Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Sometimes following gets one in trouble.

Sometimes not.

This morning on my run to Sam's, a fellow shopper - his name is unknown to me, but has a little country store about 20 miles away - saw me and said "hey, follow me." I laughed and responded with the first sentence of this post.

Then I followed him.

Hickory Smoked Turkeys - 10lb average for $4.01!!!

I am glad I followed. I don't need the turkeys, but there is someone who does - who might not have lucked up on the sale.

This morning I woke, checked out Proverbs 31's daily devotion. It was about hearing God. About being lead by God. I so want to be lead and go down the path HE has for me. I know it will be better than the one I would follow with my own perspective and sense, of my own devices. Sometimes I can't seem to see the light He has set for my path. I think it is mixed in with all the busyness of my mind and plans. Here is the prayer that ended the devotion:

Heavenly Father, I need direction in my life today. You seem distant and silent. Yet I know that You are not because You promise to never leave me or forsake me. Today, I commit to search Your Word. Open my eyes that I may see the wonderful things in Your Law. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear Your direction in my circumstances. Thank You, Lord, that in my seeking You will meet me. Thank You that as I trust in You completely, You will lead me down Your paths! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I love it , I love the direction it set my day!

I know it was just some silly turkeys - but could it have been some direction? A direction to something to offer another person/group that really needs it? I hope so. I hope my day is filled with turkey opportunities - that are directed by God . . .

” They will soar on wings like eagles “
Isaiah 40 v 31 (NIV)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Memory Lane - Buy One Get Two Free

Memories are great! With the over hearing that prom season is fast approaching and the continued sorting of pictures, I just had to share this!

I think this might be one of those opportunities in my life that makes me bewildered at today's youth. I don't know if the country was in a recession in '86 and '87, but I do know my home was in one. I was a recipient of a scholarship to a small Christian school (graduating class -14), that I attended 9-12th grade. Every year at prom time, we had an approved by the church variation of prom. The Juniors planned it for the Seniors. We wore prom dresses and tuxes. The guys provided crosages. Let's see . . . all the same EXCEPT, no dancing and no band. So I guess it was more like a banquet.

Junior year and it is prom time.

The fellow I was sorta dating, nothing serious, could not take me to my "prom" - he was grounded. So I found another date.

Brian G took me. But not exactly. He was a year younger and neither of us drove, so we double dated with our friends, Alan and Melissa. Alan had access to the family station wagon so he took us. The four of us headed to "prom" in a local restaurants banquet room. I don't remember much besides my excitement over my dress - I thought it was the neatest dress. Different from the rest, shorter on side, not big and billowy. The guys were gentlemen. And that is it. Glad I have the picture.

A few weeks later, I was picked up for the public high school prom.

Brian S. was the name of this date. We were better friends than Brian G. See this Brian and I actually did go out on dates - nothing serious (can't be serious when he kisses you goodnight and you have to hide the laughter). But he was a fun friend. And he had a car and could drive. And he taught me to drive. Saved my dad and me from my dad's short fuse. That high schools prom was at the civic center with a much LARGER group.

So my Junior year ended with two "proms."

My senior year rolled around. Prom season came around too. I was dating someone and lo and behold if he did not break up with me TWO WEEKS before prom/banquet. But not all was lost. A somewhat older fellow (early 20's) from church agreed to be my escort to prom. I would not say "date" even though I would have loved that to have been the case. He was a hotty! And he was smart! But I was young and all was well.

So David picked me up for my prom. He drove a station wagon too! He was far too mature for the majority of the crowd at school. I do remember going to TCBY afterwards than bowling. It was a great time!

But the Brian, Brian and David is not really the part of this memory that I am sharing. Even the fact that I was driven to two proms in station wagons is not the point.

Did you notice?? Of course you did!

The same dress all three times!!

I was not told no to a new dress. I did not even ask. The first two were so close together and at two different schools I did not think it was necessary to spend money on another dress. The third time, well, with being a senior and some of the expenses associated with that and having read just enough between the lines, I knew money was a little tight, I opted to wear the pink dress again. Whether I talked myself into thinking this or really thought this, I don't remember - but I figured no one would remember from the year before anyway. I don't know if anyone did. And if they did they did not say anything in earshot of it. I realize I was probably unfair comparing the youth of today with this memory. There are many today that cannot afford even one dress. And I am sure there were those of yesterday that would not have been caught dead wearing a prom dress more than once. But that pink dress worn three times, the two brians and the two station wagons made for one good memory!

Memory Monday's hosted by Gayle at Planet M Files.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A couple years ago I received an email with this church blooper. I think his reaction and blushing was even funnier than the slip. I watch this and I think of my grandmother sitting in church hearing this and I think that cracks me up even more. PG-13 warning . . . :)

Today is a fun rainy day . . .

So I am posting TWICE. I did not win the trip to visit Rhonda, but on another site, I did win the giveaway! Liz has


Check it out and enter to win something fun!

I entered to win some earrings and I won! The package came this week . . .

Thanks so much for the goodies!!

You can check out all she has to offer at the link below.

Photo Phun Phriday - Life of a Dog

Playing along with Carrie today - check her out here...

The Man decided he wanted to strike a pose with Francie. Francie is not much of a camera hound, but The Man had phun trying to make her pose. Now had the camera been a squirrel, raccoon or any other furry creature, she would be attention and easy to snap a shot of. For me the phun of these pictures are The Man having phun. It is great to capture happiness!

But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?
Albert Camus

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

...And the rest of my world

.... I am glad I had the other two post ready and scheduled for posting! Our weekend was somewhat of an adventure.

I actually had Sara (my part time help) cover Saturday at the shop by herself. So I had the day off. But it did not overly feel like a day off - not a lot of rest. Will, The Man, my M.I.L. headed North to Brenau University for Traveler's Senior Thesis. We felt like ducks on the wall to a certain degree. We were not sure what we would do attending a Senior Thesis. Well, in a Musical Theatre degree it means a little bit of reporting, a little bit of acting, and maybe a little bit of singing. There were two thesis being presented, Traveler's, which was on the musical "Parade" and the other graduate did hers on Wasserman. We had to sit through the other first and were warned there would be some profanity and some touchy issues. Well, the presentation started. She said she was going to use a word that would make many uncomfortable. She was going to drop the "F" bomb. She was going to use the word feminism.

Whew, maybe we were ok with the man. But not for long, the acting scene that then began had a militant angry lesbian that the DID drop the "F" bomb, quite a lot. More than some. Luckily The Man knows that the word is wrong and unacceptable. I think the other themes went right over his head - thank goodness. There were good themes to what she presented though too, being true to yourself, not trying to have everyone like you, and so on. The Man did notice though, the "significant other" of the graduate afterwards. He did wonder about whether it was a "he" or a "she." We wondered too, until Traveler shared "she" was transitioning to a "he." So much to see on a college campus.

Traveler was next and did an outstanding job. Parade was about a Jewish gentleman lynched in the early 1900's for a murder he did not commit. Her thesis was research of his wife and the story more from the wife's perspective. She sang four songs, and to see how strong her stage voice has become was wonderful. Her senior thesis is behind her and Graduation will be May 8th.

The college students actually all snapped their fingers at each one as they finished. I thought that was something cheesy just in the movies, but they actually did that!

We stayed the night rather than heading right back, and that way we could have lunch with Traveler on Sunday. Our hotel was somewhat interesting. The suite did not have the queen size beds or couch we saw on the website - just double beds and the kitchenette that made it a suite. The Man and I found a pool table - the cue stick had been broken and taped back together with masking tape and the table had wierd warping in it. We never really knew where the ball was going. So we were even more entertained (I stink at pool, add a broken cue stick and a warberly table and, well . . .I think I played better!!) While in the area of the lobby - never once saw a single soul. No one came in. No one was at the desk. No one in sight! Quite eery! We found the exercise room - four pieces of equipment of the three we tried - they were all broken! It was much different from the other places we have stayed. The bathroom was interesting, the tub drained ever so slowly and the commode was not tightly attached to the wall. So it moved. Loudly. I feel the earth, move, under my .....
I do not recommend Quality Inn in Gainesville Georgia.

So Sunday, we met Traveler and her friend for lunch in Atlanta. We love Pappadeaux and that is where we met!! (Great way to tend the wounds of not winning the trip to Connecticut) Traveler had to have a friend bring her so she could get back to the campus. See Traveler locked her keys in her car the beginning of last week. It still has not been unlocked. I admire hubby for being so good at "allowing" her to step up and handle what she needs to handle. I do believe she was hoping someone else would handle it, but we are allowing her to become responsible, as should be for any twenty one year old.

Lunch was full of chatter.

We had been wondering what would come about after graduation as for living arrangements before she leaves for the Netherlands. At lunch it was confirmed: Traveler is moving back in from May to August. Back home. This home. Anyone want to come help me rearrange rooms and get her room ready?? haha

She mentioned "I guess I will need to get a job..." Guess?? Will than says, and do I love the calmness and steadiness, "yes you will, you will have rent to pay...."

Traveler: "rent? are you serious?"

Will: "yes, {{chuckle}} you will pay rent"

Traveler: "is Ocho (her brother) paying rent?"

Will: "yes he is"

Traveler: " how much"

Will tells her

Traveler: "what?"

Me: "do you know how much rent is for a one room apartment? it is more than that AND utilities, internet, groceries ..."

Travler: "man, my friends have talked about their parents doing that and I have always been like "Dude, my parents would never do that""

Traveler: "if I am paying rent does that mean I don't have a curfew?"

Me: "As long as you don't wake me!"

Now, before you get the wrong impression, we make no money off of this. We save the money for them, then when they move out, they will have a nest egg of some amount. BUT, we do think they should be saving money if they are living at home (which they won't do on their own) and they should be learning about what it takes to live on their own. While the rent is small compared to living on their own, it is a bill they are responsible for.

On a funnier note: The Man has decided he wants to live in a tent when he is older. Says it would save electricity. Said "I will still have a job and make money, I just won't have to spend it on electricity."

So, I will start taking those prayers as we move closer to this new living arrangement. I might set up a tent outside myself . . .

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Year's At The Spring

And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven -All's right with the world!
~Robert Browning

What is my world like now?
Warming up! Cool mornings and pleasant afternoons and plenty of color abounds . . .

And with that color . . . .

Pollen . . .

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

Check out others showing their world here

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Memory Monday

I don't need these anymore, it is now too warm for them. They will be packed up for next winter. But they stirred a memory, and that is what Gayle is asking for!

When I worked for Behavioral Health at the hospital, we had a department "retreat" for the therapist and managers. While I was not one of the above, and was a worker for this event, scheduling the facility, ordering and picking up lunch, and so on, they did so nicely give me these big fuzzy fiesty pair of slippers. All received them, the setting was to be relaxed for the day.

Well, hubby has given a chuckle whenever I break these out. Granted it means that my tootsies are cold and I am trying to stay warm more than trying to make a fashion statement. Which is a good thing, the fuzzy wild animal print on these, I have noticed, does nothing for him! But I recognize the chuckle and lack of adoration towards my choice in what to wear.

I recognize it because of this memory:

This is 1981, Christmas in a house being ridded of some internal walls and soon that hideous carpet and paneling. My mom is on the right. See that turquoise gowny thing she is wearing? She always wore it around the house. Summer, Spring, Fall, Winter - it was the main item she lounged in. My dad would, playfully, pick on her about it. Not that it mattered and I find it amazing that he noticed! He would make a joke, or grab at it - it was elastic around the neckline/shoulders - so it would stretch out and pop back in place when he released it. She would laugh and continue being comfortable.

One spring, after years of wearing this, my mom once again "got comfortable." In that turqoise gown. Once again my dad teased. Once again he gave it tug. But not again. Finally the elastic had had enough, it stretched and did not return to its origin. Thus ended the time of the turqoise gown! I wonder what harm might come to my fuzzy warm slipper?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Photo Phun Phriday - Pie!!

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie

Pie Crust 9" deep

2 large eggs

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 cup butter/margarine, melted and cooled

1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Whisk eggs in a bowl until foamy

Combine Flour and guars; add to eggs, stirring until blended. Stir in butter, chocolate morsels, and pecans. Pour into prepared crust.

Bake at 325 deg. for 1 hour or until golden.

So I decided to share a different kind of fun . . . Eating!!! Eating dessert!

This is fun! I have made many of these this month and they are a favorite!

Jot the recipe down and then head on over to Candid Carries for the fiesta!

And today is the last day to vote, I can use every vote I can get :), so if you can do a girl a favor??? . . . there is a polling box in the right column - I am "blended family bliss in DC" . . . so click here

Target Pretzels

Thank you for all who went over to Rhonda's and voted for my vacation! I am miserably behind in votes, so if you have not, please, please, please, help a girl out?! please?? Got friends and family? Send them over too.

See there is this wonderful thing supposedly happening - called bailouts. Well I am not included in those. But there is that wonderful trip to win to meet a super duper fun person - that being Rhonda. And since my business operates on the theory, if there is not enough business, I don't get bonuses (or pay), this contest offers me a chance to do something really fun AND take a trip.

Sappy enough yet? hmmmmm

So, if you need to read before you vote (definitely educate yourself) you can read it here . . . .
To vote . . . there is a polling box in the right column - I am "blended family bliss in DC" . . . so click here

So, yesterday as I watched the numbers sore for the other contenders, I felt humbled and blue, how do I deal with that?
Well, I went to target! I needed some paper towels and tums, boring, BUT they sell pretzels. Salted pretzels. And dipped in cheese? Well that is comfort food for me.
Off I journeyed to brighten my day. I grabbed and paid for the couple items we needed and headed to the deli to get my treat!
Now, sometimes I forget where I live. I forgot yesterday. Yes, we have a Target. But it is here. Our town is notorious for bad customer service. Those offering it are few and far between. The deli at Target does not employee the few and far between. So I mosey on over an happily approach the counter. The lady, in her 60's, looks up, and not exactly glad to have me standing there, asks if she can help me. I answer and ask for a pretzel.
Target: salt or cinnamon?
Me: salted, please. And do you have the cheese?
Target: No, I just threw it all away, we close at 8:00, I have to start cleaning up, so it is in the trash. Your lucky you get a pretzel I was about to throw them away too.
Me: {{find cell phone to see what time it is - 6:50p.m. over an hour to go??}} Oh!
So lucky me gets a pretzel, heated to the point I could not hold it in its wrapper, dripping in butter? Maybe butter, it tasted funky!
So I paid the $2.14 trying to get my little bit of comfort, realizing it just is not going to work without the cheese. So as I turn to leave to head to the grocery store for Easy Cheese,
Me: Thank You
Me: Have a good evening!
Not a word!
As I am eating my overly processed, not good for you comfort food, I realize, that Target deli just stinks!
I paid $2.14 for an almost stale pretzel that was seconds earlier doomed for the dumpster. I could have dumpster dived for it, but I have an aversion to dumpster juice (that is all the spillage that accumulates in dumpsters). And I know somewhat about dumpster juice - that will be for another story about a dumpster diving boss. But as I felt grumpy towards Ms. Cheerful, I had a thought, how would I act and treat people if I, in my 60's, found myself in the spot that I had to work the deli at Target? I hope that no matter where I find myself, I am kind to people, that God's Joy shines through me. And with that thought, I hope Ms. Cheerful is much more cheerful today and her day IS blessed.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009



I made it to be a finalist!!

For what you ask? Why for Rhonda's contest for a trip to Connecticut!! I would so love to go meet the wonderful Rhonda and her fun crew!

I so want to go, but alas, I am only a finalist. But that can change ... with all of your help!

And with the help of your husbands and kids and moms and sisters and friends, if you all will go visit Rhonda and cast your vote for me, I would be ever so appreciative of your kindness! So if you want to read my travel story go here . . . .

To vote . . . there is a polling box in the right collumn - I am "blended family bliss in DC" . . . so click here

and please vote for me !


Monday, March 16, 2009


There are many stories I have not told, naturally, but there is one that keeps coming up. I keep debating about telling it . . . today I will, at least part of it.

I truly believe grief has to be one of the strangest of human emotions. It seems to me, that about the time one believes the “grief” and the loss are dealt with, the emotions come up and bite you in the back side. So far 2009 seems to be doing that a little more in our family. I don’t know why, it will be soon 3 years since the loss . . .

Remember a couple weeks ago when Ocho moved back in and I had a room to take apart? Well in re-organizing the contents of the room, I came across a folder. I did not recognize it – but as I started going through it a rush of emotions and tears took over. No one was home, so I could cry without making a scene or stirring things up for others.

A week before that, I received a call from my Kat, our niece, seeing if I was close by. My mother in law was having a very hard day. The sight of an old acquaintance brought the emotions to the surface.

My husband is the youngest of four children -and the only boy. There is Ann, the oldest, Betsy, 2nd; Cindy 3rd and then Will. Memorial Day weekend 2006, our family received news that seems still all too surreal. We were in town as well as our niece and Betsy and her husband. Everyone else had gone away for the weekend. At 5:30 a.m. on that Saturday, we received a call from Ann, who was at the beach. Em (her daughter and house sitter) had called when a detective had arrived at my MIL’s house during the night. Betsy had died, overnight. Actually she had been shot and killed. (Emotions are buggers, this is harder to write/type than to say). It was devastating and just did not fit into our world. No one’s world, no real people that is. In one evening the family lost a daughter, sister, friend, aunt. And they lost a son-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle, friend. What happened? Emotions, loss of control, bad decision? All of them combined. Life was crumbling around my brother in law, and in the heat of things, an action was taken and with that a life and his freedom.

What was in that folder? It was a folder of sentimental items from Betsy’s house. Probably a drawer with miscellaneous cards and photos and

School record book and what was once white gloves

Lovely notes of affection from her husband. It is rather difficult to read cards that shared such love and to know how the story ended.

I had wondered, and still do, what to do with the items. A shadowbox for my MIL? Or would that be too, oh I don’t know . . .

So here we are today. I forgot what today was. It would have been Betsy’s 51st birthday. My MIL has asked everyone to go out to eat tonight because it would have been Betsy’s birthday. This is new. I asked hubby about it and he said he believes she is afraid of the forgetting. Even though so many memories are re-told and enjoyed at the various get togethers, time is still marching on. More time away from Betsy.

There is always a laugh at how Betsy never peeled a shrimp for herself or cut her steak, and now she is in Heaven with her dad, probably back to his cutting her steak and shelling her shrimp . . .

I think I will have shrimp tonight . . .

Friday, March 13, 2009

Photo Phun Phriday - Simple Pleasures

I found this phun photo of Traveler and Ocho from a time before I met them and their dad. About 12 years ago, maybe. . .simple fun days . . . brown eyed susans . . . shawwwlaaa laalaaa laalaaalaa laa laa a lottie daw . . .
I was born to catch dragons in their dens
And pick flowers
To tell tales and laugh away the morning
To drift and dream like a lazy stream
And walk barefoot across sunshine days.

Author Unknown

Playing with Carrie!! Check out more phun here!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

***Update: Repair man finally calls after 6 hours to say he can't come today. Glad I have backup coolers - but this has thrown off my whole day. I am now behind and down. My day tomorrow is in shambles too. 3 more hours until this workday is over. Tommorrow will be brighter!

There are only a few things I miss about my former job . . .

  • many times I miss having a friend on the job

  • sometimes I miss having someone to vent too

  • today I miss having someone around to bounce things off of when something breaks or goes awry

  • today I miss having someone to say "hey can you help that person, I just can't . . . "

  • today I miss having companions around

Glad I DO like what I do . . . Thank goodness this too shall pass . . . .

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

...and then my heart broke

For the past week I have focused even more on God and doing my work and as little as possible on circumstances. I have turned from as much negative and as much news as possible. I even debated about posting this post, so as not to add to the glum. But I will, because I think it is important.

I noticed on Monday the headline regarding Warren Buffet’s interview. The interview where he said “we’ve fallen off a cliff.” I did not stop there though, I decided to read it. I am glad I did. There was more to the interview than just that.

The article I read also said (and I am summarizing)

  • It will take a while, but we will come back

  • President needed to act like a war time President

  • Congress needed to act like a war time Congress

  • Stop the partisan bickering

  • There needed to be clear message from the government to lessen the fear
    Everything will be all right

Now don’t get me wrong, I do not put my faith in Buffet. But it was nice to hear someone who has taken a bigger slam than me still speak about the fall, laced with

Hope ~ Resilience ~ Perseverance ~ Direction

I found it interesting though, the local station only commented on the “fallen off a cliff.”

The Today Show only reported about the cliff.

The Nightly News (NBC)? The same.

No mention of the words of everything being all right. No mention of the call that our Commander In Chief be the kind of Commander In Chief of a war. None of the optimism I thought I heard laced in the article.

Maybe the media needs to send a clearer message of hope and resilience.

As I was thinking this, the next story came on.

Here I had been reveling, all day, in memories of camping. Feeling the fever as the wonderful weather set in. I had been hoping for a camping trip soon – if not even just across town to the campground.

And then the image on the TV . . . made me tear up.

A modern day tent city.

Outside of Sacramento.

Growing at a rate of 50 a day.

Middle Class citizens whose jobs had dissipated from beneath them.

California. Washington. Nevada. Georgia. Points in between.

Not my photo; AP press photo

My heart aches for their:

Loss ~ Despair ~ Worry

I am not sure as to what I a can do for those in these cities that are not nearby, but I did find this list here.

And maybe just helping bring more attention to a growing desperate problem with be a little help in and of itself.

"He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor." 1 Samuel 2:8

Wordless Wednesday - Look Alikes

I am wordless. I took the dare over at Muse Swings. She dared folks to try out the Celebrity Look-alikes at My Heritage website.

I did.

I am wordless . . . .

Ok, not completely wordless . . .

William Shatner????

Puhleeeeeaase. Let's see, the number to the plastic surgeon is . . .

Monday, March 9, 2009


I have camping on my mind! I know I posted Monday on a camping trip, but this kind of weather just does that to me, so I have to travel back in time for more phun!

The boys and I loaded up in 2001 for the second annual camping trip with our friends. This time it was to Tallula Gorge in North Georgia.

The group was somewhat smaller, but plenty of kids and great weather. Camping areas were set and as the kids took off playing, the adults started gathering and enjoying the company.

I love kids and camping!

In between the trees behind the camping spots, the kids became entranced with a project. Not one or two kids, but the whole lot of them.

Monday Memory - Camping With Tikes

Gayle at Planet M Files is hosting a memory day! This is good, because as I have been looking for one particular picture, I have found a host of great memories. Where to land (sigh) . . . So, this is the one I am choosing. The weather is camping weather here and so why not a camping memory.

After my divorce, I did go back to the house I left and grabbed one more item. The tent! I was taking the boys camping! We took a trip close by first. Went great. I then ventured out to a four day trip to the beach the following spring. At the time, there was a new gal in the cubicles where I worked. She had heard me planning the trip and heard the details when we returned. Turned out she and her family camped, and planned an annual weekend trip every fall with family and friends from Georgia and North Carolina. She invited us to join them on their trip in October to Lake Hartwell (Georgia/South Carolina line). A start to a great friendship.

October came and off we headed after work one Friday. What a great weekend. The camping sites were lined up along the water (which was down considerably) It was shorts weather, not necessarily swimming weather, at least not for most of the adults. But that did not stop a single child from jumping in.

See that red clay above? Oh how I wish I could have found the picture of The Man in his kahki shorts - the whole seat of the britches were stained red from sliding down the bank. A true Gain detergent commercial.

Demolition D was 7 and The Man was 4. All the kids played hard. There was time in the water, time on the playground time running between the camp sites, domino games . . .
And time for . . . .

Roasting Marshmallows

We should have taken a full group picture - there were about 30 of us, kids and adults.
A great trip, new friends made, great fun and another fun memory!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Photo Phun Phriday - Holy Bear

Time to play with Carries Foto Fiesta!!!

My Dad.
My Dad and his bear.
My Dad and his bear just a swingin'.
My Dad and his bear just a swingin' on the porch of his workshop.
The bear is an old target that one of my dad's friends gave to him, after having been a target for awhile and full of holes.
You could say he is a holy bear!
Well, near the edge of my parents property is a wooded area. This is where the holy bear has resided for many years, propped up next to a tree, watching the woods and every now and then catching a visitor off guard. One time, my grandmother was visiting from Colorado, watching her spot the bear and checking it out was quite entertaining. So was laughter when she she realized it was not a real bear.
Apparently the bear has been moved. I do not know why. But I did get this picture from my Dad's phone the other day, and well, thought it was phun!!
Happy Friday To All!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Does Vacation and Nightmare Go Hand In Hand?

Rhonda is having a contest!
The invitation is to share your Vacation Nightmares. . .

Got a good one to share? Travel here, and join in!

Now, time to travel back in time to . . .

Several months after Will and I married, it was decided to plan a “blended” family vacation. Now, we had been on vacations before, Will’s mom has a home a couple blocks from the beach on the Gulf. But this trip was to be a road trip. A trip longer than the three and half hour trek to the beach.

Options were narrowed down to Disney, the Grand Canyon, Washington D.C. Disney and the age difference in the kids seemed like a stretch at the time which left us with the Grand Canyon and D.C. Well, hubbies adventurous side was the Grand Canyon and possibly camping our way there. I did not come out and give my emphatic no, just kind of delicately expressed my concerns. In my mind, I could imagine the 6 of us in the mini van traipsing cross country cooped up in that van and sleeping on the ground each night. In my mind the image of arriving at the Grand Canyon, getting out and having one or more of the kids look and say “Ok, that is big, can we go, what is next ?” produced, in my mind, a not so wonderful feeling and the image of someone being swallowed by the canyon! So we steered our way to Washington D.C.

Planning and saving began. The kids were excited. I had my notebook of options. Places to visit, restaurants to eat and where to stay.

Plans were made to leave on a Saturday morning – 6:30 a.m. Kids were given the time. Ocho and Traveler were at their mom’s house that week, but were coming on Friday night before we were to leave. Times were set, so all could be loaded into the van and we could know everything was set.

Then reality started to set in. After . . .

#1 Ocho and Traveler did not get to our house until 10:00p.m. Friday night. That is several hours later than we had expected. They arrived only to leave again because they needed something from the store. They left and did not get back until after 11:00. So much for having everything packed and ironed out and all of rested for the early morning.

#2: About an hour and half into the trip, the next morning, from the back seat, a voice carries through the van “when can we stop at a laundry mat?” Traveler’s only clean clothes were the ones she was currently wearing. All that was packed was dirty. I will not elaborate any more on this. Gotta give her her dignity.

#3: 265 rounds of Boston’s song “Amanda”

#4: 264 rounds of “kiss the sky”

#5: A claiming of the back seat and the mad dash by four kids every time there was a stop

#6: Trying to find a restaurant for every meal that would appeal to a vegetarian. Said
vegetarian not delighted if a stop did not have as many meat free choices as the

#7: Naivety on the planners part – you really don’t have to walk everywhere in DC. There is a metro that runs all over the place. Too bad we did not notice the signs to the stations before the next to the last day

#8: Me- getting in trouble twice: The Smithsonian Air Museum. Never take a picture BEFORE going thru security (there were no signs posted and the airplane hanging above was cool); And the National Archives. They stress “NO LIGHTS, NO FLASHES.” Note: new digital camera has a green light that comes on whether or not you use the flash. Security guy was stern but did not take my camera. I had no idea there was a green light until after that.

#9: It was hot! DC in July is HOT!

After all that many other little issues . . .

We are up for the last day in DC. The van is packed and after DC we are headed to Kitty Hawk. First stop: the Lincoln Memorial. But we missed the turn so we ended up at our second stop first: Arlington Cemetery.

We attended the changing of the guard. Amazing! As soon as it finishes, Traveler comes straight up to her dad, showing signs of teenage indifference and says “can we go now?” So much for the solemn moment that had just finished. As she and Ocho head back to the welcome center, Demolition begins a tirade of why does he have to go with us. We change our plans of seeing Grant’s home and head on to the kids. It is decided to walk across to the Lincoln Memorial. By now it is lunch time. We are all hungry. We arrive to the Lincoln Memorial and all, but Will, plop down against a column and rest. Tired. Hot. Hungry. We notice the sky is getting darker and dark clouds are coming from the Arlington side.

I refused to walk back. We were all tired, we would just have to get a taxi. So we all crowded into a taxi and headed back to Arlington’s parking lot. We piled out of the car and off the kids dashed to the van in their hurry to claim the back seat.

Demolition D and The Man arrived first proudly claiming their spot to get in first. The doors were unlocked, and in their quest to get the back seat, the older kids knocked and smooshed the younger ones out of the way. Oh did the tears fall and the crying and anger surface.

Will being the patient soul he is, gently coaxed Demolition D from the van, telling the older ones to move, and talked with him away from the van. D decided he was fine, but he was not, and rudely pushed past Will telling him “don’t worry about it” and marched to the van, jumped in and began to close the door in Will’s face.

Well the patient soul let loose to tired, hungry, frustrated Will! As that door was being shut in his face, in the middle of his sentence, he grabbed the handle, yanked it open and . . .

The door came off the track in his hand!

Everyone’s eyes were as big of saucers. The older ones still had not left the van as they had been told, they left then. The Man left. The kids huddled around the columns of the parking deck – the parking deck that we were not parked under, but out from.

I walked around the van to see the door hung by one bolt, hubby holding it up, somewhat dumbfounded.

Remember that dark cloud?

One overhead clap of thunder and the bottom fell out! So there stood Will, in the rain, holding onto the van door as I scrambled for an umbrella. God smiled on the situation. A very kind fella named Hank, from Cincinnati, and his wife, were in their car, under the parking deck, and came to the rescue. The other wife and I stood holding umbrellas over our fellas as they managed to get the door back on track. They never said how much of the family clash they witnessed, that we will never know, but we are thankful for their compassion.

The kids quietly entered the van, the older kids in the middle, not the back, and we were back on the road.

About thirty minutes down the road, on our way to Kitty Hawk, Will and I started giggling and then laughing. All the ire had subsided and all seemed pretty silly. Traveler of course, did not appreciate our sense of humor in it, yet, but the story has provided much entertainment for others. And all of us laugh about it now, even Traveler! There were a few more happenings on the time left on the trip, but all and all, nothing could surpass the parking lot at Arlington Cemetery.

The Faces Say It All

All trips since have been to the beach!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Three Seasons, One Weekend

But we ended with winter . . .

The snow sputtered here, but about 40 miles away and North thru the state, snow accumulated!

After Church last night, I asked Ocho if he would mind calling his mom to see how much snow was at her home and did they think it would last til today.

I was planning a snow day for the boys!!

Snow was on the ground (8:30p.m.) but it was starting to melt. Ocho and his girlfriend decided to head up there and have snowball fight and invited us. With just a second of hesitation, we dressed, hats, gloves and such gathered and out the door we went for our destination 45 miles way . . .

Girlfriend, Ocho and The Man-trying to look all gangsta!!

So instead of just finding a spot with snow, we ended up at my husband's ex wifes home having a snow ball fight. He hit right after getting out of the truck . . . by his ex wife. It is nice to be able to have some simple fun in a way that many could not-no colliding . . .

So the weekend ended with a slushy snow ball fight . . . .
The sun is shining, it is still chilly - in the low 50's but the warm up is coming.
For me and my day off? I am now holed up in our LONG on going project - the airstream. Why? Not because I am working on it, but ...
I am hiding . . .
Hiding from a teen band resurrected...
Ocho has brought together a couple of friends, and well, the bass works, the drums work, the amp works . . . and some of the songs are recognizable these days, so there is improvement! But oh is it loud ... glad he goes to work soon so I don't have to insist on a cease fire.
As for the airstream? It muffles the head banging tunes, but turns out you can only connect to wireless in the bathroom -by the window- glad the shower seat is comfortable.