Saturday, December 24, 2005

Almost ready

I have a tangerine tree in my back yard. Not a grove, just one. It is loaded with fruit this time of year and the weary branches are hanging low from the weight. I tried one this morning, but they are still a little sour. It will be about the first or second week in January when they are ready. The first cold snap somehow sweetens the fruit. I have so much fruit that I have to give it away. Tangerines are very good. I like like them better than oranges, they are sweeter, and easy to peel, the skin comes right off and they section into bite-sized pieces. Sometimes there is so much fruit that we squeeze it and make juice. The juice tastes so good.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Car lot

Matt got a truck. Actually, his mother got a truck - for him to learn to drive. Our yard is starting to look like a car lot. Four cars in the family now. It is a 1995 Nissan pick-up truck, very clean. Both boys are learning to drive. The teacher? That would be ME! I am now Mom, driving instructor, music facilitator, laundress, weightlifting coach, cook, counsellor, and money tree. Who said retirement was going to be easy? We decided that it would be good for our boys to have their own cars to drive. Most people think we are spoiling these kids, giving them too much. Most people would be right. We think that they will be better off in the real world if they drive to get there! Actually, when they are 16, they will take over the responsibility of paying for insurance, gas, etc. Preston bought his car with money that he had saved, and Matt will have to repay his mother for the truck. We only hope that the boys recognize and appreciate the help that we have given them. (yeah - right!)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Afternoon practice

Sounds like there is a moose in the yard when he practices every afternoon. A young kid road by on his bike and said, "I like your trumpet, it sure is a big trumpet!" Preston is wearing gloves, but not because it is cold. (it was 67 degrees) They are part of his uniform, and he has to practice with them. He gets better everyday.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I dig it! - Far out!

Yeah, that's the shit we would say in the 70's when we thought something was COOL. I just have to say that this blogging thing is WAY COOL, and I dig it, I really do. It connects you to people that you never knew before, and never would have met in a million years - and all of a sudden you feel like they are your friends (you know who you are - Laura, Hiro, and the little guy). We come into each others lives in a strange way, through a computer, but somehow I feel close to you. Even those of you who have moved away, or moved on with your lives (you know who you are - Lois, Steve) and I know you are still with me in spirit, and that you read this blog once in a while. Occasionally I surf the blogs, but I have three favorites, and I read them everyday - now they are my friends, even though I have never met them. I dig it - far out!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Most of you who know me, know that I am a tech nut. This new toy is cool. It is a Kodak Easy Share Picture Viewer. It is a little storage card that you can carry with you instead of a picture album. It is supposed to hold about 150 photos (but I already have 158 in there) It will hold more if you want to add and SD card to the memory slot. I like it, I carry my favorite photos around with me, and show them to whoever will look at them! It comes in this cute leather

carry case. I got it at There is a $20. rebate on it, so it was a good deal. Just a little present for my self. I deserve it. I have been good this year!

Surveillance moms

We were at the K-Mart tonight, killing some time and doing some Christmas shopping. Our teenage sons were at their friends "16th" birthday party, or so we thought. Leaving the store, we see the "party girl's" car pass us. I point, yell and wave. No reply. They drive past. I immediately revert back to "police mode" and drive to the back of the parking lot to observe. We see eight teenagers get out of two cars and go into the K-Mart. We hide in the shadows and wait. I felt like I was on a stake-out again. (by the way, the only reason I ever wanted to be a cop is because I thought that they had "steak out" - but I was incorrect as to the real meaning of this). Anyway, in about 10 minutes the little rebels came back out with one bag. All eight got into two cars and left. We followed (a loose tail!) them back to the party location. All is well that ends well, or so I thought. About 15 minutes later, my son called and asked if he could "spend the night" at the party location. At a girls house? Is he kidding? I said, NO WAY - I will pick you up at midnight! Times have changed since I was a teenager.
*We found out later that they bought "Twister Dance Party" (any excuse for teenagers to touch!)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Perfect practice makes perfect

My son is practicing everyday with his tuba. He has many exercises and songs to commit to memory before his next band camp on January 20th. We keep the tuba case in the garage (because it is the size of a small car!) so he practices in the front yard. Every afternoon we go outside with the horn, a black towel (to set it down on) and a music stand. I tell him not to just practice, but to "practice perfect." Keep going until he gets it right. We live in the back of our neighborhood on a dead end street, so you would not think there would be much traffic, but there is! People walk and drive by and stare at us when they hear the bellowing sound of the tuba. My son is quite self-conscious and embarrased about this, and says, "What are they staring at?" I tell him that he would stare too if he saw such a sight, and to just get used to it because soon enough a stadium full of people will be staring at him. He says it's not the same, there will be a whole band with him. We are also working on his physical strength. He does not want to go through another painful weekend of lifting that horn and holding out in front of him. We have been going to the gym twice a week and working out on the machines, then doing weight training, stomach crunches and push-ups in the evening. He is beginning to develop muscles for the first time in his chest and shoulders, and is very proud of this! Next week starts winter break from school, and we will really step up the training, adding jogging around the block. It is nice to see a teenager interested in something other than video games. I am proud of his progress and I will encourge him to keep up the good work.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Brrrrr! It is cold!

I live in Florida. While the rest of the county is freezing, we are still warm here. I have nothing to complain about. This morning I had to turn on the heat for the first time this year. It was 48 degrees this morning! That may sound nice to some of you - but that is cold for me. Some years the temperature doesn't even get down low enough to freeze here, I am hoping this is one of those years. It is almost noon, and now it is 66 degrees outside, with the sun shining - another nice day. This is the ideal climate for me. All the hurricanes we have had the last couple of years aren't so nice, but you have to take the good with the bad. I still think this is the best place to live!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Made it another year

I am so happy that I have made it through another year. This makes five years since my heart problem and I am feeling better every day. We all hope to live a long time and we should each cherish every day. My illness has caused me to think long about this, and everyday I am happy to be alive. I remind my son all the time how lucky we are, to have all that we have, but mostly because we have love in our hearts.


I was cleaning my travel trailer and I decided to put deodorant into the toliet. I poured the blue stuff in while I held the lever opening the trap - then I dropped the bottle in! Great. How the hell am I gonna get that out of there? I guess I was lucky that the tank is empty (except for the blue stuff) I will take it to the dump station and see if I can flush it out, after all, it was small enough to go in. I guess I will flood the tank with water, then flush it all out at the dump station. I hope the bottle does not turn sideways and plug up the opening. If that doesn't work, I will have to remove the whole tank - that sounds like fun! Who says that retirees are bored and have nothing to do?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Magic audition

I took some video with my fancy Nikon camera of the audition. I will try to publish it - if I can. It shows how much the kids learned in just three days. They are learning the show music, "Some day I'll fly away" from the movie "Moulin Rouge". The brass section sounds wonderful, and the music brings a tear to my eye, I know how hard they worked. I love the big brass sound, especially the lower brass. I also watched the snare drummers practice. There were forty drummers trying out for about eight positions. I felt sorry for the ones that didn't make it - they were all good. This is a big deal, he will be gone on tour for eight weeks this summer. What a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. That is the only reason I will let him be away from me that long!

Monday, December 05, 2005


"THE MAGIC" Drum Corps International
Audition camp
Tuba man! makes the cut and is now a member of "THE MAGIC"
He spent the weekend hoisting 30 pounds brass up to his shoulder
His mama is SO proud!
He almost quit on Saturday, said he wasn't good enough, that it was too hard. He was really depressed and exhausted. I told him to just hang in there one more day, and he did - so he made it. His summer tour schedule is posted on - click on 2006 schedule - then member corp - The Magic. More later, I am tired, haven't slept in two nights!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Here we go!

We are off today to Kissemmee, Florida for my son's audition for "THE MAGIC". I hope he gets in, the audition could be really tough. I think I am more nervous than he is. Keep your fingers crossed and pray a lot for us. I've got to go hook up the travel trailer, so I will post more when I get back on Sunday.