Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.


Friday, July 31, 2009

It's off shopping for school clothes for Mary! Last year we scored big at The Children's Place at the outlet mall in Commerce. Hoping for a repeat performance today.

Got this in the e-mail this morning. Gotta love it. Happy Friday!!!

John Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (made in Japan) for 6 am. While his coffeepot (made in China) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (made in Hong Kong). He put on a dress shirt (made in Sri Lanka), designer jeans (made in Singapore) and tennis shoes (made in Korea). After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (made in India), he sat down with his calculator (made in Mexico) to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (made in Taiwan) to the radio (made in India), he got in his car (made in Germany), filled it with GAS (from Saudi Arabia ) and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB. At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day checking his Computer (made in Malaysia), John decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals (made in Brazil), poured himself a glass of wine (made in France) and turned on his TV (made in Indonesia), and then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in America. And now he's hoping he can get help from a President Made in Kenya.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blogger Mystery Solved on Facebook

I have a confession to make. I have become a Facebook junkie. I used to laugh at people who couldn't be away from their computers or blackberry phones without going into DTs, because of Twitter and Facebook. I even posted about the silliness of tweeting. I must confess that I finally surrendered and signed up for Twitter. It was a special moment. Ha. Not really. I only did it thinking I could keep up with Whitney and her family while they were at the beach. But she was so busy having fun she didn't tweet at all. Apparently I signed up for Facebook a while back, but didn't remember doing so (Ain't senility grand...), because when I attempted to set up an account, that "email address already exists on Facebook." Whatever. At any rate, I signed up, and was a bit disappointed. It just didn't *feel* right, and I found myself confused at who could see what, etc. Finally I got the hang of it, and must admit that oftentimes during the day, I FEEL THE NEED to hop over there for just a minute and see what's going on. And to see if anyone has written me to say how beautiful my grandbabies are. It really has been fun to click on a friend, then see who their friends are, and who their friends are.... etc.... until I find myself so deeply embedded within the bowels of Facebook that I wonder if I'll ever find my way home. At least I don't have to worry with leaving bread crumbs. There's a handy-dandy little button up at the top of the page that says "Home". After all. There really is No Place Like Home.

But I digress. You probably want to know what the mystery is about, and how it was solved on Facebook. When readers post comments on this (most) blogs, there are several methods of identification. You can sign as an anonymous poster, or use your google sign in (on this one) and one other way... it escapes me right now. I have encouraged my anonymous-commenting friends to please type their name at the end of the comment, so I can know who in the world is reading my blog, and talking to me. I have a little widget at the bottom left-hand side of the blog that keeps a list of blog hits. Doesn't tell me the name, but the city or network of every blog hit. Man. That drives me crazy. I have people all over the world who pop in to read my blog. And I wanna know who they are!! Especially if someone posts a comment. Come on, ya'll... don't you know I inherited the Snoop Sister gene from my mom and aunts... I must know! Don't leave me in suspense!! Sometimes someone will come here from Google when searching for random things like "buzzards", or "carport makeovers". I sometimes wonder what these people think when they click on my blog and see pictures of my grandbabies or read my rant about the weatherman, or my rambling about childhood memories. I'd venture to say it probably wasn't what they were Googling for.

Back to FB. I have looked up many old school friends and reconnected. I've had some old school friends look me up and we've connected. What fun! Tonight I was going to make my routine "quick stop" on FB before showering and crankin' up the CPAP. Lo and behold, I had a new friend request!! I was delighted to accept, as I hadn't heard from this person in a very long time. Let's just call her Cindy P. When I signed onto FB to accept her request, there was a message that said something to the effect that she had been keeping up with me by reading my blog! How wild is that!! We did the live-chat thing for a few minutes... and whaddyaknow... she was one of the mystery commentors!!! It was such fun talking to her and catching up. Hope to do it again sometime soon. She was so sweet to ask about Delores and say that she had been praying for her.

So here's to you, my mystery friend... I mean Cindy P.. How wonderful to *see* you on Facebook!! Now, sign your name next time you post a comment, okay???

And speaking of Delores, please, please keep the family in your prayers. She is three weeks into the clinical trial, and the going is starting to get a little rough. To make matters worse, Mama Jo (her and DJs mom) is in very, very bad shape at Emory Eastside, with a very poor prognosis. Just a really tough time for them right now.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What a Great Day!

Today was a great day. Coffee on the deck with DJ & David to start out the day. Afterward, as I was getting ready to deliver a batch of work, Leyland said, "Where you goin' Greemaw?" When I told her, she said, "Can I go too?" So I had myself the cutest little helper today as I made the delivery. Some special Leyland/Greemaw time for just the two of us. She also "helped" me purchase some postage stamps and get into the mail a birthday card for a friend. She was so excited to drop the card into the slot, and was very proud of herself. After that, I got a few chores done, had a nap, and then back to DJ's for dinner (a David steak, giant baked potato and yummy salad.) More time on the deck after dinner, then home for some baby love and House marathon on tv. Now it's bath time, and I do believe I hear Mr. Sandman rambling about, so I'm hoping for a good night's rest, and sleeping in tomorrow morning. My goodness. I just love Fridays!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Just Stuff

Okay, so I've got to post something. Anything. To get rid of the picture of the horrid fly that I see every time I open my blog. That's the thing about blogs. They just sit there dormant if you don't write something. So here's my blog post for today:
Jesus love me this I know!

For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong.

They are weak, but He is strong!

That's way better, huh?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Crazy Flies

There are a lot of disgusting things in this world. Very high on my list of Most Disgusting Things Ever is the common housefly. And the not-s0-common ones. I'm not crazy about spiders either, but at least the spider has a good use. One being that he eats flies!! I can't think of one single thing a fly is good for. They are nasty, disgusting, creepy, maddening, gross, icky little critters. A couple of weekends ago, Whitney and Dustin had some friends over for a cookout/swim party. This meant multiple people in and out of my house on multiple occasions. All afternoon, and all evening. Some of our dear friends don't quite get the concept of In or Out. They seem to park themselves inside the door frame, with both the interior and the exterior doors wide open, as if to offer refuge for any poor insect who may be buzzing nearby. And I do believe that every winged flying creature for miles around found its way into my home that day. And I believe that they sent out little bug vibes to all their creepy little friends that this was a nice place to live, and to please hover about the doorway and sneak in every time someone enters or exits the house for the next two weeks. For two weeks I was a fly-swat wielding, foaming-at-the-mouth, Bug Terminating Fool, trying to rid the place of the nasty little things. Honestly. It was to the point that I was afraid the babies would start catching them at the window sill... and we know what babies do with things they pick up... EEEWWWW... I couldn't stand it! I don't know if flies actually sleep at night or not. I think what they did was congregate around a little fly campground somewhere behind my desk, and discuss ways in which to torture me the following day. They would dive at my head while I'm trying to work. They land on whatever it is you're trying to eat, or on the table top, or the trays to the kids' high chairs. N.A.S.T.Y. And it's not enough, to have one kind of fly. Oh no, there are many variations. You have your regular old housefly, that's just a nasty nuisance, but pretty dumb. He'll buzz against the window, trying to get out, and even with all those fly-eyes all over his head, you can still come up behind him with a paper towel, pick him up, and just squeeze the buzz right out of him. There's the Poop Fly, the one that you see partying around dog poop (But their favorite is fresh cow poop... I have seen them in the pasture when Daddy Bill used to have cows. They party like it's 1999.) The ones with the horrid looking green heads. Fortunately, there were none of those in my house, though I'm surprised... I mean we have a virtual poop factory here with a baby and a toddler: one who not-quite totally poopy potty trained yet, and one not at all... but thankfully those flies have left us alone. Then there is the Crazy Fly. I know that is the name of it, because I was telling my mom about them, and she said that's what Mamma Nay called them. So it's official. These flies are a bit larger than the common housefly. Their buzz is very loud, louder than a bee. And they are crazy. They fly at a frantic pace, and if in a small room, will flail themselves against the wall/mirror/window in an effort to.... an effort to what? I have no idea. Maybe they are trying to escape. Maybe they are trying to commit fly suicide. Surely they must know how badly we hate them. I mean, if I thought someone hated me as badly as I hate flies, I'd be flailing myself against the wall too. A few minutes ago I noticed a Crazy Fly in my kitchen, as I was preparing a lovely dinner in the crock pot. NOT what you want to see when you are preparing food!!! I swear... that fly HOVERED at my face. I thought it was a bee attacking me! I couldn't believe it. He followed me into my office and landed on my window, from where I was lucky enough to capture and destroy him. At least he wasn't kamakaze-ing all over the place. I think the next time one of those Crazy Flies gets in my office, I'll set up the video camera. I'm sure the picture of me chasing it with the fly swat, sometimes just swinging into empty airspace, could surely win the Funny Videos Contest. And if we can have sound, that would be great too. Although I might not want anyone to hear what I am saying as I am swishing my bright red swatter through the air....

But, if keeping the fly population at bay isn't an issue at your house (and I'm happy to report we are under control now, except for the occasional rogue one like today), and if you don't have the disgust for them that I do, then let me introduce you to a plush version of my winged nemesis. Yes, indeed. For a small monetary donation, you can be the proud owner of your very own STUFFED HOUSEFLY!!!! I'm sure that little jewel just flies right off the shelf at the toy store!!! (Hey... wasn't that the best pun ever!!!)

Oh no... I think I hear buzzing in the distance... I must retrieve my swatter and investigate...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dictation Guidelines

So much of what happens in healthcare goes on behind the scenes. Things that the patients never realize. For example, there are rules of style that apply to my profession, and we are expected to abide by those rules. Our job security depends on it. For pretty much every function within a hospital or clinic, there are SOPs, or Standard Operating Procedures. While I had never seen this particular set of guidelines before, intended for the physicians who dictate our medical reports, I ran across it and thought I'd post it, just so you'd know that they, too, are held to certain expectations. (cough... sputter...)


Dictation Guidelines for Physicians:

Adherence to these guidelines will assure the highest quality transcribed reports in the shortest amount of time.

~When your cell phone rings, please do not hit the pause button on the dictate station. We love to hear you fighting with your spouse, or yelling at your kids. It makes us work faster and more carefully. We don't want you mad at us.

~When certain bodily functions happen, please don't bother to be discreet, and by all means, don't bother to say excuse me. We rather enjoy the sound, and are so happy that you feel better.

~At the beginning of the dictation, take as deep a breath as you possibly can. Now, try to dictate the entire report before you have to inhale again.

~Gum? Sure! Pass it around to all your dictating doctor friends. The sound of your tongue carressing the wad in your mouth is a perfect background to the indecipherable lab results and bacteria species that you're dictating!

~When dictating a particularly difficult word or phrase, please turn your head and speak directly into your armpit.

~If you have to sneeze or cough suddenly, please remove your head from your armpit and sneeze or cough directly into the microphone.

~We charge per character, including periods. An effective way to cut your cost is to dictate your entire report as one sentence.

~If you must eat while you dictate, please stay away from foods such as marshmallows, bananas, and pudding. Apples, pretzels, and celery are much better choices.

~Please don’t stop dictating when you yawn. It throws off our rhythm.

~When dictating in your car, turn the radio up a little bit louder. We love to tap our feet while we're working. And when you forget to turn off your recorder, sing a little louder. You really have a nice voice.


Most of the physicians in this town do pretty darn good with these guidelines!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Anniversary Apollo 11

It was 40 years ago today that the infamous words were spoken: "The Eagle Has Landed". Last year on this date I posted about the moon walk. So, rather than re-write a post that would say basically the same thing, I decided to plagiarize myself. Happy Anniversary!
(Originally posted July 20, 2008)

"Magnificent Desolation". Those were the words Buzz Aldrin used to describe the landscape on the surface of the moon as he stepped off the Lunar Module. A few moments earlier, Neil Armstrong had just planted the first human footprint on the face of the moon. His famous statement, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind", would become symbolic for that historic moment. (I kind of like the "Magnificent Desolation" remark my ownself!) I remember that date well. Not necessarily because I was so enthralled by history in the making, but because my parents made me stop playing and come watch the moon walk on TV. I remember that it was evening. Not because I looked at the clock, or because anything at all about the situation impressed me. I remember that it was evening because we were at the lake, and we had our clothes on. My cousins, Sharon and Jeff, and I were upstairs playing a board game. At the appointed time, we rolled our eyes at each other and very reluctantly left our game to go and watch "that stupid, boring, astronaut thing" on TV. We didn't even go all the way downstairs. I vividly remember crouching on the highest step possible (so as to return quickly to my play) that would afford me a view of the television. A little black and white number, it was, with rabbit ears. At that time the lake house was simply a weekend getaway, with few of the nicer comforts of home, like a big television set! At any rate, we were "forced" to watch the snowy image on the screen, as our parents, aunts and uncles sat leaning forward in their seats, holding their breath, taking in every second of the event. We watched him take a few steps, hop a few times, and then made a hasty retreat back to our fun. Our parents had informed us earlier in the day that we would be required to watch it. They told us that one day we would be able to say we witnessed the First Man On The Moon. Big, hairy deal. We were SO not interested… but we were at least relieved that it would not interfere with our swimming and skiing. You see, THAT's how I know it was in the evening. We were upstairs playing, out of our swimsuits, and not down at the water. Now, all these years later, I do think it is really cool that I'm able to say I witnessed the First Man On The Moon, and that I'm old enough to remember all the hooplah that went along with it... unimpressed though I was at the time. So today is the 39th anniversary of a big day for the United States of America. I suppose next year there will be a big 40th anniversary party, and I'll bet the 50th anniversary will be an even bigger bash. Way to go, Apollo 11 guys! Just like my mama said I would be, I'm really glad I watched. I'd love to know more about space travel, the stars, planets and the workings of the cosmos, but that will have to wait. I've got to get back upstairs and finish my game.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Saturday was probably my most favorite day of the year so far. First of all, I slept til 9:00. Yay!! I figured by sleeping so late, though I had probably missed out on Coffee On The Deck at DJs, but a quick phone call assured me that she was still enjoying the morning. I grabbed my flavored water, a SlimFast Bar, and headed over to what has become my favorite place... DJs deck. To my delight, David's breakfast run was also late- they were finishing up their biscuits and had one waiting for me. Man. Now, that's how to spoil a girl. The weather was absolutely perfect! Perfect temperature, perfect (hardly any!) humidity, and the perfect gentle breeze blowing through the trees. Normally we will sit and chat for an hour or so on Saturday morning, then get busy with our day. Neither of us was in a hurry on this particular morning, so we had a long, leisurely visit. Before we knew it the clock said 1:10 pm! What a lovely way to pass the morning. I'm so thankful for my extended family and the companionship we share. Love that deck, DJ!!! David, don't even THINK about cutting down that tree!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ahh Fridays!

Sleeping in was wonderful this morning! It is so nice to wake up without a headache every day, and I'm attributing that to the CPAP. The headaches would be especially bad on the rare mornings when I would sleep in. Today I feel well rested, headache free, and thankful for all my blessings! Even my messy room is a blessing- it means I have a home. But I'm having a hard time getting the motivation to clean it up. I do love a neat and tidy room. It's just getting it there and maintaining it that I have trouble with. I might even d.u.s.t. today. Don't tell DJ. She's got enough stress on her these days. Let's spare her the thought that I may actually lift a dustcloth. My mom will be pleased though. Now the question remains... will I actually do it? I think once I get moving and get things done, I'll want to go ahead and complete the project. There's a plethora of attic-bound things that must be dealt with, and some scrapbook items that need to be returned to the craft room. My bathroom needs some attention, and some laundry awaits folding. Hmmm. I think I shall have a busy day. I'll be doing the greemaw thing tonight- Whit and Dustin are going to see Harry Potter with some friends. That means lots of bedtime snuggles, and hopefully a quiet evening once they go to sleep.

I talked to Delores last night, and she was feeling okay. Rather tired, as they are keeping her busy at the center, and now she has officially started the treatments. Please remember her in your prayers. She'll be taking treatments twice weekly.

Happy Anniversary to DJ and David!! Sixteen years! And to think... they met because of me. Some days she loves me for it, and some days wants to sock me one. Nah.. just kidding. David's one of a kind, and I guess we'll keep him.
Happy Friday, everyone!! Have a safe and happy weekend!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Crown Me

The next time I hear any variation of the word "crown", I hope it has to do with a) checkers, b) i'm being coronated, c) Leyland is playing pretend, d) I'm singin' songs about Jesus. I hope I never again hear that word associated in any way, shape, or form, with my mouth, or with my dentist. It was determined a few weeks ago that the source of my jaw pain was a crack in tooth #19, or a right lower molar. This particular tooth had tons of silver in it, from having been patched and filled many years back. I've had crowns before, and even a root canal, so I pretty much knew what was in store for me today. Though I don't relish the thought of long, sharp, pointy things penetrating my gums and pumping me up with anesthetics, neither do I freak out at the thought, and willinglingly endure the brief discomfort to ensure that the procedure itself is painless. Nitrous oxide usually helps too, and I rather enjoy the euphoric, floating feeling that goes along with it.

So, dude... what happened today??? First of all, the nitrous tank was empty. Bummer. I patiently endured the bee-sting sensation of the (three) injections. Dr. Al was ready to roll, but at the first flow of air from one of the instruments, I nearly came out of the chair. Uh oh. Two more injections needed. My gums were numb, so fortunately that didn't hurt. Waited a bit and tried again. Still no go. THREE more injections, and the warning that he couldn't give me any more. We waited another 15 minutes. So there I was, an hour and eight injections later, dreading the next attempt. Yep, I still had feeling on the inside part of my tooth. It wasn't unbearable, though, and I just sucked it up and let him have at it. Oh, my friends... it was not fun. By this time the entire right side of my face felt like a blimp, the corner of my mouth was drooping, and drooling freely. Yet my tongue was not numb, nor the inside portion of my jaw. How crazy is that! After bending the metal on the arm rests and squeezing my eyes tightly shut, and curling my toes so tightly my shoes nearly flew off, he told me "we" were almost done, but he thought "we" needed one more injection for the last portion of the procedure. Okay, Dr. Al, whatever you say. Just shoot me. Anywhere. Just hurry up and make it stop. After "we" were finished, he explained that the lower molars can sometimes be difficult to anesthetize, as there are several nerves supplying the area. Apparently mine are deeply buried under my collarbone. No wonder it hurt so badly, the tooth was cracked in four places. I sure hope this crown thing fixes it and "we" don't end up needing a root canal. I don't think "we" can stand another adventure like this.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Georgia Honors A Fallen Soldier

I remember hearing about this on the local Atlanta news, but the magnitude of this story hit me a few minutes ago when I received this e-mail from my friend Mac. If you have a moment, please click on the link and watch. This is absolutely incredible. cathyb.


Killed in action the week before, the body of Sergeant First Class John C. Beale was returned to Falcon Field in Peachtree City , Georgia , just south of Atlanta , on June 11, 2009 . The Henry County Police Department escorted the procession to the funeral home in McDonough , Georgia. A simple notice in local papers indicated the road route to be taken and the approximate time.

Nowadays one can be led to believe that America no longer respects honor and no longer honors sacrifice outside the military. Be it known that there are many places in this land where people still recognize the courage and impact of total self-sacrifice. Georgia remains one of those graceful places. The link below is a short travelogue of that day's remarkable and painful journey. But only watch this if you wish to have some of your faith in people restored. Please share widely.

Click here to see how some wonderful people in Georgia honored one of their own. (When the video opens, you may need to click once on the picture.)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Expo, Here We Come!!

This time tomorrow morning will find me sitting outside the doors of the exhibit hall, waiting for the signal to enter. Yay! One of my favorite days of the year! Girlfriend day at the Expo! This year it will probably just be DJ and I. Delores is in Texas, Tangela can't go, and Barb has a previous commitment. Mary Kay and Marynell are planning to attend, and we will meet up with them at the center. I've saved some pennies for shopping, and have a couple of things in particular that I'm hoping to find. My Expo bag is almost ready- I have energy snacks, a paper protector to avoid crumpling of any paper I may purchase, a tiny purse to hold my phone and personal items. Tomorrow morning I'll add my PBJ sandwich and some cold water to complete my Expo Survival Kit. There is food available on site, but it's expensive. We decided years ago that we'd rather save that ten bucks for shopping! After the expo we'll go out to dinner, so not to worry, we won't deprive ourselves of some good food to round out the day. The first few years are rather overwhelming, with so much to see, so many new techniques and products available. A lot of the vendors are repeats year after year, so while I love to look and see what is new with them, it has become a little easier to manage in terms of taking it all in. That's a good thing, because it leaves the brain a little room to process and enjoy the new vendors who might be there. There are all types of people at the Expo, and I enjoy the people-watching aspect of it as well. I particularly enjoy seeing the different T-shirts worn by some of the scrappers. My favorite last year was one that said "My husband lets me buy all the scrapbooking supplies I can hide!" I thought that one was cute. Elissa sent a link to a website that has all those cute shirts for sale. It was too late to order one for this year, but maybe I'll get one for next year. Of course the "husband" one doesn't apply to me, but there are other cute sayings, such as "What happens at the crop stays at the crop", "Anything you can scrap I can scrap better", "Been there, done that, have the layout to prove it", "Scrapbooking life's moments, one page at a time", etc. We will leave the Expo pumped and ready to schedule a day of scrapping down at the church, most likely with some newly-purchased supplies, just burning a hole in our pockets to be used.

Please remember to pray for Delores, who has had yet another delay in beginning treatment.

Happy Birthday tomorrow to Mama Jo!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Video Clip of Departure

Because of having to spend the afternoon in the ER a few weeks ago, I was unable to catch the band at Wild Bill's. I'm pretty sure most of you missed it too. :-] Someone videotaped one of their numbers, and posted it on YouTube. Of course, the sound quality isn't like a studio recording, but you'll get the idea of just how good they are, and how much fun they are to watch. Click here to watch. Enjoy!

Daddy Bill's Garden

When I was in 2nd grade, my parents built a house next door to my grandparents, Mama Nay and Daddy Bill. How lucky can a kid be, to live next door to Mama Nay??? I have so many fond memories of growing up in her shadow, and whatever goodness that may be found in me is, in part, certainly due to her influence. Life wasn't always a bowl of cherries, though. From mid to late summer, many of my mornings started very, very early, and my brother and I would sleepwalk our way up the path, with the dew gathering between our bare toes, to fall onto the couch at Mama Nay's house while she and our mom set about the task of canning and freezing the vegetables. Oh yeah, Daddy Bill (and my dad) had a huge garden, and every summer would find them harvesting the goods, shelling, shucking, silking, and peeling them, and then doing whatever it was they did in the kitchen to ensure that everyone had veggies for the winter. There was no air conditioning in the house, so it was necessary to start the process very early, before the heat became too oppressive. She had this big blue fan on a stand with wheels that would be moved into the kitchen, and those small, old-fashioned oscillating fans to keep them cool. Michael and I would snooze for a while, then watch Captain Kangaroo and Mister Rogers on channel 8, before going outside to play in the all-dirt front yard. I can still remember the smell of the fresh beans and peas, and how I longed to have my own personal knife and cobb of corn to play with. I was fascinated at the neat, perfectly symmetrical little "rows" of corn that slid into the bowl with each pass of the knife. And I particularly loved when the cobb was bare, my grandma would take the knife and scrape it over the cobb (I still don't know why she did that), and little pieces of corn would fly everywhere and spatter on her glasses. My fingers would itch to get into the "blanching" sink and wash the peas and butterbeans. I enjoyed watching the little plastic freezer bags being filled to the exact mark, and how happy everyone was at the neat little rows of peas sitting on the counter when the day's work was done. At the time, like most kids, I wasn't so fond of eating my vegetables, but I do remember how I loved to "work" in the garden. Daddy Bill would borrow Mr. Raymond's mule and plow up the garden each spring. I loved the smell of the freshly-broken earth, and how it felt to walk barefoot in the cool dirt. He would let me "help" plant the seeds, and taught me how to cover each little one carefully with the soil. MMM mmmm. Now I love those veggies and can still see in my mind the rows and rows of okra, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, cabbage, corn, green beans, peas, butterbeans, watermelons, peppers, and my favorites as a child... the tall, smiling faces of the sunflowers.

My dad and my Uncle Gene kept the garden going for years after Daddy Bill died, but now the patch of land lies unused. Dad stopped using it a couple of years ago, and now has a smaller garden closer to the house. I worried about him being out in the hot sun, out of view from my mom, working such a large garden anyway. Uncle Gene has a smaller garden at his house now too.

Yes, many of my childhood summer mornings were spent in this fashion. Though I didn't realize it at the time, growing one's own food supply is something to be proud of, and I'm thankful for all the sweat and labor (and the memories!) that went into the preparation, maintenance, harvest and preservation of Daddy Bill's Garden.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Photos From The 4th

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Cute Outfit!

Little man with red-white-and-blue star garland.

This is what 4th of July fireworks look like in NYC.

This is what they look like at The 409.

Leyland just wanted to blow hers out.

Kiddie Pool Heaven

Can you say Playground?

Isaac and Mary playing with sparklers

Leyland and her sparkler.

Leyland, Mary and Isaac.

Gavin and Copeland enjoying the baby pool.

Sweet, sparkling Mary.

Guys cooking burgers and playing with kids.

Franchesca and Destiny

Angela and Kate

Angela and Travis

Burgers, anyone?

A view of my tiny garden from the side.

What a tiki torch should look like.

What a tiki torch should NOT look like!

What is left of the torch holder.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Greemaw and The Little Man

My Facebook post for today: Freedom! Purchased by the blood of men over 200 years ago. Maintained by the blood, sweat and tears of men and women every day thereafter. While you and I eat barbecue and hamburgurs, watch fireworks and visit with friends, someone, somewhere, is standing watch... preserving that right, and protecting this freedom. Thank a soldier for the opportunity to celebrate the birth of our nation. Be safe! Happy 4th!
Whitney, Dustin, Leyland and Mary spent the day tubing in Helen. This meant I had The Little Man all to myself. I really enjoyed spending the day with him. We listened to the music tv channels. First we tried out the Sounds of the Season channel, where we enjoyed patriotic Sousa marches, then on to Toddler MTV. (Seriously... there is a cable channel with toddler music!), danced,clapped to the beat (sorta). We played Lucky, Lucky, Ride A Little Horsey, Peek-A-Boo, Hide-Under-The-Blanket, and all manner of Grandma games and silliness. I found a new tickle spot behind his ear, and reveled in his sweetness. After his bath, I put on his little USA outfit, and he was gracious enough to pose for some photos. What a sweet little man!Shortly after he went to sleep, the rest of the family arrived home... totally worn out, after a full day of tubing. Leyland took the airborne route through the swift water that runs right through town... fortunately straight into the arms of an attendant, who quickly restored her back onto the tube with her mommy. I think it scared Whitney more than Leyland!

Obviously, we didn't make it to any of the fireworks festivities this evening. That's my favorite part of the holiday tradition, and I missed going. We watched it in HD on TV, though. I must say, once it was all over, I was really glad I didn't go, and be stuck in traffic somewhere for hours. There will be pictures, though... I took photos of the television! Seriously silly, but you know I gotta have a picture of fireworks for the scrapbook! Even if I had to take photos of the TV!! Once it was all over, we went outside to finish off the sparklers left over from last night.
And speaking of last night... Whitney and Dustin invited some friends over to grill some burgers and try out the pool they have put up in the back yard. Oh, yes, it was a veritable children's playground. Two kiddie pools, a sand box, and a climbing thingy with a sliding board. Having company is a good thing... the house gets a good cleaning. My patio has been in disarray far longer than I intended. The freezer has been on the patio since construction began on my new room. That was in January. We've been trying to get it indoors for months now, and finally got it done this week. I established a new little flower bed. It still looks "newly planted", but when the plants relax a little and get some new growth, I think it will be pretty. I sure hope so. My muscles keep reminding me of how hard I worked. Have you ever planted flowers by moonlight? Yep, we worked far into the morning with preparations. Party or not... it felt really good to complete some long overdue chores. The pool was a big hit with the children, and there were some tired little boys and girls when bedtime rolled around.

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday. Don't buy the 2 for $5.00 tiki torches. You know, the ones made out of straw. I have two nicer resin-like ones that I've had for several years. Trying to be budget-minded, I opted for the cheap versions. Because I lost a can of pork-n-beans, I had to run to the store and pick up another can. Upon my return, I notice a big cloud of smoke in the yard. Assuming Dustin had lit the grill, I saw no cause for alarm. However, I soon discovered that one of the tiki torches suddenly went up in flames, and burned the entire holder thingy. Plus, a small circle of grass at the base of the torch. At least there was plenty of water handy to douse the blaze before it became a problem. So. No more cheapo tiki torches for me!

July 4th always has been one of my favorite holidays. I'm such a nerd that I get teary-eyed listening to the Sousa music, watching the fireworks, seeing the service men and women on tv sending messages back home to loved ones. Even throughout the year, saying the Pledge to the Flag (on those rare occations when we are called to do so), or singing "America The Beautiful" in church, standing with my hand over my heart when The Star-Spangled Banner" is played... Oh yes, these are major teary-eyed/lumpy-throat events. A few years ago, while at the airport, I walked past a group of soldiers on their way to a deployment. I mouthed the words "thank you" to as many as I could make eye contact with. The lump in my throat prevented me from saying the words aloud. Regardless of the myriad of things wrong in our nation today, it is these men and women who sacrifice their families, careers, and blood... these soldiers, who make up much of what is right in our nation. Just as those men on the North Bridge in Concord and those Minutemen in Lexington. Just doing the right thing. The birth of a nation, as well as the birth of a Savior, is certainly worth celebrating. We just need to be careful, on both occasions, not to get so terribly caught up in the hooplah that we forget what is truly important. I love the quote "Freedom is not free". Never was, never will be. Happy Birthday, America! God Bless America!!