Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Comfortable and Relaxing Spot

Well the deck is officially occupied! We are so excited about having some comfortable furniture to sit on. We will be able to comfortable seat about fourteen . With a card table another four people.Take note of the pretty planter....it drains onto the ground between the decks. I love that. Don't think we will have trouble having something growing there. It gets sun for part of the afternoon. I will be looking for the perfect group of flowers to put out there. I want to resist cluttering it up out there. Maybe a couple large pots would be nice to replace the two plastic ones....but I don't want a lot of stuff out there. Wind chimes might be a nice touch. Now we need the electrician to come and put in some lights on the steps and also a few plugs.

I know Jim feels good about this. He has been wanting to build something for years. I think he enjoys doing the larger things like this rather than furniture....but I do want him to build me some book shelves to replace the junky Wal-mart ones I have and also a coffee table for the family room to match the end tables he made so many moons ago. Oak was much cheaper then so the coffee table will probably be twice as much as both end tables together.
We are going to enjoy this deck....already I have found it a relaxing place to sit and read the mail after school and hug on my pup. We have some friends to come hang out a bit....no big shin digs yet. We will need to get a bigger grill for that. We are anxious for Josh and Randi to come and see.
It was worth the wait...even if the wait was about 20 years!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Yum, yum, yum!!!

Below...host and hostess with the mostest!! Great food, great company and a debate toboot. Friday was a fun time. Thanks guys!

It isn't often a person gets to sample a gourmet dinner, but on Friday evening the Convilles had Jim and I over for pork chops...grilled to just the right temp inhanced with a chipotle glaze and cheese grits....not to chipotleish....it was juuuuusssstttttt right. The salad was fresh baby greens with strawberries and a raseberry vinegarette. It was just perfect. After dinner Lora worked her magic and carmelized some sugar, added bananas and poured it over a thick chocolate brownie....with ice cream along side.....YummMMMM!!!! It was worthy of Bon aPetite Magazine. Then we settled down to watch the Presidential debate. Sophie had a great time, too. There are only a couple of places we can have this much fun and take our dog, too!! It was a great way to spend a Friday night!!! Helen and Carroll loved it, too.

Sorry the last shot is sideways. I can't get it to turn over....frustration!!!

You Are Here

I have a theory... no longer do Americans live in a world that really touches the senses. We can't feel the blogosphere, we can't smell the blogosphere, nor can we taste it. ("Blogosphere" can mean anything we do when we are on the net.) We see... and sometimes we hear when we are on our laptops, but the rest of our senses are just not being stimulated. Just think...before TV, people experienced even more of their senses. They were engaged in the real world....a world that is not sanitized....a world which was REAL.

I marvel at the road humans have traveled since just before TV until this moment. The fruits of electricity have changed us so much...and a lot for the good, but I can't help but look back and wonder what we are losing. The global village can be a bit cold, yet it enables us to be close to people we rarely "see" in person. Good/Bad...the digital age brings both our way. I feel fortuate to have been raised in a time when we spent our time outside until forced to come in the house. We spent our summers smelly as dogs playing...playing hard...not checking out our friends on Facebook....and I think we were the better for it.

I have had a great weekend as I have been away from the "boob tube" and have had wonderful and stimulating conversation with people who are special to me. Spending time outside chatting with people who drop by for a visit is great! This deck/porch Jim built for me might get me in touch with the human race again...at least people over the age of 13!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Almost there....

Jim has done a great job..... and he has all the gates done, both sets of steps and the railings....he still needs to put in some screws.....we are looking for a table. That may have to wait until spring. Nobody is selling furniture at this time. If you see any out there in the world let me know. I have always wanted a front porch....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Congrats to Zoe on her Graduation!

Just in hot off the press.....Zoe Mae Smith has GRADUATED!! (She is one of Sophie's nearest and dearest.) After weeks of grueling training and string cheese treats Zoe has passed her finals and even got a trophy for Most Improved in her class! I am so impressed.

Here is Zoe Mae Smith before puppy school....wild as a March hare! haha Seriously, I couldn't imagine why Zoe had to go to dog college. Sophie is the one with the wild streak.

This acutally looks like a lot of fun, but I can't imagine Sophie not wanting to play, play, play the WHOLE time.

Zoe reminds me of granddog, Gatsby......they are both Yorkie Poos....or Porkys....take your pick. I like the way Zoe is doing her E. T. impression in this pic.....sitting up nice and straight and checking it all out. It is neat to see the variety of pups in this class. It always cracks me up cuz the little dogs don't seem to know they are little.
Next on the graduation list is Zoe's Mom, Jeananne ..aka "Jo".
We are rooting for you Dr. Jo!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jim Bob the Builder Lives Here

Jim Bob is really working hard to get this deck done. I keep telling him there is no hurry, but he likes "going to work" every morning at 7:30 and quiting about 4:30. I wonder what he will cook up to keep himself busy next. The weather last week was perfect for this .....70's and low 80's!
He is really further along than this pic shows...but ought to be done soon. He has the railings almost done...he has to secure the top deck board on the top. I wanted something nice and wide to set glasses or plates on if need be. I am in the process for looking for table and chairs. I love teak but that is very expensive....sooooooo we will see. Not too many places are selling patio/deck furniture this time of year.....but I will be looking around. I would like something that weathers well that is for sure. I know.....maybe Jim can build a big round table....round is always good! That'll keep him busy until Spring.

I am sitting on the deck right now and the squirrels are trying to drop acorns on my head. They do this every night about this time...crazy!!!! It is napalm. (sp?) Nuts! Sophie loves it ...chases the acorns around. It will be nice when the railings are all done and she will be able to run around on the deck without a rope. The hummingbirds also play dive bomb at my head. The critters are just gonna have to get used to us being out here more. This is too nice not to inhabit. I think they are really trying to run us out. Sophie loves it out here, too.

Think we are going to go check on Dr. Dale in a little bit. He is still in the hospital and we need to go see him and Helen....just to check in.

The legacy of Gustav and Ike are these dad blasteted mosquitoes. Thank God for OFF!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Friends with fuzz

I just took this picture of Sophie....she is a sweet girl who is always looking for someone to play with. Luckily she had a romp today with her gal pal, Lucia, who was visiting from Jackson.

I know this may sound nutty, but sometimes your dog is the only "person" who really understands....well, other than the Lord, naturally....but the Lord gives us our little "fuzz buddies" to comfort us and just give us someone to hug. I just think He created them to be that way....man's best friend.
Well, the Tech game is over and Tech won!!!! Yipee!!! I guess we can "hit the sack". I have been awake since 3:30 AM and my brain is not working so well. Maybe tomorrow I will write an entry....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I have been reading a lot!! These are the books I have read since last week. Now I know these are YA (Young Adult) novels are not something most of you would ever read, but I find them to be very enjoyable and also informative.

A great adventure story about a Boy Scout Camping Trip in Hawaii. There is an earthquake and a tsunami.....admist personality conflicts within the troup. I learned about Hawaiian folk lore along with information about the different terrain and types of lava.

This is the story of a girl who begins seeing her boy-friend as more of a boyfriend....while he starts noticing other girls at his school instead of his long time gal pal. It sounds schmaltzy, but turns out to be a sensitve treatment of a fairly common yet painful experience.

A couple of misfit kids become great friends because they are both suffereing from painful experiences in their lives. One minute they are hanging out haveing a great time and next they are at each other throats verbally trying to wound the other. Eventually they find some resolution in their respective persoanl problems and recognize their respect and love for they have for each other.

Cracker is the story of a dog trained by the Army and shipped to Vietnam. The author did her research well and we learn about the sensitive missions dogs were part of and the number of lives they helped to spare. I never knew the extrodianary lengths the dogs of Vietnam went to and the way many of them were just disposed of after their years of faithful service. It was a great story and I think girls and boys would enjoy this book.

This is the story of Cap Anderson, a boy raised in a hippie commune. When Cap's grandmother has to go into rehab for two months, for a broken hip, Cap attends public school and is voted Class President of his Jr. High....it is interesting like reading about a creature from another planet being plopped in a Jr. High.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

This Too Shall Pass

Below...other half of the "evil dead tree".

Jim and I have never had a tree hit our house...this house or our home in Illinois. We managed to get through IKE unscaithed.....but Josh and Randi living in the fine state of Texas had a run in with the dead tree across the fence in the neighbor's yard. When the winds got strong, half of that tree fell and hit the back of their house. There are actual holes in Randi's closet and the eaves are torn off the back of the house. There are numerous holes in the roof not visable when inside...other than if you are hiding in Randi's closet. There is even a hole in their chimney. We know it could have been much worse and they were counting their blessings, but it was traumatic non the less.

Now we are wondering what should be done about the other half of the "evil dead tree". The neighbor is an elderly widow who is ill and is not inclined to have it removed.....so now what?! It is leaning right toward the kitchen and next time there is a strong wind it will probably take out the breakfast nook and several windows.

Tomorrow the roofer and the contractor are going to try and figure out what exactly will need to be done and when it will be done. I am praying for a swift resolution to this problem.....and I am also praying the other half of the tree doesn't fall on another portion of the house.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Here We Go Again!!

I just can't imagine how those folks near the coast are feeling. Jim has been worrying about his friends in New Iberia at TABASCO....he called Roy today and the levey around the plant was finished a week ago.....but a lot of the people who lived right there on Avery Island really got hit HARD by Rita so now this is just too sad. I am really praying....for everyone. The latest is that Ike is nearly a category 3 and the pressure in the eye is dropping and that is very bad news. Galvaston Bay is on the bad side of the hurricane....15 or 20 feet! It is so sad....I had a bad feeling about Ike when I saw him waaaayyyyyy out there. It tracked much like Rita as it moved closer to the USA. I know it was tough on the sweet people of Cuba. Heartbreaking.

I am also praying for the people in Baton Rouge ...many people still don't have power down there. The media sure is not reporting how bad Baton Rouge got hit from Gustav......it it were New Orleans that is all we would hear about. What is the deal with that!!??

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Face Off

This is the real me in 1963.....my hair dresser calls these kind of bangs "fetus bangs"...haha I am sure I was wearing velveteen saddle shoes with different color patches.....how do I remember such things!?

1966 - I think Paul McCartney is sooooo dreamy!

1968 - I will see if Mom and Dad will let me have the car for Sr. Skip Day

(above) This is really me in 1970, but the other pics are from http://www.yearbookyourself.com/ Thanks to Sara Sullivan and Grant Terry for introducing those of us who are part of the facebook community to this nutty website! I thought it looked like fun and it was easy and quick....but here is the dumb thing.... I used my school pic from last year....so it is my 52 year old face stuck in these yearbook pics. It really doesn't make so much sense. But it is fun seeing myself in different dos from different eras. I love the hair from 1966 and 1968, but I actually think the afro looks pretty good..hahaha. Who would have thought.

Anyway...thought this was funny and thought I would share it. Lora, here is a quick way to get "your" hair back in the virtual world.

1952 - "I need to stop at Lewis's and pick up some new white gloves before we go to the luncheon."

1958 - Lois Lane look out!
1962 - I never did like wearing big cow patties on top of my head!

1964 - I was in the Future Librarians Club in '64

1978 - Soul Sista ......I could have been a back up singer for Sly Stone with hair like this!

1980 - The 80's had the strangest hair!

1990 - You can't see it here....but I have leg warmers on in this picture.

1984 - No comment....

2000 - I hate my hair in my eyes...and I am not good as a blond. This seriously does look like an old woman with a blond wig on trying to look younger. Creepy!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Freddie and Fannie Skate

Pardon me while I rant a bit.....sometimes we sit here in the bleachers in amazemennt at what is happening in our world. But wait....we are tax payers and really are not just up in the bleachers....we are all in this game whether we like it or not. Did you see the news a couple days ago?

The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, commonly known as Freddie Mac, is a privately-owned and run government sponsored enterprise (GSE) of the United States federal government. It is a stockholder-owned corporation, authorized to make loans and loan guarantees.

The Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae, is a privately owned and run government sponsored enterprise (GSE) of the United States. It is a stockholder-owned corporation authorized to make loans and loan guarantees.

On September 7, 2008, the U.S. Government took control of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Translation....the governmentt bailed them out because they were financing loans they had no place financing and went under. People took out loans on homes they really couldn't afford and they couldn't make the payments. Bottom line...it is going to cost the American people like 200 BILLION dollars because people thought they needed a house they couldn't afford. One of the talking heads said that next thing we know people will lose their live savings in Las Vegas and the govt will be expected to bail them out. Crazy! I think this is insane and here is the scary part....now those same people will turn around and do the same thing because they have that govt safety net.....a net made up of all of our tax dollars coming from those who handle their money responsibly and don't live in homes their pay checks don't support. Yes, I know it is terrible for those people facing this financial problem. We have had some tough times also. What a shame the govt can't keep us all safe, happy, healthy, and we can all live in beautiful homes of our choices. Womb to tomb..... I am not saying I handle money perfectly, but I rarely use my charge card and I have never had things I can't afford. I don't think the govt "fixing" this thing will help in the long run. I guess I see it as a parent who gets their delinquent kid out of jail every time they get into trouble....the kid keeps getting into trouble...and govt will have to keep on "fixing" everything and our children and grandchildren will inherit a country in financial ruin.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

We Have Steppage.....

It is so much healthier to walk down steps rather than jumping down and feel your knees buckle...Sophie loves the steps cuz now she can go to the lower deck without Mom having to carry her....cuz like all toddlers she is very independent.

This was pre Gustav and in the back ground I put a red arrow on a tree that fell....it was a little tree, but now it is like a big empty hole is there! I can see the neighbor's house really well now. We need to know of a good fast growing tree...that is not messy or causes trouble...with good roots. I know mimosas grow fast, but I am not crazy abou them...they are sorta messy to me.Jim Frazier and Jim A. were talking about doing the steps. Jim F. gave Jim A. some good pointers. It was clouding up and the rain started just after they left....that night we lost power.

This is post Gustav....Jim worked all day Friday on steps...and I would call it successful! You are probably wondering why we didn't put the eight foot steps to the left corner...your left.....instead of the right corner of the top deck. Well, I know there was going to be a side with a railing and I didn't want to see railing when I was sitting on the sofa looking out at the lower deck. I really don't want there to be railing at all....deck looks so nice floating out there. It would have been better to have the steps on the other corner....sorry. I sorta wanted the steps to go all the way across, but then we would have had to return the wood and get longer boards and I got the impression Jim thought 8 foot width for the steps was plenty wide enough. I think he did a great job....especially since he never did steps before. This whole deck building thing has been a learning experience for sure.