Sunday, October 24, 2010

October Birthday

Happy Birthday to my favorite middle child, Elise.

I remember riding home from the hospital after she was born and holding her - no car seats back then! We got to hold the new baby all the way home, just cuddling and gazing and trying to keep Dad from stealing too many looks and pay attention to driving.

I've forgotten a lot of things in those years, but nothing will make me forget the bright blue October sky on that ride home. All was perfect in my little world. I had my little girl and an almost-2-year-old boy waiting at home (who looked very grown up after my being gone for 2 days). We had a new house and good friends and neighbors. Mike had a good job (and I didn't, which was a good thing!), and Elise just made our life complete.

I've just talked to her and wished her a happy day tomorrow, and I feel so blessed to have a daughter who is also my friend, one who shares my sense of humor and understands me - and loves me in spite of it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I'm liking it a lot.

The animals - not so much.

Stella/Molly went with me to pick up the paper from the driveway and stayed outside for 3 minutes.

I took this picture from the garage door window because I knew if I opened the door, she would dart in. Which she did.

She came in for a hearty second breakfast of Fancy Feast. The first one had been finished 10 minutes earlier in the garage.

Maddy never turns down seconds either.

What? The other was only Meow Mix.

Does this face tell you anything? Like: I think it is way too cold and damp and my nice furry coat doesn't keep me warm. Pleeeeese let me come in with the cats. Notice the blur of tail wagging hopefully behind her.

This is more like it.

Friday, October 22, 2010


When you have children, it's always heartwarming for them to have major accomplishments: Through the years, we've had a lot of things to celebrate:

Perfect attendance, good citizenship, and graduation awards from many schools. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, cheerleading. Dance and gymnastics recitals. Baseball games, honor rolls, literary awards, college acceptance, and many graduations, weddings and jobs acquired. Lots to be proud of.

So it's with overflowing emotion that I boast about our younger daughter's latest award.

This is an article that Mike sent me today:

Scavenger Dash Seattle community involvement: YMCA

What Happened?:

What a beautiful day to send 24 teams out in search of mummies, a gum wall and the world’s largest collection of giant shoes. Brothers Tad and Toby Doviak of “Tad Needs A Job” took first place with a time of 1:44, but Tad is still looking for a job. As for the costume contest, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind who would win. Congrats to “The Flaming Retardants”, Anne Kertson and Emily Windham for the killer costumes! Scavenger Dash would like to send out a big thank you to Tap House for hosting Seattle’s first Scavenger Dash. We had a great time exploring your city. See you next fall, Seattle!

Second flaming legs from the right.

They had a ball thinking up the costumes after Ryan accidentally named them by seeing Flame Retardant on something in the kitchen. Anne discovered the tights at the fabric shop, and they made the capes and decorated the shirt and capes with felt and duct tape. Oh, and the arm tattoos; can't forget those.

Co-workers Stacey and Melinda came in ahead of them by 5 minutes at 6th place, but 7th out of 24 is not so bad when you consider a little over a year ago, Emily had never been to Seattle. They not only had to figure out a cryptic clue but had to find the location, collect the prizes, and get back to the beginning. There are just a few people in the world who thrive on looking ridiculous and causing people to stop in their tracks and stare and point, and there's never been any doubt we have at least one in our family. Debby thinks 2!

Some other names of the teams. I'd like to see more pictures of the costumes.

Tad Needs A Job
Dig 'N Biz
Ham & Cheese
The Sanely Inane
Got Pain? (Physical therapy co-workers. Good name)
Flaming Retardants
No, You go first
Mad DC Dashers
The After School Specials
Double Dips
Ice Weasels
Lost Cause
No Expectations
Team Sawyer

Here's another close-up. Emily and Anne. You can partly see Anne's "dragon tattoo."

At the other end of the spectrum, I received this precious picture from Lydia of Jacob's school picture. What a sweetie. I know they wish time would slow down and keep him this age for awhile.

Mama and I went shopping yesterday for gifts for Operation Christmas Child boxes through our church. I chose a boy, and it was hard for me not to over buy. I kept finding things I liked, although I have no idea what type of child will get the box, and I'm a little out of practice in knowing what boys like. Maybe I should ask Jacob next time! There are some little Scooby-Doo balls and Lego's that aren't in the picture. And we'll add candy and gum before we turn them in.

Mama chose a girl. I hope she's a girly-girl because she picked a lot of pink and princess things.
It was fun, and now I've found out that we can fill plastic boxes in addition, so I may have to go shopping again. The Target $1 bins are wonderful for things like this. I never pass them up without buying at least one thing.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back to the World

Cyber world, that is. It's amazing how a few days without a computer can make you feel kind of out of touch and disconnected. I still had my work computer for email and - well, working - but I have my "favorites" that I check in with every day, and I missed those.

When I called my favorite computer repair shop, instead of Sam or Luay answering, I heard a feminine voice. I guess it's been a year since I've been there to take Mama's computer in, and I had 2 surprises. Really 3. One of the first blog entries I wrote was about buying my new computer, and one thing that was funny was dodging the parking lot holes. I was pleasantly surprised to see them all neatly filled in, so I could drive all over the place without falling in one of them.

Then when I got inside, I noticed that something was different. They had done a little remodeling and it looks so nice. They walled off the area where the computers being repaired are kept and now it's just the showroom when you walk in. Lots of mirrors. It's pretty hard taking a picture in a room full of pictures without getting yourself in them.

Then the biggest surprise was Sam's new wife, Rebecca. They've been married a couple of months, and she seems to be fitting in nicely at the shop. It's extremely busy with people coming and going and the phone ringing. I was there a good while because I was too curious and asked Sam too many questions, and we got the computer messed up temporarily, but he fixed it, and I was able to look around. Maybe not a good thing. Thse are pretty nice. VERY nice.

Maybe I need one. I've already kind of narrowed them down to my 2 favorites.

Anyway, Rebecca left to go get lunch and came back with some bread Sam's mother made. She's just been in the country a few months, and I'm still waiting to hear what the bread is called. They gave me a bite, and it was wonderful, kind of 2 flat layers of bread with the middle filled with a mixture of herbs. All the way home, I was wanting to go back and get some more.

So here are Sam and Rebecca. I told them to pretend to be working. I'm not sure what they were typing on the computer. Cute, anyway.

They're really nice, and it's a neat place to visit except when I do visit, it's always when I have a broken computer. Hoping not to be back for awhile though.
Unless it's to take home a new laptop.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.
- Kurt Vonnegut

This was on my Google Home Page this morning, and I thought it was funny - and true. Sometimes I think I need to change the title of this blog to Givingupinalabama, but then that crisis passes, and I find out I can handle things better by laughing than by crying.

My way of dealing with no towel bars in the bathroom.

Everything is in complete disarray but so close to being finished. Mike says he will paint at Christmas if I have everything ready. This is a BIG job, but it's coming slowly.

When we were stripping wallpaper last Sunday, Stephanie found out that if you took off BOTH layers of wallpaper, it came off in big sheets rather than having to scrape. At first, I didn't greet that news with enthusiasm since it pretty much meant I had to go back and redo everything I had done, but she was right, and I think it's going to be worth it to start with bare walls.

My friend Tonnie asked this morning what color I was going to paint the walls, and I don't want to say beige, but it's going to be close. Any ideas are welcome - brand names, pictures, and specific color names! She also asked if I needed any help. She might be sorry she asked that.

Just wanted to mention these boxes that Mama and I picked up at church this morning. I'm not sure what we're going to put in them, but I can't wait to get started filling them.

Also Emily recruited a new Auburn fan yesterday. War Eagle, Stacy. I'll see if I can't get Baby Willis a Tiger bib. The Huskies and Cougars there are too frightening to put on bibs!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rain's Gone

I left up the rain picture a long time, hoping it would bring good luck and more rain. But no. The temperature is rising, and the grass is looking worse. At least there are those cool early mornings and late afternoons.

The victims (my fault for not watering):

The azalea dies but the morning glory (which I've pulled up about 10 times) thrives.

The survivors:

Always marigolds.

Oregano? Basil? I forget, but it seems to like being neglected.
Burgundy chrysanthemums getting ready to bloom.

The Confederate Rose that was just 2 leaves at the beginning of summer.

These vines thrive in heat and drought.

There's a yellow butterfly up there that wouldn't be still long for a picture.

Pyracantha. Painful to be stuck by it but beautiful.

The poor plumeria was all primed to drop its leaves, as usual, and then with the high temperatures, it looks like it's beginning put out a few new leaves. Maybe it'll bloom this year if the Christmas cactus doesn't.

Writing a blog is harder the second year because it's kind of like the last year - except for less happening.

Mike came for a few days, and that was nice. We went to Andalusia and stopped in Gantt, both very enjoyable.

Once I had tricked him into climbing the ladder to get the last bit of wallpaper, he did more in 30 minutes than I did in a day's work, although I kept hearing: "That cabinet is going to come down. No way to reach that. That can't happen. That won't fit. ...." but it did.

All ready to be painted. Every last bit of wallpaper down from the little room and now onto the real bath and little hallway.

No one understands how much I enjoy stripping wallpaper - except on the ladder. I have to set a timer to make myself stop. There is still a good bit more to go, and I've made a mess that won't be fun to clean up.

I'm still not sure how to get to the high places over the tub and shower, but I'll worry about that later. It's going to be so pretty when it finally gets painted. I wish I knew what color(s) to use. Anything - anything! - will top that viney wallpaper.

We ate some good food while Mike was here - David's Catfish and Tabby D's in Andalusia and Down the Street Cafe in Montgomery on the way to the airport. I love having fried green tomatoes twice in the same week.

Mike's plate after the lunch Monday. Comment: "I didn't like it."

The broccoli-cranberry salad was delicious too. And the macaroni and cheese. And the chicken. And the fried green tomatoes - I may have mentioned that.

As soon as we ate, we had to go to the airport. Maybe a little early and for sure nothing to do there. This is pretty much the whole thing. Not sure why there are cars inside, but I didn't question it at the time. Upstairs is the food court. A Subway and one more place.

Well, all that's not really worth writing, but that picture of the rain had to go. It was taunting me.

Lydia is officially a business woman - Layne James Embroidery and Designs, LLC. I'm so proud of her. It hasn't been easy the past few weeks getting everything finalized, but it's quite an accomplishment. She does beautiful work and is having fun doing it.

Sherry and David have been traveling again, this time heading north and east. She has lots of nice pictures on her blog for those of us who have to stay home. I'm also behind on looking at all her quilts on her other blog.

So, that's all that's happened in my life since the last rain. Now I can get back to that mess I left in the bathroom. But it will be pretty - one day.