I wanted to scream, “No, you’re going to fast. Life is too fast.” But she wouldn’t have heard me. The young can’t hear such words. I pushed. She soared.

“I like faster,” she cried hair flowing in the wind.

Photo Hunt: Wrinkled

This old tree stands inside the walls of Ross Castle in the National Park of Killarney, Ireland. I love how weathered and gnarled it is. I think it fits the catagory of wrinkled very well.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Just Weird

I just got home from a run down town. Finally got the paint to finish the bedroom --- now the success of the paint on the walls will be a different story. Maybe tomorrow. (At this point I break into Tomorrow from Annie) But that isn't this tale.

I'm tooling toward my house in the convertible -- top down, radio on. As I turn the corner toward home I notice this beat up car behind me. Now I try not to be paranoid about such things --- there are a lot of beat up cars out there. But as I get to the house I push the button for the garage door to go up and slow down to go around the trash can that was unceremoniously left upside down and well out toward the middle of the street. I whip on into the garage and the car that was behind me dodges my trash can (thank you) then speeds off looking my way. That creepy feeling you get sometimes when things aren't just right arrived.
As I walk back down the drive to retrieve the abused trash receptacle the car which had turned around at the corner pulls up and stops. I glance over at the neighbors house to see that Thomas is still out mowing --- if I need him he's close. "Ma'am can you tell me how to get to Beltway 8," asked the rather scruffy looking man in a voice that was hard to tell if it was just broken English or liquor slurred --- maybe both. I was taken aback by this question. For those not in the know I'm 90 miles from Beltway 8 --- Beltway 8 is in Houston!
My reply to him was that, "Beltway 8 is in Houston."
Now his next question leads me to think he is intoxicated, "Well, where am I?"
I told him and I also told him how to get headed towards Houston. Now as I write this, I'm thinking I probably should have paid closer attention to the car, gotten a tag number and called the police. Instead, I just came in the house, closed the garage door and made sure my house doors are locked. Beltway 8? (sigh, head shake)

Haiku Friday --- Two Miles Each Day

Haiku Friday

Alarm sounds, stretch and go
The air is hot and humid;
Down the street we stride.

Accelerate the pace.
"We haven't seen that before."
Chatter as we go.

Perspiration rolls,
Trickling down our necks and backs
One more lap to walk.

Round the last corner,
Slow the pace, breath deeply
Our health just took GOLD.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #8

After last weeks more serious Thursday Thirteen , it's time to go to something lighter. Something fun and frivolous. Something that doesn't take any brains to do. I thought about just blogging thirteen simple math problems for you to cruise through. Get me back in the mood to do my tutoring job --- but that depressed me because I may not have that job back. (It is grant funded and who knows if the grant will come through, plus one or two more reasons.) So I'm posting a list of 13 things and people who are fast because during the Olympics we become even more obsessed with FAST --- as if time isn't passing fast enough.

1.... Microwaves I remember when it took a good hour or more to prepare a meal. Now if the food isn't ready in 15 minutes it has taken too much of my time!
2.... Phones I only go back to the rotary dial phone so don't go thinking I'm turning a crank and talking to *Rita the local operator*. But there was something magical about dialing a nine and watching as the dial s l o w l y spun back for the next number. But then again you only had to dial 4 numbers, not the 10 minimum we now have to have.
3.... Text messaging This is not something that I've gotten into, but I'm beginning to see the advantage. When a text message comes in you don't have to listen to that voice give you all the same information you already know. Boom it's there and you can respond as you like.
4.... Email. When was the last time you actually wrote a full letter, put it in an envelope with a stamp and mailed it? Not just a quick thank you note or an invitation, but an honest heartfelt letter?
5.... Blow driers. It has been years since I've sat under a hooded dryer with curlers in my hairs. And we thought those hooded dryers were soooooo fast!
6.... Curling irons. What would we women do without out our curling irons, flat irons, crimping irons ---- and the list could go on. As a mother of three girls we used to own all of those and most of them in quantities of at least 3. But personally I've not missed sleeping in poky rollers. :)
7.... Speed Limit Do you remember having to drive 55 mph everywhere you went. That was murder on me. I was stopped many times on the open highways of the Texas panhandle. I think I met every HP out there and most of the time I was traveling in the 70 to 75 mph range. OK, daughters reading this there was that one time I was going over 100, but that was an exception. :)
8.... The Internet When this all started Dial-up was fast, then came speed. I was one of the last turtles to join this particular speed revolution, and I know I don't now even have a fast connection. AT&T keep telling me I can upgrade to more speed, but right now I'm happy with my DSL connection.
9.... Micheal Phelps Everything that could be said has been --- I'll just say driven, competitive.
10.. Dara Torres I put her in even though she didn't win goal, my goodness she is 40+ years old and winning SILVER in record time. ---- My hero!
11.. Usain Bolt Young, cocky, FAST
12.. Jamaica Track Whatever they are doing, it seems to be working.
13.. My Clock, Calendar, Life We all know the saying *Time flies when you're having fun.* I must be having lots of fun, because time is flying by. Have a wonderful day, and enjoy each moment of it.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Redneck Momma and the Scardey-Cat


(see first comment for words about this photo)

100 Words FRESH

(This is my first attempt at the 100 Word Challenge. I hope you enjoy my take on fresh.)

She walks the produce isle of the market looking for something that will tempt her. Her eyes survey the fresh foods artfully stacked in bins. She takes in their colors and smells. She hesitates. Her hands cradle a large rough melon. She inhales the sweet smell of ripeness and listens to the dull thump that matches the thumping of her heart. Her mind says, “This one’s perfect.”

Her heart answers, “They are his favorite.” Tears fill her eyes. She turns and walks slowly back down the isle. Like the produce the memories are too fresh, too painful. Her heart always wins.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Gonna Make You Smile :)

Here it is ---- Bertha Butt (aka Troglodyte)---- This will make your day if you are sturggling like me to accept that big ole butt. :) Thanks to Lou for commenting and pointing me to this song by Jimmy Castor Bunch.

Would You Like to Super-Size That? Oh, I Already Have

There is a lot of talk out there about losing weight. I've lost enough weight over the years to create not just one but probably two or three other persons. I know that isn't a good trend in my life, but is how it has gone anyway. I know every tip out there, and if knowledge about eating right and how to eat could make a person thin then I'd probably look anorexic.

When I first married at the tender of age of 18 1/2 years of age I weighted about 120 to 125 pounds. Not bad for a 5 foot 2 inch blue eyed blond. I put on a few pounds (probably 10 or so) and thus began the dieting, but it included more gaining than losing. Three years later when my first child was born I tipped the scales at 165 pounds and I began to seriously work to loose the weight. I was successful --- over the next two years I trimmed down to 125 pounds again. And once again I found myself *with child*.

This time I was much more careful about what I ate and how much weight I gained and I was much more within the range of what my doctor wanted at delivery. No more eating whole jars of peanut butter in one sitting during this pregnancy. :) After this birth I got the weight off quickly -- reached my goal weight. Life was good I had two beautiful daughters, my first job as a classroom teacher, was pleased to weight what I wanted to and then I became pregnant again. This was not a planned pregnancy --- it took a little time to adjust to the fact that a third child would be coming and I some how I got losing weight and getting pregnant combined in my head. Sounds silly I know, but it happened.

I was careful again this time while pregnant not to gain tons of weight, but afterwards just couldn't get motivated to lose it all back off. Somewhere in the back of my mind was a little voice that told me, *Hey, you know what will happen if you do.* So the weight stayed on longer than it should have. Then came the difficult year of losing my husband to cancer and being a single parent came right on the heels of that.

I found fast food readily available. (Here I should probably apologize to my daughters for setting them up to have weight problems. I was not a good role model.) Plus I had a new freedom I had never had before. No parents telling me what I should do, no husband to care if I prepared a meal or how much it cost to eat out just three little girls who pretty much liked me no matter what I did, and they liked fast food too. Hummmm

The weight went up and up during this time and then I met Robert. What a blessing he has been in my life. He and I were married with me weighing nearly as much as him and with three little girls in tow. Then an innocent remark by one of his uncles made me realize that I needed to do something about the weight and I did. I used every fad diet came along. And with teachers in the school lounge it was easy to find new diets. We all tried the Cambridge diet where we drank this nasty stuff but it worked, we followed the stewardess diet, we ate low fat, low calorie, grapefruit, boiled eggs, boiled cabbage, just fruit, no fruit, and weird combinations of all of them. I did lose weight. I joined an aerobic dance class --- that probably helped more than anything, but and here is the big BUT --- in my mind I was still fat ---- I hadn't learned then to accept my body style. I wasn't tall, I wasn't willowy, I wasn't every going to be proportional. I have a small chest, and I have a rear, and a stomach. I doesn't matter how thin I get I still have a small chest, a rear and a stomach.

My weight is about 20 pounds more than it should be right now for a 59 1/2 year old woman. I don't exercise as much as I should although right now Robert and I are walking two miles each morning and I'm trying to eat better. I'm now being sensible about how much I eat. I like the Adkins idea of low carbs. That is a way of eating that seems to work better for me than some of the others. I know I'll never be tall and willowy and thank goodness for J Lo who has made having a butt okay.

So if you'll excuse me now, I think I'll go have a glass of water and nibble a boiled egg.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Photo Hunt: Colorful

Colorful but tattered signal flags flutter in the wind atop the Battleship Texas on an otherwise gray day. I snapped this picture on one of several trips to the historic ship with family and friends when they have come to visit.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ode to the Bathroom Scales

Haiku Friday

Dreaded bathroom scales
What number will you reveal?
Do I dare step on?

Agony drags on
As you calculate the truth.
Up or down? I wait.

Then you have your say.
I smile in celebration.
Twenty pounds to go!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #7

Today I've got nothing --- zero ---zip --- zilch. Which makes it very hard to write a blog of thirteen. Just had an idea. Read on. :)

1.... For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm your, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 This verse has helped me through many difficult situations. Whenever Robert was without a job, when we were living 169 miles apart this is the verse that seemed to say --- "Hey, I'm still in control and I know how it will work out."

2.... Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders, and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. I Thessalonian 4:11-12 Little more I could add to that. I try to remember it when it seems that others always have a more exciting life or just more. Also when I'm tempted to gossip ---- not God's plan.

3.... Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petitions with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:6-7 This is something I've experienced many times. God will give you peace of you pray and then leave it with God. A hard thing to do sometimes.

4.... For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering... Deuteronomy 30:16 If he will do this for the children of Israel then how much more will he do for us? I wrote this verse out and have it on a 3X5 card to remind me that God really does want to bless my life, but I have to keep up my end of the bargain by *walking in his ways*.

5.... This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us -- whatever we ask -- we know that we have what we ask of him. I John 5:14-15 The key here is to ask according to his will.

6.... "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. . . ." John 4:34 I got this verse while studying the Bible to help with weight loss in a program call Weigh Down Workshop. Strive to live in God's will in every aspect of life from how fast you drive to how much you eat.

7.... But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 I love the fact that the Lord is our hope. He will carry us to great heights if we let him.

8.... In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my request before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3 My pastor used this verse the other day to prove God is a morning person. If your read on you will also find he is with us at night. I just like knowing that if I rise in the morning praising him and talking with him I have a better day.

9.... Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. I Peter 3:1 Ouch, not the submissive part, but that he might be won over by the my behavior, my purity and reverence. Tough one to live out.

10.... For the kingdom of God is not a matter eating and drinking but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 Again Weigh Down Workshop. We must put our earthly pleasures aside, even the simple ones like food and drink, if we want to have room for the Holy Spirit in our lives.

11.... His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. II Peter 1:3

12.... This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. I John 5:3 I love that verse. I can do all thing because I have God on my side.

13.... Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. II Corinthians 5:17 Put your trust in God, accept Christ as your personal savior, and lean on the Holy Spirit to guide you. That makes life good!

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Can't Do That --- Could You?

Street performer in London.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Nearly Grown-Up

I found this link while nosing around at the PhotoHunt site going to check out what other entries were posting. So I'm more Grown-Up than Kid there is still a kid in me. How about you???

You Are 77% Grown Up,

23% Kid

Congratulations, you are definitely quite emotionally mature.

Although you have your moments of moodiness, you're usually stable and level headed.

Photo Hunt #1: Dark

This is my first time to join . In this first attempt to find pictures to fit the theme which this week is Dark in photos I of course went to night pictures first. This unfortunately slightly blurred picture is of the Scott Memorial (Sir William Scott) in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was fortunate to get to visit there this past June.

Then I thought of this wonderful silhouette of darkened Sequoya cacti taken just as the sun was setting that I took back in '05 while visiting in Tucson, AZ. An accidental photo that has become one of my favorites.

This fourth of July my daughters, son-in-law, and granddaughter look to a dark sky as fireworks are being shot off over the bay.
Or this picture that seems to say "What mysteries lie in the darkness of the cave just beyond the clear water and bright sun." This picture was taken at a private alcove close to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Let the Games Begin

Just finished watching the opening ceremony for the Olympics. Can you join me in a WOW? We turned over just as the dignitaries were coming in and I watched to the dedication at the very end given by NBC to Jim McKay. I was very impressed with each part of it --- the drums, the flying muses, the dancing painters, the oarsmen, each part. Even the marching in of all the countries -- many of which I had never heard of and will probably not hear of again until 2012. I don't know what my favorite part was but I can tell you what I was a little disappointed in --- the torch lighting. The man running in air around the top was pretty spectacular, but the actual lighting of the main torch didn't hold up to the rest of the evening (my opinion). You would have to go a long way to beat the arrow being shot into the torch in Athens to win my vote for best torch lighting. (If you read my comments you will see that I have been corrrected about this. It seems that what I'm remembering didn't happen 4 years ago, but actually 16 years ago in Barcelona.) I just know that Great Britain who is hosting the 2012 Games will have to work hard to live up to what we saw tonight.

Earlier today (well from 8:00 this morning until 4:00) I attended an instructional work shop for the computer program we will have at the Blessing school. I think it will be a beneficial program and one that will allow teachers to actually use computer technology more efficiently. I went because it can be used with the Study Island program I use tutoring, and I wanted to know how it all works. I'm excited about the prospects. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that I will actually get to use it. The principal wasn't too sure that the program I work under is even going to have money made available for it this year. Can you say the economy is hurting?

I got a phone call from Robert this afternoon about 4:30 asking if I wanted to go to Dead Wood with Peter and Mary then to supper at the American Legend in Blessing. I begrudgingly agreed to this and he said he would come pick me up and then we would go. I sat down in the foyer of the school to wait for him. After I had been there for what seemed like forever, but had in reality only been about 20 minutes I got a second call from Robert who's first words were, "Where are you?"
My reply was, "In Blessing waiting for you." He had forgotten that I was going to the workshop today and thought I was home. Surprise, surprise, surprise when he got home and I wasn't there. He said my comment about seeing him in about 45 minutes made sense then. Seems we had had a miscommunication. The dinner together with P&M had been changed to tomorrow night. After that I didn't prepare a meal --- it was just a eat what you can find night.

That was my day. ---- Hope yours was good to. :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #6

Thirteen Things I Wish I Could Do

1.... I wish I could sing well. I sing in the adult choir at church, but mine is just a voice in the choir -- a warm body -- volume when it is needed. I wish I could sing like any of the young ladies who make it to the finals on American Idol. I don't want the fame just the voice.

2.... I wish I could dance ballet. That has been something I've wanted to do since I was about 10 years old and read a book entitled On Your Toes Susie. That's right it was about a little girl taking ballet lessons who got to dance the prima donna part in the recital because she finally could dance on point. Opportunity never availed itself and I don't think I have the build for a ballerina.

3.... I wish I could paint. Oh, I can do a little sketching --- mostly to entertain my students or my grandchildren. But I wish I knew more about art and design and creating. I can copy, but I don't have the inner eye to create.

4.... I wish I could sculpt. Remember when you brought a bar of soap to school and had to use a knife to carve it into something. I ended up with a pile of soap shaving. And what about that lump of clay --- even in college mine looked strangely sick. More like some monster from a bad horror movie than a man walking.

5.... I wish I could swim. With the summer Olympics coming I'll sit and watch the speed swimmers and admire each stroke of their arms in the water knowing that the next time I'm in the pool and I have to swim I'll be luck not to drown.

6.... I wish I could do synchronized swimming. Again these ladies amaze me. My sisters and I used to play this game when we were silly girls. All of our routines were done with our heads above water though --- none of us liked water in our faces.

7.... I wish I could write. Here I mean something worthwhile. Things that would entertain and or give food for thought. I read so many of the blogs and have writer's envy; so many of you are very talented and don't even realize your own talent.

8.... I wish I could do gymnastics. The Olympics call again. My husband hates watching the women competing, but hang on every movement. My body tenses and relaxes with each competitor. I know I could have been a great gymnast given opportunity. Why was I born in a small town in the south before gymnastics was offered on every street corner?????

9.... I wish I could ride horses. Now that is one I could probably learn to do even at the age I am now. I don't want to do team roping or any thing like that. Western riding has never interested me, but equestrian riding, jumping, steeple chasing now that is horseback riding.

10... I wish I could speak a foreign language. I don't have a gift for languages. I have taken Spanish and when native speakers get over their giggles we can figure things out. I am better at understanding than speaking and I'm far from saying that I speak or even comprehend Spanish. Heck, some people don't even consider me fluent in English.

11... I wish I could take pictures like a photographer. I mean those awesome pictures of people, place and things we see in Life Magazine of old. On occasion I have gotten that shot, but it has always been accidentally done and not repeated often.

12... I wish I could be an actress. Fear, lack of confidence, poor memory these all play a part in not pursuing this wish at the local community theatre. What few times I've been on stage I'm very stilted and uncomfortable not what great actresses are.

13... I wish I could save the world. That sounds like a contestant in a beauty pageant, but I'm totally out of things I wish I could do and saving the world is something we should all be concerned with --- notice this is a green blog. :)

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Just a Little Spooked

On Monday a little before noon I had a very disturbing phone call --- two calls actually. If it had only been one I would have probably ignored the whole thing. Here's what transpired.

When I answered the phone a male voice asked, "Is Robert home?"

The voice was friendly and since Robert does have friends I don't know well and was out of town traveling to a family reunion and the recent passing of his mother etc. I replied, "No, he's not back yet."

"When will he be back?" asked the voice.

Now this is where I'm really stupid, I know, but I'm also a trusting person. I answered, "I expect him back about two."

Ready for creepy? The male voice said, "Good, that'll give us time for phone sex."

My mind went instantly to *someone is just playing a joke*, no one really does that, and out of my mouth came, "Who is this?" really thinking it was just one of Robert's friends just playing around.

The voice answered, "You don't need to know that. Will you have phone sex?"

Again I asked, "Who is this?" Like he would really tell me.

His reply was that request again. I just hung up the phone. I didn't scream NO or slam the phone down or anything like that, I just simply hung up the phone and stood there staring at it trying to process what had just happened. It was just a few seconds later, I hadn't even walked away when the phone rang again.

The voice said, "I guess that means no, you won't have phone sex. "

I asked again, "Who is this?" Can anyone explain why that is all that would come out of my mouth?

The voice replied, "If I tell you, can we have phone sex?" Again I just hung up the phone. This time I locked the doors, grabbed my cell phone and called D. I had to tell someone, I had to let someone know.

She suggested I call the police, not because they would be able to do anything, but so there would be a record of this happening. That was the reassurance I needed to make the call to Bay City's finest. The dispatcher was very nice and a little taken back by my tale of being propositioned via the phone. A police officer came over later and we talked a few minutes. He basically told me what I already knew. There really wasn't anything they could do but for me to call them back if anything like this happened again.

Since Monday, I've been much more careful about keeping the doors locked. This pervert has my phone number and address. I checked the phone book. We are listed as Bain, Robert and Patsy and our house address is right there. Yikes. I'm not really scared, but I know I need to be a little more careful, a little more vigilant. So as they used to said on Hill Street Blues, * be careful out there.*

Sunday, August 3, 2008

"To the Pirate Ship," She Exclaimed

Squeals of delight. Those are the sounds you hear when you take Abigail and Benjamin to an amusement park.
I hadn't been to an amusement park in a while but reclaimed the thrill when we took Abby, Ben and family to Wonderland Park the evening of July 20. What a fun evening it was --- even if I found out I still can't ride the Tilt-a-Whirl without getting nauseous.
The first fast ride we rode was the tubes. It is a water ride where you just sit in a raft and slide down a twisting turning tube with water splashing around you and dripping on you. When Abby and I boarded this ride I knew she was going to have fun. As soon as we left the loading area she began to scream and squeal --- not from freight, but from pure delight to be going fast and to be getting wet. I could do nothing but laugh and join her is screaming and squealing. The smiles on our faces are evidence that we were happy! Robert said they could hear us all the way down. Amy had Ben with her right behind us. I don't think they squealed as much, but you could tell it was going to be a fun evening for everyone.

Abigail loves rides. She wanted to ride everything! It made do difference to her if it went fast or went slow, when up and down, went round and round, or went some weird combination of them she loved them all, wanted to ride them all and couldn't seem to get enough. Another ride I really enjoyed riding with Abby was the Pirate Ship. We rode it with Carrie the first time and sat in the middle not knowing for sure how Abby would take to going that high --- silly us. I think she would have loved it if she had been in the end seat that went the highest. Only problem was she is so light and just at the height requirement that she would actually lift off the seat when the swing reached it apex and started back the other way -- the time when your stomach does that funny thing. Close to the end of the evening after the sun had gone down, we had had hot dogs for supper and Abby and I had eaten a whole bag of cotton candy by ourselves I asked if she wanted to ride the Pirate Ship again. She shouted, "To the Pirate Ship!" and literally began running. I looked back at Amy and family told them where we were headed and ran to catch up. The line was short when we got there and Dave (Daddy) caught up with us and rode with us. We sat a little further back from the middle. Dave kept one hand firmly on Abby's leg to keep her from flying out because this time she didn't hold on the bar. Her arms were slung above her head as she squealed with delight --- which caused great smiles from the people facing us that the little girl across from them was having such a grand time.
At the end of the evening I asked her what her favorite ride is and she exclaimed without hesitation that it is the Frog Hopper. She rode it several times with the same giggles and laugh each and every time.
Ben was a trooper. I don't know if he loved it as much as Abby, but he was willing to ride everything his 36 inch height allowed him to ride. I didn't get a chance to ask him what he liked best and not sure he would have had an answer, but I think you can tell from the following short video he like the idea of bouncing in the Frog Hopper too.

Abby and Ben riding the FROG HOPPER.

Ben with me on the Carousel. He picked out the Green Dragon to Ride.

Then Ben and me riding the train. After I had taken this picture of us together, the little boy sitting front of us wanted to see. I showed him then took a picture of him and his mother. He thought that was very cool to see his picture. Kids today everywhere want to see the picture as soon as you take it. Love this instant gratification world we now live in!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Just Rambling Thoughts

I read a blog today by a young mother. It is beautifully written. I wish I had her talent for writing, but her comments and several of the comments from her readers made we wonder about young mothers today. They all seem overwhelmed by motherhood and the demands of a family, work, life. I understand some of those feelings -- I remember them. I was a working mother, but I knew my girls were being taken care of by competent people and that when they had me they had a pretty good role model if not the most nurturing mother.
I really don't remember struggling with wanting to be different. When the little girl in me needed to be play she did. I played with the girls. We looked at clouds and found shapes, we listened to silly songs and belted them out, we watched creepy spiders and bugs crawl across the floor after we finished squealing and before stomping or mashing it. Those were good times.
I don't remember wanting time just for me --- I took time for me when I needed it. I found those extra minutes go to the gym and to read something other than papers for school (mostly smutty novels) and I marched on thinking life was good --- no make that knowing life is good. I still look at clouds and find shapes, occasionally one of those silly songs pops into my head and I sing it loudly and proudly, and I'll still watch a bug before killing it (I do miss having someone to squeal with though).
I don't remember struggling with be an *adult* as many of the young bloggers seem to. As my own children seem to. Maybe I did but just didn't have the venue to express my feeling or to even explore them. Each day was a blessing and I got through it the best I could. I made mistakes (like buying a kit car and then having the kit for 20 year before selling it for a fraction of what I paid for it) but I learned from that mistake and the others and moved on.
Am I the only one who feels this way? Is life that much harder for young mothers today than it was 32 years ago? Did I really have it that much better? Rambling thoughs as I sit and wonder about life.