Monday, August 31, 2009

End of August

I'm glad. I like September. And October.

Those are good months.

Just to get in the mood, here are some pictures of former autumns in Greensboro and Columbus.

For a break from the late summer heat, don't forget to check out Sherry and Davids trip to Alaska. No kitties this time. Lots of funny and interesting pictures and commentary.
And finally from someone who has a hard time walking without tripping on something, I was pretty impressed with this video sent to Mike by Gaby and Dina. Don't try this at home.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy Anniversary To Us

August 27, 1967.

We were young. It's been a good 42 years. Love you, Baby

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

End of August

And it can't come too quickly. The pyracantha is already doing its part to get ready for fall and winter.

Not much else going on in my neglected flower beds. Cooler weather may give me the incentive to get out and freshen them up.

This little plant seems to thrive on neglect. It's always blooming - and crowding out the chrysanthemum that's trying to get ready to bloom.

These scary-looking creatures were rescued from Emily and Ryan's moving leftovers. Some of them managed to make it all the way to Washington, but I brought these home, and they seem to like being plopped down in weeds and ignored.

So is this a pecan tree? Does anyone know? Emily says it is, and it's been growing in this pot for a year or so, just appeared one day. I'm afraid to try to plant it in the yard because I'd probably kill it, but it can't go on like this for long. I probably won't harvest any pecans either way.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lake Escape

Mine and Debby's girls' night at the lake was a success, not that I had any doubt it would be. We always have fun, and beautiful surroundings make it even better.

We almost had a little storm to make us feel good, but it was a false alarm.

We had an enjoyable afternoon sitting in the gazebo swing talking and enjoying the quiet. We were wishing Mike and Tom were there to paddle us around in a boat and maybe fish. Plenty of time for that later.

Then we made dinner - mainly Debby who likes to cook - but I puttered around and pretended to help.

Jalapeno appetizers: Tasted better than they looked. Bad picture.

End-of-summer cookies.

End-of-summer cookies with cheesecake.
Pretty fish glasses.
Just some bowls I like:

YUM. Blackened red snapper (per Bobby's recipe) and huge shrimp.

To go with this, we had corn on the cob, mushroom rice, and French bread. Delicious

After we ate we went back down to the dock and whiled away another chunk of time, this time watching the boats go past and listening to the conversations as they went by. It's fun to be invisible. More talk. More relaxing.

The next morning, we carried our coffee to the gazebo and enjoyed just a little bit of breeze and tried to coax a shy turtle to get closer. Debby promises me that it was a turtle head looking at us and not some other creature.

Gus contemplates a swim maybe? If only he had a swimmer's legs.

After I left Saturday, there was a bit of excitement when a truck hit the nearby bridge and brought police and rescue squad vehicles to park in the driveway. I'm glad I missed that. We don't think there were any serious injuries, but the crash made a lot of noise and caused quite a scene.

I'm looking forward to doing this again when the weather gets cooler and we can wrap up in blankets while we drink our coffee. Maybe taco soup and cornbread then.

Thanks again, Debby, for a great weekend.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More Birthdays

I can hardly stand the excitement of two more birthdays.

First, Happy Birthday to this extraordinary guy - husband, father, friend, breadwinner, counselor, master of many languages (1.5) and gifted in many things - I'll have to ask him tomorrow what they are.

Have the happiest birthday ever. We love you very much.

Second, the girl who has the honor of sharing her birthday with Mike Windham and Bill Clinton -

Karen Barner, Emily's long-time friend, roommate in Atlanta, and now house-mate in Issaquah.
Not many people could wear the Seattle Space Needle as well as she does.

No one would cooperate with me and send me embarrassing baby pictures to use, so I'll just have to find another one.

After wedding with Emily and sister Suzanne.

Happy Birthday, Karen, we love you too.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy Birthday (#1)

This is the guy that our daughter spent 4 long cold winters in South Dakota to be near.

This is the guy who spent 2-1/2 long hot summers in Alabama to be near our daughter.

It took awhile, but now we can say Happy Birthday to our son-in-law Ryan.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beautiful Children and Facebook

There are periods of time when there's nothing around me but big scrappy messes of fabric or sleeping animals to photograph and when nothing more exciting happens to me than getting a discount on my phone bill.

On those days, I have to leave the country (on my computer) to find some pretty pictures and beautiful children.

Dina sent the latest pictures of Diego. I can't believe how tall these boys are getting. Just looking at these take away some of the muggy heat of August.

This is Steven.
I knew his mother Suzanne from time she was younger than this. She and Elise were friends in Thomaston, and their lives have veered off in different directions, but Suzanne and I got back in touch through Facebook. Suzanne and her husband live in England now, so it's nothing for them to just hop over to France or Italy for a holiday. I believe this picture is taken from the Eiffel Tower. It kind of makes me dizzy to look at it for long. Suzanne can correct me if it's not.
Mother and son.

I now have invitations to visit Guatemala and England and Washington. Wouldn't it be nice if I could do that?

Speaking of Facebook, it's been great for what I use it for. Like I read somewhere yesterday, I don't feel like putting up a daily status change - "Becky is stumbling out of bed to start work" - because I don't feel like anyone cares that much, but I really like it when other people do it. Sometimes I'll even comment on their comment. Being isolated and working at home, it gives me a chance to reach out and at least say hello to people and for other people to acknowledge that I'm alive.

A group of people who worked at my old company Transquick about 15 years ago are getting into contact with each other - well I guess they already were; I'm just finding them - and it brings back so many memories to hear what other people remember. The company merged at least 3 times before it settled into MedQuist, and most everyone I knew ventured out into other companies and lost touch. Now it's interesting to see where everyone is and how their children have grown and how we pretty much all hate what's happened to medical transcription over those 15 years.

I'm not going to get into games and polls and sending Easter eggs, even though it's fine for those who want to, but I'm kind of enjoying it. It's not just for young people anymore. I think they're a little embarrassed that their parents are on FB and will probably wander off to form another internet society soon.

Church and work today. Maybe rain this afternoon. Many birthdays this week. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Anything for a Snack

I gave blood for the first time ever today. I'm not sure why I haven't. Needles don't bother me - usually. It's probably just the thing about my needing somebody to take me by the hand and lead me to do something. And it pretty much happened like that today.

A bloodmobile bus was at Wal-Mart last fall, and I agreed to give blood then, but Mama was with me (or I wouldn't have been there in the first place), and they weren't going to be there later that afternoon. Again at the post office not too long ago, I would have given except I was headed out of town. Always an excuse.

Today was my "me" day. I pretty much did just what I wanted to, and one of those things involved going to the downtown library for audio books. Outside the entrance was a lonely-looking lady with an umbrella and 2 balloons and some papers on a table. I usually avoid eye contact with anyone like that. No polls or petitions. No subscriptions to the Montgomery Advertiser. I'm already registered to vote, and I didn't see Girl Scout cookies. But somehow I glanced over, and that was enough. She saw the hesitancy and pounced. It didn't seem to bother her that I had never given blood before. I was in that bus in 2 minutes. I felt strangely like prey being led to my fate as we walked across the parking lot.

But it was all very nice. Everything explained well. Festive paper lanterns and streamers on the ceiling. I hadn't eaten lunch so I had my choice of snacks. No pain. No lightheadedness. Got a T-shirt.

And maybe I helped someone. I'll definitely do it again.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Doggone Little Daisies

At least they've found a home.

It was August 1st when I first decided I wanted to start a sewing project I could finish quickly to give me some self-confidence about my time management. From listening to myself that day, I think I was expecting it to be a 2-day job at the most.

August 1: "By the end of the day today, I hope to make some sense of this. Nothing like writing it to get me on track. I'm really not sure what it's supposed to be. It's an old kit I've had around forever and just want to finish something."
As evidenced by the picture above, things went well all the way through the cutting out process. I think my problem was that I tried to do it in small spurts - like sewing a square while heating a cup of coffee - or giving myself 15 minutes to work on it here and there.

Because of that, I didn't get any continuity and kept making mistakes, sewing things upside down, sideways, backwards, any wrong way you can think of. Things didn't fit, and pieces got lost - all this was done in the kitchen and dining room. By the time I took out my mistake from the day before, I was sick of looking at it and just kind of resentfully worked away on it. A couple of times I thought about just tossing it. Who would know?

But I didn't, and yesterday I decided I would finish it and make it fit together. It did - somewhat - maybe a few curves and humps, very few nice points, and even a real no-no - a raw edge on one of the triangles. Oh, and in case it doesn't jump out at you, one of the yellow triangles is just totally in the wrong place. I don't care. I believe it's a known fact that quilters from a long time ago would purposely leave in a mistake to prove they were human. I doubt they left in anything quite this noticeable, but so I'm human.

The whole time I was finishing it, I was thinking, "What on earth am I going to do with this thing when I finish it? Who needs a little square quilt with daisies and polka-dots." I figured I'd just put it up and maybe have a change of heart by next spring and put it - somewhere. Or maybe I would find a little girl who needed a doll quilt. Do little girls even play with dolls any more?

But then I had this crazy idea. The squareness of it kept reminding me of something. Several years ago, I had taken an old ugly side table with a square top from my parents' storage house.

We were getting ready to move to Columbus, and Mike was already gone, so I decided packing and moving were not enough to keep me busy and decided to redo the table. I stripped off all the years of paint and varnish and stain - very, very messy - and painted it white. It had a recessed top, so I got someone to put a square of glass there, and it was really quite pretty. Emily had brought me a lace doily from Paris a few years before, and I put it there for awhile, and in Columbus I put a collage of pictures under the glass one Christmas that just stayed. Then when we moved, I couldn't find the energy to do anything with it, and it's just been in the guest room with nothing under the glass. SO--

Sad little daisy quiltlet - meet your new home.
And I didn't even have to quilt it. For the time being it'll make me think all that aggravation for the last 2 weeks has been worth something. Maybe if I turn it in a different direction, that mistake won't be so noticeable...



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jack the Issaquah Cat

The salmon is cooking, and it's only for me.

Do not touch the door.

A Nothing-Happened-Yesterday Post

The last of the white crepe Myrtles at the corner of the house.

I was sorting through my pictures last night and trying to organize and get rid of some, and I happened upon this curious picture. It took me a minute to remember the circumstances of my having this particular dog at my house, but then I remembered that I had volunteered (in a weak moment, at the urging of Elise probably) to temporarily board Katrina-displaced pets. It turned out that no one ever called, but then the next spring I got a call from the Columbus animal shelter asking if I could keep a puppy for a few weeks. Thinking it would be a fun thing for Darby to have another puppy to play with I agreed. The lady told me it was an Australian shepherd which I agreed to, but this is what greeted me. Bucky. This "puppy" was 4 months old and wanted to be a lap dog. He completely overwhelmed Darby, the hyper dog, which is saying a lot. He destroyed (playfully) everything he came into contact with and would not let Darby near us when he was around and and ate all her food. Needless to say, it was not a fun few days.

Unfortunately, he started to get listless and stopped eating - VERY unusual - and just wanted to sleep - more unusual. I took him back to the shelter where they diagnosed him as having parvovirus, a pretty serious disease. Thanks a lot for bringing that to us. It was sad to see him so sick, but there's no way I could have handled a dog like that for another day. Chair cushions all over the yard. Flowers trampled and eaten. A ton of food eaten a day.

It made Darby look like a little angel, and at that point she was chewing wicker rocking chair legs and biting heads off daisies.

I registered for Facebook reluctantly, but I have to admit I'm enjoying it. Well not exactly Facebook itself because I don't use it that much, but for helping me find some old friends. I've been looking for Molly for 10 years at least and finally found her. We worked together in Atlanta when we first start doing transcription and had so much fun on those middle-of-the-night breaks. She was pregnant then, and that little girl she had is now starting to high school. We're just now finding out about each other - privately, of course. More about these sweet girls later.

I had found Rita earlier; in fact, we now work for the same company again, but it's nice to see all their pictures and hear about their lives again on Facebook. When Rita talks about her "critters," I now can see what she's talking about. I really didn't expect to see this though.

Ummm. Yep, that's Charlie the goat.

Now I really have to work.