Friday, July 31, 2009

Pool Day With A New Friend!

The rain FINALLY stopped long enough for us to enjoy a pool day! The kiddos have been waiting and waiting to have a day to play all day in the pool. I was thankful to arise to a sunny day today! Tristin got up not long after I did, but I finally let him wake Sydney up around noon. These kids play hard and sleep hard. After another pound of bacon for breakfast they headed out to the deck and made a "tent" with an old blanket and played for a while with that while I put in a load of laundry and cleaned up breakfast. Then it was swimsuit time!
A friend of mine was gracious enough to bring her 5, almost 6 year old, C.J., over to play this afternoon and they had a great time with their new friend! C.J.'s mom, Rebecca, brought a watermelon and the kids even "created" a slip 'n slide with the float. They would go from the hot tub to the pool to the hot tub and back again.

C.J. is such a friendly little guy and makes friends easily wherever he goes.

My friend Gail stopped by and visited for a bit. I hadn't seen her in several days and it's always nice to catch up. Sophie adores her while (s)he only tolerates me. Gwen joined us for a while and brought a beautiful raincoat she thought I should buy from Buck's 75% off sale that starts tomorrow. It's MINE....

The kids had a great day playing hard and I enjoyed catching up with friends. I'm afraid I let them play too long. The sunscreen worked wonders as no one has a sunburn at all. The chlorine burns are a tell-tale sign that I let them stay too long, though. Hopefully they will be better by morning as I have to return them to their parents tomorrow. I am already missing them.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

May The "G" Force Be With You !

Another dreary, rainy day helped us decide on our fun activity for the day and it was off to the movies to see "G-Force". We went to the first showing at 12:20 p.m. to give us time for the much-despised shopping for school shoes trip that would follow. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself here. I was absolutely shocked to find when we got to the ticket window that because this movie was in 3-D, all ticket prices were $8.50! Even children, even the matinee. It's not the money as much as heck, the money! That's ridiculous! But we did go as promised and the kids enjoyed the movie. (I thought Ice Age was FAR better.)
AND for the first time in my absent-minded grandparenting, I was so tired last night that I failed to put the card back into my camera, soooo, all those cute pictures I took today shopping, wearing 3-D glasses at the movies and playing in the hot tub are non-existent. I am truly losing it here, lol. We did go to the grocery today with shopping lists in hand and only bought about 20 things that weren't on the list. Oh, Sydney and Tristin both got the new tennis shoes and an extra pair of flip-flops at the 70% off rack, new underwear, socks and COOL pj's that they are wearing in the picture above.
We brought Granny over who watched them play in the hot tub and the pool until the rain began again in earnest. I made a fabulous Hummingbird Cake, smoked pork chops, baked mac and cheese, corn on the cob and fried squash. I'm stuffed.
And then, just when I think I can't walk another step or cook another thing, my precious neighbor Charlie brought me a LOT of corn. It will have to be cut off the cob, cooked, cooled and bagged before sleep comes again. YIKES! Can I do this? Sure. The kids are watching a movie and this computer break is bringing my sanity back to me again.
Tomorrow will be another fun day with lots of hugs and giggles. I wish for all of you the same kind of love I get from these adorable six year olds....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mammoth Cave Fun!

What a FUN day I had today as I took Tristin and Sydney for their first-ever trip to the underground world at Mammoth Cave! We bought tickets for the Historic Tour that I thought would be a good introduction tour but still had almost 2 hours to wait, so off we went on foot in search of adventure! Six year olds are such a thrill and everything seems to excite them. We walked to a nearby picnic area where they delighted in spotting squirrels and posing for pictures.

They are true clowns and on Day 2 of togetherness, they are still best buddies. I still have my fingers crossed that they will remain like this, not just this week, but always.

Tristin was a little apprehensive when we first entered (he doesn't like total darkness and it was pretty dark initially) but as the tour proceeded, he quickly shed his fears and loved it long before it was over. They were wonderful about holding my hand, too. (I never had a free one.) They also made a game of sorts of looking out for my head, occasionally calling out for me to DUCK so I wouldn't hit my head on a low point in the cave.

The light jackets were perfect for the cool temperatures "down under" until we came out and it sure got hot quick then.

I think six is the perfect age for this adventure. There were some younger children in the group, but there was also some crying. I'm glad I waited to take them until they were bigger. They were enthralled with our guide and absorbed every word she said, listening intently. I was proud of them for paying attention and asking questions ie..... did Indians ever live in here? do animals live here other than bats?

Since Tristin drank a huge Gatorade right before we went in, I was thankful for the bathroom facilities halfway through. He sure felt better, too.

We were famished when we left, but it was late so we headed on back to Hopkinsville and stopped at Little Caesar's (their choice), came home and ate quickly. Then outside for a few bubbles and watching the bats fly around my backyard before bathtime.

We've had our prayer time and they are quietly playing with their Nintendo's for 6 more minutes. Then I hope to hear some quiet, regular breathing.
Again tonight, I am so full of love and thankfulness for these precious lights in my life.
My cup runneth over.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On Turning 50

Listening to the gentle rain outside my window and the giggles of two 6 year olds supposedly going to sleep reminds me of what a monumental year it was six years ago when I did turn 50.
My daughter April gave birth to Tristin, who is now 6 but will be 7 in October and my daughter-in-law Barbie had Sydney, who just turned 6 in June.
Today was their orientation into first grade at their local elementary school and I was so fortunate to get to attend and be a part of it! I only live 2 hours away, but when I must work, it may as well be 22 hours. I seize every opportunity to be a part of their lives, even if only occasionally. This is Tristin in the picture above with his Dad Bruce listening intently to all that Mrs. Hawkins had to say today. It was honestly a little MUCH. I think I'd have to take a class just to learn how to do all that parents are required to do today. It makes me worry about children whose parents are NOT involved (and I know there are some).
This is Sydney in the brown shirt and blond ponytail. She, too, is paying close attention to all that her new teacher is saying. I am just so proud of both of them. This is the first time that they will be in the same class. They DID attend the same pre-school but were purposely separated. They are just such big buddies, I hope this doesn't change. His table is just to the left of hers in the picture.

After orientation we loaded Tristin's bag in the car and went to Sydney's house to get her things. Loaded up and all strapped in, we headed for Mickey D's and some Happy Meals and on down the road.
We stopped in Nortonville to pick up my Mom who had been spending a few days with her brother, my Uncle Roscoe, who has cancer and is apparently not doing well these days. There is great concern and I don't know all the details but I know I got a kiss and some conversation. He seemed to enjoy watching the little ones play with his dogs out on the screened-in room he has off to the side of his house.
After the drive back to Hopkinsville, we got "Granny" all settled in and headed home. It took a while to clean up the McDonalds party that apparently went on in the back seat. I guess the secret is out now, the kids KNOW for a fact I don't have eyes in the back of my head or I would not have had sauce for chicken McNuggets smeared everywhere! It didn't take long to clean up, though, and the joy of having them makes it all worthwhile.
Bathtime came and went, a little playtime in the picture above shows them while they were pretending to be puppies under my desk, then prayers and giggles and now all is quiet.
To have little arms wrap around your neck and declare how very much they love you is more than I ever deserved in my lifetime. My cup runneth over.
They say your life changes at 50 and mine certainly did.......thank God!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friends on Friday

What a perfectly gorgeous July night this has been! Three of my best friends in the world came over to get in the pool for a while but even though that was the intent, we ended up sitting on the deck with wine and water talking all night and just never got around to the pool. Mike had been fishing with his brother in Paducah today and had to tell us all about the BIG catfish that "got away". It seems his brother had it hooked, Mike ran to the truck to get a net, but get this, the net wasn't BIG enough. Okay, I've heard it all now, lol! The net wasn't big enough. I'm just glad he and his brother are spending a little time together. As we get older, sometimes it's harder to stay close to siblings who don't live near each other.

Gail had brought along some knitting or crocheting or something domesticated like that (I really don't even know the difference). She is making a coverlet for her granddaughters' bed. Of course the talk turned to grandchildren and from there to our Mothers. Gail's mother died a couple of years ago and it is still hard for her to talk about. Gwen and I both are having issues with caring for our elderly Moms. Mr. Sophie has really taken up with Mike and Gail, as you can tell from the picture.

Gwen is STILL painting her interior walls. She looked at some hardwood samples yesterday and is going to put down new flooring as soon as the painting is over. Her son Ross is getting all settled into his new job and new condo in Nashville. She's been working for us some at the funeral home lately and that's good for all of us. Even though she lives right next door we get all caught up with our respective lives and don't see each other as often as you might think.

Ah, don't my hor d'voures look great! Okay, this was very impromptu and I didn't have a thing to eat. I did pull out some chips and dip I had made last night. :) (Tip here, don't come to my house hungry unless I know ahead of time that you are coming.)

Ah, and in the middle of it all, Terry came to mow my yard. He is the sweetest young man. I tell him all the time that I am his "other Mom". I do love him dearly. He's a great husband, Dad and friend! I'm just so blessed with people to love !
And speaking of people to love, my oldest granddaughter Kristin is all registered for high school (!!) now. Ninth grade and it seems like that precious girl was just born a year or two ago. She is someone to be proud of and I'm so glad she's mine.
The littler ones will register for first grade next week. And Tristin is coming on Tuesday to spend a few days with me. This will be his first time without others so keep your fingers crossed for me that I can entertain him and that he will not want to go home. I SO love having my grandchildren to spend time with. Kristin and Sydney have both been here this year already and Tristin just thinks it's HIS turn (and he's right). Hayden, who just turned 4 last week, is still pretty attached to his Mom and is just not ready for an overnight visit this far away.
Mother has gone to her brother Roscoe's house for the weekend and I am worried. I guess I just worry when I can't see her. I know they will call if she needs me but I still worry.
Have a great Saturday my friends and if you think of me, just know I'll be working :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thirsting on Thursday

This is for all you "Mommies of toddlers" out there who won't even be able to go potty by yourself until pre-school...... I just got out of a luscious bubble bath I enjoyed along with a cool glass of white zin. Sorry, but there ARE a few perks to being 56 years old. Of course nobody noticed the bubble smudges on the sides of the glass, did you?
Today was my day off as I get to work this weekend so I had to make the most of it. I worked on my desk paying bills for awhile. Then went and picked up Mom and Belle, brought them here and worked in the yard trimming shrubbery for awhile. It took a lot longer to clean up my mess than it did to make it, I promise you that! Then I fixed lunch for us, took her to Food Lion for groceries, took her home, blah, blah, blah, you get the picture here.
By the time the day was done, so was I. So now you understand the bubble bath and wine.
Been thinking about men in general today and dating in particular. It seems peculiar to me that I have been approached for dinner dates TWICE this week and the week is not even over yet. I absolutely abhor "first dates". They are like some old country song I vaguely remember about first dates being similar to job interviews. They seriously are.
Admittedly, I have made some good and I hope, lifetime friends out of first meetings, but that is not the norm. I could write a book about first dates, I really could.
Some of the weirdest are the ones who tell you (on the first date) that they are only looking for a wife. Translation: cook, maid, etc.
I also think it odd that at my age most of the men I date are NOT looking for the same thing they did when I was 30. What's that about? I am. Oops, I shouldn't have said that.
I proclaim too loudly and too often about how happy I am being single and sporting all this independence, but then again, do I want to be 65 someday and all alone? Mr. Sophie and I tolerate each other, but he will not serve as a good life partner. And regardless of what you may have heard, I DO think cats die someday.
Well, I have not agreed to either of these dinner dates yet. I am really not attracted to either one of these fellas. A good friend gave me a cute hand towel with an even cuter saying on it that keeps coming to mind about now. LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DANCE WITH UGLY MEN.
I'm going to pour another glass of wine and mull this over.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Memories of Memaw

The smell of tomatoes cooking permeated my kitchen this afternoon with the most delicious aroma and brought back many memories of other times.....other places.
When I was 15 years old, I inherited a "step-grandma". I never knew another as my grandmother on my Mother's side died when my Mother was 12. My Father's mother died when I was very young and I have limited memories of her. Ah, but Memaw Board, as she was called, was the epitome of "Grandma".
We moved to rural Breckinridge County in Kentucky and I was introduced quickly to the farming life. I remember vividly the kitchen in the "old house" and how something yummy was always cooking. Long, hot summers and a big garden led to canning green beans and tomatoes, freezing millions of ears of corn and making sauerkraut, pickles and relishes. The work in that kitchen was never-ending but I learned at the foot of the best.
Of course I whined about it, I was 15. But those forced lessons have done me well. Yes, I know how to can tomatoes. I also know how to swat flies while you are outside trying to shuck corn. She finally let me come in to cut it off the cob but also made me clean up the horrendous messes I made.
When I think of those summers on the little farm, I remember best the smells of summer. I wish I could adequately describe them for you. But today, when I cook tomatoes to "put up" for a long winter ahead, I am easily transported back in time to that little kitchen with my Mom and Memaw working so hard in unbearable heat. My Mom was learning also and learn she did. I can still see and hear the laughter and love in that little house.
Memaw died when I was but a young mother and I find myself remembering her smile more and more often as I grow older. I have been blessed with a lifetime of people to love......and who loved me back.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Super Saturday at Home!

What a fabulous "do-nothing" but do EVERYTHING day this turned out to be. The temperature was low as well as the humidity which made for a great day to work in the yard. This spring has been so hectic for me that I procrastinated about yard work and finally got started today.
I did go to Lowe's and fill up the car with four burning bushes and three or four more things to add to my landscape plan.
Okay, this "plan" just kind of happened but my yard is beautiful, even if I am the only one who thinks so. I deadheaded peonies and daylilies, pulled weeds and did my plantings. Everything looks better but it's still got a long way to go.
Mom and Belle came over for a while this afternoon and she helped fold clothes (I hadn't done laundry since returning from the beach). Belle and Mr. Sophie are still NOT friends. Go figure.
THEN while I was nowhere to be found, a huge box of tomatoes "appeared" on my garage steps with three gorgeous sunflowers atop it! I have a clue who brought them, but HOW KIND! Now I know what I'll be doing Sunday afternoon instead of the ritualistic Baptist Sunday afternoon nap (canning tomatoes). I have not canned any yet this year so this will be my first batch. I have run completely out and can hardly cook without them :)
As I was leaving to take Mother home, a neighbor from across the street came and brought me a big bag of fresh peaches! He was hinting at a peach cobbler, so I offered to make him one tomorrow afternoon. The only problem is, once a long time ago, I told him if he didn't stop feeding me he'd have to marry me. NOW I CAN'T make him stop bringing me food. That is too funny.
The little girl at the top of this post was just a teaser......shhhhh, I'm going to bed now.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Freaky Friday

Okay, so this is how I truly feel tonight! This is my weekend off and my weekend consists of Friday, Saturday and Sunday so on my Friday off I schedule errands for Mother. I took her to an early Dr.'s appointment, then to Wal-Mart, then to the fruit and vegetable market, then home to unload her stash, then BACK to her Dr.'s office to pick up the new prescription I ran off and forgot, then to my house to unload MY stuff and whew! THEN pull some weeds, clean the pool, wash the car, forget to wash the clothes, answer 100 phone calls and golly Molly, I am done in.

My own Doctor sent me a letter last week letting me know that he will no longer be seeing patients in about a month and I need to find another one. Geez, I just went through this 3 or 4 years ago when Dr. Crouch left me. I had to find Docs who were accepting new patients and that is not an easy feat in this small-town burg where I live. THEN I had to make appointments to interview them (I never forget that I am hiring THEM). Finally got all settled in with Tate and off he goes. I like my Mom's Dr. so asked him today and he certainly gave me a non-committal answer.

The conversation goes something like this...."I know you don't routinely accept new patients, but wondered if you would consider me since you see me here so often with my Mom, blah, blah, blah" and his reply was something like "well, I do give first consideration to family members, but , uh, well, the next time you need to see a Dr. call my office and we'll see if I can fit you in." AArrgghh! Is that a yes or a no? My options are so very limited here.

I have a great neurologist, a proficient eye Dr. and a very good botox man, but other than that, I'm in trouble here. Guess I just better stay healthy. (Okay, the bunion guy was pretty good, too. ) My fabulous back surgeon is in Nashville, though, so he doesn't count.

On to another topic tonight. One that only funeral directors may understand, I don't know. A friend of mine tragically lost her son last night in an automobile accident. Twenty-three years old and one of the most horrific things I can imagine. She and I are not close friends, but friends nonetheless. She is much closer to the owner of the funeral home where I work and other employees, but I guess everybody in this county knows her. Anyway, to make a long story short, they called ANOTHER funeral home. We are all in shock. Not just at the tragedy, but at the thought that she didn't call US. You never know. I will still (and always) be praying for her and her family. Oh well, Walter Cronkite's family didn't call us either!
THEN, when my younger brother Wayne was here a few days ago, I found out that Sophie-Cat is now and always was MR. Sophie! Wayne said, " what do you think those two round things hanging down on the backside are?" Well, Wayne, I never LOOK at the backsides of cats! This certainly answers a lot of question I had about this cat, i.e., biting toes, scratching people, etc. It's a "guy" thing. Oh yes, Mr. Sophie is still here, forevermore, I fear.
My daughter and her family are at some lake this weekend celebrating my son-in-law's birthday. My son and his family have gone to Gatlinburg for a few days (even though they couldn't? get away for a free trip to the beach with their Mimi) so I FINALLY have a weekend to get some things done around the house. I haven't done a thing this summer to my yard and it looks like it. One plus about waiting to get your annuals out is that if you can find any LEFT anywhere, they are dirt cheap. I found a bunch of something (have no idea what they are) at Wal-Mart today for $1.00. They are nicely potted in a couple of planters by the pool and actually look pretty good. I may get up some gumption and slip over to Lowe's in the morning to see if they have anything at all left. Gosh, this getting old business is for the birds. Planting annuals in July. Next thing you know I'll be strutting my bathing suit in January!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Brenda's Birthday

What started as an ordinary day turned into FUN. My friend Brenda Hale celebrated her birthday today and Gail, Gwen and I decided to take her to lunch. She'd had mexican the night before so O'Charley's it was! She owns a local flower shop and just hung a sign on the door and came right over. What a break from an ordinary day!
Brenda's husband Mike celebrated his birthday the day before. She is just one of the kindest, most fun gals around and I'm glad to call her my friend!

I've been taking a little break since my vacation but hopefully will get back on "blogging" track now that things are getting somewhat back to normal!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th Of July at the Beach!

Happy Independence Day to all of us! My day started VERY early with Kristin and I picking Mother up at 6:30 a.m. and heading on down the road......and farther down the road..... and even farther still! I drove until I-65 ended at Mobile and kept on driving due south until I arrived at the little beach house sitting nearly IN the Gulf of Mexico that we will call "home" for the next week.

It was a rather uneventful, even though very long, trip. I forgot my cell phone charger!! (grrr) BUT some friends are coming to join us on Monday for 2 or 3 days so perhaps I can coerce them into bringing me one.
Traffic was very heavy but we saw no accidents. Mother is in the intermediate stage of Alzheimer's Disease and it is moving like a speeding bullet, manifesting itself in various and sundry ugly ways so I worried about how she would fare in a car for 8 or 9 hours. I think she did better than me!
April, Bruce and Tristin were ahead of us the entire way and already had THEIR car unloaded when we got here.
Bruce's birthday is in a couple of weeks and I brought him an early birthday gift, a Cuisinart ice cream maker and he loved it! Of course, I gave it to him NOW so that we could all enjoy ice cream at the beach, lol.
The new berm constructed last year is nothing but a memory now, and that leaves this house sitting almost IN the water. It's a fabulous house.
The kids played in the sand and finally in the water (without their suits on), we had sandwiches and chips for dinner (no cooking on travel day), and watched a fabulous display of fireworks from our deck.
It's been a great day. My family is asleep. All I hear is the sound of the surf beating up against the pilings under the house. I feel the ever so slight movement of the house as the wind blows outside our door. I love this place so much, this Dauphin Island, Alabama.