Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays to all my blogger friends all over the world. Here's one boy that is glad that Christmas is finally here. Several eight hour and twelve hour days loading & moving trees, taking down the tent sides - then putting them back up at night. He made lots of money and came home "sappy" every night! I have hopes and dreams that all of us blog pals and our families stay safe and healthy this year. Take care all of you and be careful during the holiday season!
Best wishes from Florida - where we are Christmas shopping in our t-shirts & shorts!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Smart?

If you've read my blog for any length of time you probably know that I have a pigeon coup in my backyard. I have about 30 homing pigeons. Pigeon fanciers raise these birds and join clubs to race their pigeons against the clock. I don't participate in such clubs, I just enjoy the birds. I like watching their habits. I sometimes sit out there and just watch them. Other times I load up about ten of them and take them a couple of miles from the house and let them fly home. Most days I just let them out in the morning, they fly around for a while, then return to the loft. Sometimes they have a tragic encounter with an area hawk. Anyway, it is fun for this old bag. I have a lot of projects in the works right now. One of these tasks involves moving the old "shed" (12x20) out of the backyard to make room for the new one. Well, the pigeon house is attached to the old shed, so I will be building a new one. In the meantime, we are tearing down the old coup. I made a temporary home for the pigeons in a smaller "apartment" which is several wire cages attached together. The only problem was that one pair of birds was sitting on new hatchlings. I carefully caught the parent pigeons and put them in their own private cage. I moved the nest with the babies into the cage. The parents were so disoriented that they just ignored the babies, would not feed them, and just began stepping all over them. I finally had to remove the little ones because the parents would not take care of them. The babies are in foster care (but now they think they are people, not pigeons!) and they are thriving. I can't let the flock out of the apartment cage right now or they will home to the area of the old loft! After I get them in the new (yet to be built) cage, I will teach them where home is again. Many studies have been done on homing pigeons, and there are many diverse theories on how they find their way home. They must be very smart - but they sure are stupid about their babies!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cards came from distant places, but none from close up!

I had a birthday recently and I was suprised at some of my distant friends, that I hardly every hear from, remembered and sent me best wishes. I wish I could return the polite favor, but truthfully, I do not even know what month some of these people were born in, much less the day! I just don't have a memory for that sort of thing! I try to see that my family always knows that I remember them on their special days, and I try to at least make them a cake, or take them out to dinner. On the flip side, some people close to me, that I thought knew when my birthday was, didn't even remember or just didn't even bother to to acknowledge it in any way. This whole thing has given me a strange feeling, happy & sad. Happy for the wishes from distant places, but sad that my family doesn't think much of me. What a cry-baby I have turned out to be! You'd think after having this many birthdays that it wouldn't be such a big deal. Pardon me while I go eat some dark chocolate! I think that I will ditch the housework today and get out and take some photos. It is unseasonably warm here (79 degrees expected high today) Maybe if I get out and do something different I can drop the "whine!"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lessons learned

While I was in Virginia my son, Preston, had a real scare. He was driving with two friends in his car, deciding what they were going to do for the afternoon. He was back in the new, undeveloped subdivision behind our neighborhood. Truth be told, he was going too fast to take a turn, and ran into a curb. The curb was high enough to hit the cross bar underneath the car, and the airbags deployed! There was no damage to the car, and the boys were not hurt. I guess that teenagers must learn through their mistakes. I think he learned that you must slow down more for that turn! We discussed the consequences of his actions, and what "could" have happened. I told Preston that he must pay for his mistake, that I would not be footing the bill for the repair. In the meantime, the car must be parked until it is fixed. I was happy that he called me right after it happened. Although I was out of town, and couldn't do much about it, I was thrilled that I am the one that he turns to when he is scared or in trouble. He took a job at the local Christmas tree lot to make money for the repair.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Toddlers & airplanes

I got home from Virginia last night. I am so glad to be home. My mother is getting better everyday. I think it helped that I was there to give her a little TLC. However, she is 88 years old, and her age is starting to show. She has arthritis, and she has trouble rising from a seated position. She is slow walking & turning and loses her balance sometimes. She still has weakness in her right hand, but it is getting stronger everyday. I had her walking a lot, and squeezing a ball with her right hand. The worse part is when I told her that the arthritis is a chronic condition, and that although it was managable, it was not curable. She was markedly disapointed. She thought that she would be getting better. Maybe I shouldn't have told her. Taking her out is like taking a toddler. (her petite size of 55 inches is toddler-like) I have to help her into the car, and buckle her seat belt. She complains that she cannot do this herself, and that she must be such a chore for me. I comfort her by telling her that she took good care of me for my whole life when I was a kid, and that it is my pleasure to return the favor. It is sad to see my mom getting so old and helpless. I helped her by buying and wrapping some Christmas presents, and setting up her decorations. She was happy to see me for ten days, and I think I saw her getting stronger while I was there.

I also got to spend an afternoon with my older brother. He took me up in his newly painted, newly renovated Cessna airplane. The interior is not completed yet, but the new leather seats are deluxe! Although it is perfectly safe, it is still a little un-nerving to be in a light plane without the headliner, you look up and see just a sheet of aluminum between you and the sky!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The only reason I would leave sunny Florida...

I will be absent from blogland for a while. I must travel to Virginia tomorrow. My 88 year old mother is ill. She lives alone and a few weeks ago she got dizzy and fell. She went to the emergency room, and they did lots of tests, but couldn't find anything wrong. She still has weakness on her right side, and can't hold anything with her right hand. It sounds to me like she had a TIA (mini-stroke). Both my brothers live in her town, but I think Mom might feel better seeing her only daughter. After all, at her age, I never know how much time she has left in this world. She has always been very independent, even when she had to have by-pass surgery in 1999. Mom has been in good health since then, until now. I got her the "life alert" several months ago. She is supposed to wear a necklace with a panic button on it. If anything happens she can push the button and help will be sent. Although, I don't know that she wears it all the time. I will make a surprise visit because if I tell her that I am coming she will try to clean house and go to the grocery! My mom is always doing for others, and I know she hates to feel helpless. I hope I can go up there and get her set up with some home health care. It is hell to get old. I will miss you, my blog buddies, I will be back in about a week or ten days. I used to drive up, about a 16-18 hour drive, straight through, but that was when I was younger. This time I will fly - takes under three hours.

Monday, November 20, 2006

At least not "dead last"

the boys of the lower brass section

The PHS band participated in the Florida Marching Band state finals this past weekend. We had no hopes of taking home any trophies, but we were happy to have scored high enough to be included in the competition. We placed "seventeenth" but at least not dead last! Although it sounds low, that is a state placement, so if you take all the marching bands in the state, we are 17th ranked, so that's not bad! It is a great feeling when the band takes the field. I have always loved marching bands, but when your own kids are involved it is extra exciting! As they took the field, the crowd was quiet as the band stood at parade rest ready to perform. Overwhelmed with a burst of pride I screamed, "Preston - you are my baby boy!" This was loud enough for the entire stadium to hear and everyone laughed. There was no question who the screamer was, because I stood up on my seat with my red shirt emblazoned on the back with "Preston's Mom". I just can't help myself. Being a mom is my proudest accomplishment.
Band is over for this year, and even with all the work, I hate for it to end!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Behind, in time

I keep a schedule in my head. For example, I must do this or that by a certain time so that I can be here or there by then. Today was no exception until disaster happened. I was tidying up the kitchen, putting away clean pots and dishes, when a glass bottle of evoo (extra virgin olive oil) fell out of the cabinet and shattered on the kitchen floor! I just washed that floor a couple of days ago. I was already showered and dressed to go to the store, come home, load up the car with the boy's band uniforms and head off to the school. I picked the large glass shards out of the oil on the floor. I got out the dustpan & brush and swept up the small glass. It was yucky with oil and made a bigger mess. Then I had to clean the pan and brush. In the middle of this, I stepped in the oil, slipped, did a lot of fancy steps and caught myself, then fell on my ass anyway. Of course then I was covered with oil. I had to change my shoes, change my pants, then mop the floor. I think I got all the oil up. What a mess. The point of this story is a tip for you. Buy evoo in plastic, unbreakable bottles. I will from now on!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Did I really need another camera?

My new camera, Cannon Power Shot SD630. I have two really nice cameras. I did not need another one. I talked myself into buying this one by saying that it is small enough for me to carry with me all the time. My other cameras have long lenses, they are big and bulky. This camera is so sweet! Large 3 inch view on the back, and lots of special features. So we will see - will I take more photos? I hope so.

I love photos! I have about 5,000 pictures in memory, mostly of the boys and the school band! So, I guess I can justify a new camera for my expensive hobby!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Florida - nice place to retire

Lucky for me I already live in Florida. It is a nice place to retire because of the mild weather. Living here, you will live longer. Don't take my word for it - look who I saw in the yard yesterday.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

...so close

We are close to the end of the band season, and we have qualified to go to the state championships. Twenty bands will compete in our division. We will have to be in the top five of that twenty in the preliminaries to even participate in the finals.
The band director doesn't think that we have a chance in hell in getting into to top five. I hope he is wrong. The kids are tired and ready for band season to be over. I hope they all give it one last real effort. It is a long shot but "I believe". Here are some photos of them performing last Saturday night; serious Preston & Matt (I hardly ever get them in the same photo.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

I am Hemi - & u "can't touch this!"

Do you believe how cute I am? I am the youngest of my two other dog brothers, but I am the top dog. I can do whatever I want. I can out run and out maneuver the old Airedale, Ransome. I stay out of the way of the grumpy Jack Russell, Buddy. He tries to be stingy with the food, but I can out think him too. The other dogs are so stupid that they run into the garage when mom opens the door. I don't do that - mom is getting ready to answer the front door and I want to see who is there, not run into the garage like a moron. I like to sit on the back of the couch and look out the front window. I can see neighborhood dogs and cats from here, and occasionally a squirrel. I have to tell the people when I want to play, not by barking, but with a little "woo-woo-woo". Somehow they like that and think I am cute, so then they will play. I like to play frisbee. I don't care if they don't like it in the house, I bring it through the doggie-door anyway. (hey people, if you don't want to throw it in the house, get your lazy ass up and come outside). They also think it is so cute when I know the difference of my toys, and they are always saying, "go get the ball" or "go get the squirrel". This seems to entertain them, so I do it. I will suprise them one day and bring a real squirrel in through the doggie-door!!! I like the red head mom the best. She cuddles me and talks baby talk to me. The other mom (old bag) is here with us all the time now, and it is convienent to have someone to wait on me full time. They better not be going off all weekend again with the band. Damn-it if they leave us alone again that long I swear I will chew something up (and blame it on Ransome - that old fool!) Anyway, I better "paws" & get off the computer before the old bag wakes up and catches me!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tuba taxi

If needed, up to three fully assembled sousaphones can ride comfortably in my car!

Teenage love

My son likes a girl at school. I am thrilled about this because he has always been the shy one, too self-conscious to even talk to girls. It is nice to see him finally coming out of his shell at sixteen. The problem is that this girl is popular and all the guys like her. She hangs around mostly with just three guys, my son included. In this group, my son is the only one that drives and has his own car. They are all in the band, and seem happy just hanging out together. My son confided in me that he likes her more than a friend, but that she does not feel the same. He says that he will just have to be satisfied being friends with her. That is better than nothing. Last Saturday at the band competition I saw the girl with one of the other boys (my son's best friend). They were walking together and he had his arm around her. They were looking like more than "just friends". I hesitated to mention this to my son, even though I wanted to. When we got home that night, he brought it up to me. (I am thrilled that he talks to me about this stuff) He told me that the girl and his best friend had feelings for each other, and that he guessed that they are now "going together". His heart was clearly broken. I told him not to be sad, and that maybe it was better, now he could hang around with more people, not just that little group. I told him that he should not just be their chauffeur, and he agreed with me, that he did not want to be. Sunday the girl called. She wanted to hang out with just Preston that day. Of course, he went right over there. He told me later that she felt bad about breaking up the group by dating just one guy and that she did not want to lose Preston's friendship.
My problem: Is she sincere; or a smooth operator that just doesn't want to lose her taxi?
My advice to him: Be sure to keep the lines of communication open with your best friend. She might be selling you a line of bull!
Of course he thinks that I am just a cynical old lady. He believes that she is a wonderful girl and can do no wrong.
I personally would like to get her alone in a small room and interrogate her - but that is not an option!
Raising teenagers is truly like "nailing jello to a tree"!!!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

How do you sleep?

I guess everyone has a unique way of sleeping. I usually sleep on my side. I have four pillows, two regular size, a bolster type, and a small travel pillow. I keep a heating pad under the pillows, just in case my back hurts. My sleeping style was developed from my snoring and having carpel tunnel syndrome. I wore wrist braces for five years while sleeping, until I had carpel tunnel release surgery on one wrist in 1996. After that I was no longer bothered by it, because I learned to keep my wrists straight while I type and while I sleep. I have my head on one pillow, I hug the other one, I keep my wrists straight on the bolster pillow, and the travel pillow stays tucked under my chin to keep my mouth closed! I have found that the best to prevent snoring is to breathe through your nose, and that little pillow has worked wonders for me. I have also discovered that I have less sinus problems, because my nose stays clear. My bedroom is my inner sanctum. I keep it cool and dark. I can close up my bedroom even on the sunniest day and make it as dark as night in there. This works great if I take a nap in the daytime. I never slept enough when I was working. Now that I am retired, I always make sure that I sleep eight hours a night. If I feel a little fatigued in the day, I take a short nap, then I am refreshed. Ahhh! I am so lucky, I love my life!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Busy with the Band

On the past two Saturdays we have been attending the band competitions. In the Largo competition the band won First Place in Class 1-A, Best Drum Major, and Best Auxiliary. The next weekend in the Tampa competition, the band won First Place in Class 1-A, Best Music caption, Best General Effect caption, Best Visual caption, Best Percussion caption.

The PHS band is a small band, with only 60 total members (that includes auxiliary flags & dancers). There was a record high in Tampa last Saturday, and when they took the field at 3:30 PM, the temp gauge read 99 degrees. They went out there like troopers in those hot polyester uniforms and gave it their all, putting on an awesome show. All the parents were screaming them on to victory.
Next weekend we start over again at another competition.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Deck

Over the past weekend we painted the deck and we were not pleased with the color. I got some more Behr deck paint yesterday, and spent all day on the re-paint. I am still not happy with the color.
I was looking for dark brown, but the chips on the chart just don't match the real color, it's sort of a reddish-brown, even though the color was named "chocolate" (I was thinking dark chocolate not milk chocolate!) Anyway, I guess I will get used to it.

I wore my "CROCS" while painting with a big roller. I didn't notice until several hours later that I had ruined my shoes with paint spatter all over them! I was so disapointed, 'cause I love those shoes, so I tried to clean them. Dish soap and one of those potscrubbers did the trick! All the paint came off, then I polished them with some Pledge.



These are some cool, comfortable shoes!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Criminal minds

This time of year folks are turning off their air conditioners and enjoying the wonderful fall weather. Watch out. Don't leave the house with the windows wide open, or you might get an unwanted visitor. I have arrested a lot of burglars. Most people think that these guys sneak in during the night. Not true. They are lazy; they like to work between 10 AM and 3 PM - when you are not home. They knock on your door. If you don't answer and a dog doesn't bark, an open window is an invitation for them to enter and steal your stuff. They like to take small stuff like money and jewelry. They forgot to bring a bag, so they usually take a pillowcase off your bed to carry the loot. They can be in and out of your house in minutes. It just doesn't take that long to ransack the place. Sometimes burglars will do several houses in the same neighborhood. Once outside they find a big shrub or hedge to hide the pillowcase. They will come back later to collect the stuff. (that way, even if they are caught right after the crime - you can't prove that it was them) If you really must leave your windows open, get those inexpensive screw on locks that only allow the window to open four inches. Yeah, they could break the window, but they won't - I told you, they are lazy. They will skip your house and go to your neighbors. I never answer the door if I am not expecting you (so call me first - maybe I will answer the phone!) A lot of people knock on my door in the day. I wish I could keep that damn pack of dogs quiet! I sure would have a suprise for the burglar!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

photostamps.com

You can order specialty stamps with any photograph on them. They cost quite a bit, but I like to put them on our Christmas cards. You have to take them to the post office and ask that they hand stamp them, so that the postmark doesn't cover the photo. I make the boys dress up in suits. (it is just about the only time that I can get them to dress up) I let them pose anyway they want. What a difference a year makes!
We had to buy them new (bigger) suits this year. They have to shop at the mens store now.
They are still posing the same way.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New graphic


The band trailer finally got the photo-graphics on last week. They used all photos taken by me! The band director designed a collage with some of the kids photos and the tiger mascot. It really gets a lot of looks when I am going down the road. It is also a lot easier for me to get through the stadium gates now; they just wave me through now that they know who I am. This Saturday starts our month of competitions. It is an exciting time for all the band members. It is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun for the kids and the parents. We have had our first taste of fall weather here, it got below 70 degrees this morning! I hope it stays that way the rest of the month.
postscript: Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you - when I took the trailer to the graphics place they asked me to BACK it into their garage. I had about a two inch clearance on each side. I was quite nervous but kept saying to myself, "what one person can do - another can do!" Practice makes perfect when backing a trailer, I just go really slow and they think I'm a pro.

Monday, October 09, 2006

>>>> ???? <<<<<<

I went to the doctor this morning and all my tests are negative, my vitals are good, all my blood work was normal. ("whew!") The doctor said that the pain could have been caused by a gall stone, or maybe a soft stone that passed. He said these things can happen even after a gall bladder is removed (great). Anyway, I am not in pain anymore, and after a flu shot and a pneumonia shot - I "skipped" out of the doctors office feeling like a person with a death sentence reprieve. I have vowed to lose some weight and keep my blood sugar under control. I would rather take a "poke in the eye with a sharp stick" than go to the doctor. I don't know why I am like that. My mother loves to go to the doctor, even though she can't hear a word he says! Maybe I should go more often, and not just when I think I am deathly ill! Perhaps I should go just for a check-up once in a while! Well, no, I probably won't do that. Anyway, thanks to all of you for your concern.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I have called out sick

I have been neglecting my blogging lately due to illness. I fell ill last week with bad pain in my upper back. It felt exactly like a gall bladder attack; only I don't have a gall bladder - it was removed in 1980. I went to the doctor and they ordered the usual battery of tests. CBC, labs, x-ray, abdominal ultra sound. My heart was enlarged on the x-ray, so they threw in an echo cardiogram. I took myself off my cholesterol meds (pravastatin) and the PA told me to stay off of them until the test results are in. My regular doctor is on vacation, and I see him first thing next Monday when he returns. In the meantime, the pain is now at a manageable level, I am feeling better everyday. I suspect that I could have formed some more "stones" in the common bile duct. This happens in about one percent of the gall bladder cases. (so I am told) Anyway, I hope that it is not something more serious. Keep your fingers crossed for me! I plan to catch up on my blog reading tomorrow!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Neighborhood Dispute

Aren't adults wonderful??
THIS IS CLASSIC!

Here's the story. A city councilman, Mark Easton, lives in this neighborhood. He had a beautiful view of the east mountains, until a new neighbor purchased the lot below his house and built.

Apparently, the new home was 18 inches higher than the ordinances would allow, so Mark Easton, mad about his lost view, went to the city to make sure they enforced the lower roof line ordinance. Mark and his new neighbor had some great arguments about this as you can imagine great feelings. The new neighbor had to drop the roof line - no doubt at great expense.

Recently, Mark Easton called the city and informed them that his new neighbor had installed some vents on the side of his home. Mark didn't like the look of these vents and asked the city to investigate. When they went to Mark's home to see the vent view, this is what they found...
(see following pictures).

The big man

Last night we had to go to the airport to pick some people up. We had some time to kill before the flight arrived, so we ate at TGIFridays in the airport. The windows of the restaurant look out onto one of the long wide concourse hallways, and you can watch the people walking by. People watching is one of my favorite pastimes. I saw a man exit the restaurant adjacent to us. This guy had to be in excess of 400 pounds. He was pulling one of those popular suitcases on wheels. He was so big that the suitcase just swung along behind him, not able to stay in a straight enough line to keep rolling on it's wheels. I felt bad for this man. He was alone. I thought about how tough life must be for him. Everything must take an extra effort. He struggled just to walk. Did he have to buy three seats on the plane? He would have had trouble even walking down the middle aisles of most planes that I have been on. I am sure that people would turn away from him, rather than consider him disabled and help him. How about going to the bathroom? It would be difficult for him even to fit through the door of the handicapped toliet, much less keep himself clean. I am sad for the people who are the outcasts of our society. They just want to be treated like everyone else. They must think, "Who will love me?" They must be so embassassed when people point, whisper, stare and laugh.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I don't "really know Mickey Mouse either.

This past weekend the moms & the boys went to Disney World. The working mom had a conference to go to there during the week, so we took advantage of time to have a weekend together. We stayed at the Contemporary Resort on the Disney property. Most of the resorts on the property are connected to each other and to the theme parks with a system of boats, trains and the monorail. You don't necessarily have to go to the amusement parks to have fun, there is plenty to do at the individual resort hotels. The Contemporary Resort was one of the first hotels built at Disney (in the 1970's). It is a large A-frame hotel, with a monorail that goes right through the building. You can catch the monorail in the fourth floor lobby and travel to most anywhere in Disney. On Saturday night the boys ran off to explore the hotel game room, and the moms had some alone time. We strolled out by the pool and talked about various subjects. I talked about all of you and blogging in general. Matt's mom was amused that I knew so much about the lives of strangers. That's when I knew that you cannot explain blogging to a non-blogger! I could not really convey that I consider you my friends even though I don't know your real identities. Most of us could pass on the street and not even know it, yet I know more about you than I do most of my "real" friends. Anyway, I am telling you, DON'T try to explain this to a non-blogger or you might get some funny looks (like I did)!

Monday, September 18, 2006

CRIKEY!

Thanks, Susan! I went to another blogger's site who experienced the same beta blogger mess that I am in. Apparently if you want me to comment on your blog, you must make your settings to include "anybody" or I cannot comment. Eventually, everyone will be switched to beta blogger, but in the meantime, only beta bloggers can comment on other beta bloggers - and not on regular blogs. How screwed up it that? Well, anyway I did figure out why they named it BETA -
it is because you are like a Beta fighting fish - all alone in your tank with no one to play with! (I will still comment on your blogs under "other", so please change your settings to include all.)

beta blogger

I made the switch to blogger in beta - but now I cannot comment on any of your blogs, blogger won't let me, says that I am not signed in. If any one knows a solution to this, please let me know. As I have told you before, I am quite computer stupid. Let me just say this about blogger in beta - ^ &%$#f.u!7$&(?@ m.f.%4#@!!! I am still reading & enjoying your blog posts!

Friday, September 15, 2006

In case you haven't heard, DON'T EAT SPINACH! Oh, thanks, I already ate some last Wednesday night!!!! If you don't hear from me you will know why! (I had frozen spinach, so I hope that doesn't count)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pretty funny

(I got this via e-mail, so you may have already read it)
If you are 30 or older : When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning ... uphill BOTH ways ... through year 'round blizzards. Carrying their younger siblings on their backs ... to their one-room schoolhouse, where they maintained a Straight-A average, despite their full- time, after-school job at the local textile mill ... where they worked for 35 cents an hour just to help keep their family from starving to death! I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it! But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it! I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!! There was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there! There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! And talk of about hardship? You couldn't just download porn! You had to steal it from your brother or bribe some homeless dude to buy you a copy of "Hustler" at the 7-11! Those were your options! We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister! We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like "Space Invaders" and "Asteroids" and the graphics sucked a$$! Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! ... Just like LIFE! When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed! Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no onscreen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your a$$ and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little brats! We didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up ... we had to use the stove or go build a frigging fire ... imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid JiffyPop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot. That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ransome's dog

You all know my Airedale, Ransome. What you may not know is that I have three dogs. That seems like a lot to me, too. Let me explain. First, in 1997, I got Ransome. When I went to work, Ransome was SO lonely. I had to get him a dog of his own. I got Buddy, he is a Jack Russell terrier. Buddy was about a year old when I got him in 1998. He was already trained and a wonderful dog. His owner was gone all day, and couldn't care for Buddy, so I took him. He was so excited to have a big yard to play in; sometimes he still stays outside all day. Now Ransome is happy; he has his own dog. Then came Hemi, my third dog, a Miniature Schnauzer. I had no intention of buying this dog. I made the mistake of picking him up; then he owned me. How could I resist?

These dogs are great and they live like kings. Now that I am retired, they consider me "part of the pack". I have to remind them daily that I am the pack leader. Just like the kids, they know I am a push-over. I love my dogs even though they are a lot of work to take care of. They are worth it. They are my "fur kids"!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Guess who's in Florida?





where do you think I emailed from?
I woke up this morning to the sound of the dogs barking at something. I discovered a travel weary bird with big hair in the living room. Buddy dog says, "Where did you come from, little bird?"






















P.S. Cucoo likes to sleep in the drumstick sleeping bag!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

PHS DRUMLINE

Friday night lights
the director scrutinizes the drumline at our away game in Sebring, Florida - September 1, 2006. (that's our boy Matt fourth from the right)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Steve Irwin

The Crocodile Hunter was a big influence in our lives. Steve Irwin taught my children that all animals, no matter how unpopular or predatory, live in this world with us, and deserve to be respected and protected. Irwin entertained us while teaching us conservation. Additionally, he taught us about being enthusiastic and passionate about life; and the importance of family. We will miss you Steve, rest in peace.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

My Dad

My Dad's birthday was September 2nd. He died in the 70's; a long time ago. I still miss him. He died quite young (58) of heart disease; a condition that began when he had his first heart attack at 48 years old. Back then, if your arteries were clogged, you were just out of luck. In 2001, when I began suffering from similar symptoms, I was hospitalized and angioplasty was performed, unblocking some of my arteries. My Mother, who also has coronary artery disease, had bypass surgery in 1999. She is still with us, and will turn 87 years old next month. We think she will outlive all of us. My Father was one of 13 brothers and sisters, the son of a poor Georgia share cropper. He only went to the seventh grade, but he was the smartest man that I have ever known. My Dad taught me some valuable lessons. Some of this knowledge came from his awareness that his life might be short. The most important lesson he taught me was to be kind to people, especially people less fortuate. He would tell me that it was the responsibility of the strong to take care of the weak. He would tell me to "pass along some kindness to everyone you meet." Dad would say, "If you love someone, tell them, they have a right to know - and furthermore they would love to hear it!" So many things that he told me, so many years ago, have guided my life so far. Now I understand, more than ever, the urgency he felt to pass on these life messages as I in turn pass them on to his namesake, Preston - my son!

I don't "really" know Mickey Mouse either!

Over the past weekend the moms & boys went over to Walt Disney World. The working mom had a conference over there this week, so we decided to go a day early, and spend some time in the nice hotel. We stayed at the Contemporary Resort at Disney. Disney has several hotels right on the property. Many of the hotels and resort attractions are connected together with the monorail, boats, and trains. The Disney property is a nice place, real clean and I feel like it is really safe there. The boys went to explore the game room, so the moms had some alone time. We went down and sat by the beautiful lake, with the man-made beach and pool. It was quite picturesque there, and actually cool enough to sit outside comfortably. We talked and I began to explain to Matt's mom about my blog friends. As I talked about all of you and your blogs, she was quite amused about how much I knew about you strangers! (I guess you have to be a blogger to understand about blogging!) Even though I don't even know most of your real identities, I still think of you as "friends". I would not recognize you if we passed on the street, but I know more about you than I know about most of my "real" friends. Since I retired and I don't get out much to meet people, blogging has been a real enjoyment for me. I just wanted to let you know that you might get some funny looks (like I did) when you try to explain blogging!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What a week!

I took my computer to the Geek Squad to see if they could recover a deleted file for me. When I got there, my computer wouldn't power up. I had just unplugged it an hour before I got there, so I couldn't believe it. The techie guy told me that it was probably the motherboard, and I would spend less to buy a whole new computer. This all sounded real crazy to me, so I went home to think about it. I was looking through my paperwork and discovered that I had purchased the 3 year service plan. Since the computer was purchased in '04, I rushed up to the nearest Best Buy and put her in the hospital. Today they called, and my computer had a bad power supply. They replaced it for free under the warranty, so I was relieved. Sometimes it helps to get a second opinion! So now I STILL haven't recovered the deleted file and I don't have much hope that I will. I bought some "Search and Recover" software, and it is running as I am writing this - it takes hours! Then I will have to sift through the recovered files and see if I can find the missing one! Maybe I will get lucky.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I took Jelly's advice. I got some chocolate. I ate it. I ate some more. I am addicted, but I feel much better! Fatter, but better! I discovered this lovely brand if you love coffee and chocolate - it has both! In my recent chocolate binge - I have decided that I like DOVE the best. It is the smoothest, and it just melts in your mouth. If someone doesn't stop me, I will eat the whole bag! I have to ask my roomate to hide the bag of chocolate and only dole it out to me a few pieces at a time. Pitiful, aren't I?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I need the GEEK SQUAD!

Talk about stupid. I was deleting some unwanted files because I thought they were making my computer go. . . so. . . slow - and I must have deleted some files by mistake. My roomate tried to go to "her" files - and they were missing. Completely gone - not even as much as a mention of them in the recycle bin. Now, I admit to being computer illiterate, but I don't think I intentionally deleted a file. My roomate insinuated that somehow my actions were deliberate, because only "her" files and "her son's" files were deleted. (She actually said that she thought it was "ODD", but I took that as accusatory.) I understand her frustration because she had some important documents in there. However, I wasn't the one that didn't back up my files! All my important stuff (photos) are backed up on an external drive. We usually get along quite well. This paranoid inferred accusation begs the question, "Does mama have to slap a bitch?" Of course I am only kidding, I love her to death. I will slink down to the Geek Squad precinct tomorrow and spend hundreds of dollars to try to recover the files. Maybe if I have any money left over, I will buy her an external drive of her own!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My life in a nutshell

Sometimes I have writer's block, or actually - it's thinker's block. Then again, maybe it is "thinker's attitude". My son got his driver's license last Friday. Seeing him drive away from the house on his own is that same feeling all over again from when I dropped him off at school for the first time. Kind of empty, scared, am I doing the right thing feeling. You know, throwing him out of the nest - but wanting to grab him back. I have admitted it before, I am an "OPM" (overprotective mom). Now it is time to let him go off with his friends, and hope that he is a good boy. I have never had a bit of trouble with him, I have nothing to complain about. I guess I am just afraid he will be influenced by peer pressure. Now I will be working on the second driver, my roomate's son, helping him get his learner's permit, teaching him to drive. Ah, such is the life of a stay at home mom.
My life has changed so much in the last two years since my disability retirement. Other friends my age are still working, so I really have nothing in common with them. I mostly stay at home doing laundry, cutting the grass, cooking dinner, doing the dishes and all that other domestic crap. Even the dogs are bored with me and have stopped following me around the house. When my roomate and the boys come home, they all begin doing their personal little projects; there is little conversation. I know that I am depressed about all this. I plan to start thinking about me for a change; next week will be all about ME! Do you think they will notice? Maybe when the laundry starts to pile up and there is no dinner on the table!

Monday, August 21, 2006

I am still here!

I know I haven't blogged in a while, but I am still reading your blogs. I will post all the news tomorow. I miss you too!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Your rights

You have the right to remain silent.

If you give up that right, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

You have the right to an attorney and to have an attorney present during questioning.

If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you at no cost.

During any questioning, you may decide at any time to exercise these rights, not answer any questions, or make any statements.

Let's go over this again. After the first sentence, it should be clear what you should do. Please, just remain silent! Stop trying to be cooperative. If the police have gone this far and they are giving you this warning - it is because they suspect you of something and they want you to make statements that will incriminate you or in some way tie you to the crime that is being investigated. Now if you STILL feel like you might want to make some kind of a statement, why not call an attorney? An attorney is a person that knows about the law and you want him there for you. Why? because they just told you that "anything you say can and will be used against you in court." What? you don't know an attorney? You are scared that it might cost too much money? It is free. They have to provide an attorney, at no cost to you. If the nice officer (who just wants to help you) gets you to start talking - remember - at any time you can just STOP TALKING!

In my 25 years as a law enforcement officer, most of those years as a detective, questioning hundreds of suspects, how many times do you think someone requested an attorney? . . . 3 times, yup, that's all, 3 times! Why? because I was SO nice, SO caring, SO compassionate.

Please don't be fooled by the nice cop. Exercise your right to remain silent. shhhhhhhhh!!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Humidity sale

At the local K-Mart this weekend some dealership is having a car sale. They have a large tent set up in the parking lot. The cars are 2006 closeouts. I don't know about you, but who in their right mind would want to sit outside in 90 degree heat and high humidity in a tent negotiating a car deal? Maybe if the salesman passes out you get the deal!

Friday, August 11, 2006

How we spend our Friday nights

Here we are again for another year. Us moms in the stands watching our band boys practice, practice and more practice. They are in the stadium from 6 to 10 PM, working on their drills. This years show looks like it will be one of the best that I have seen. That is Matt (10th grade) on the snare drum on the left, and Preston (11th grade) on the tuba. This band is undefeated in it's class in this area.

Both boys work very hard and they really like being in the band. Us moms are happy about this, glad our babies are not running the streets and hanging with drug addicts! There is so much bad stuff for teenagers to get into, we are glad they have this activity to keep them busy.
Tonight we dropped them off at 6, then we went out to a nice "moms only" quiet dinner. We will be doing this every weekend now through November. Some weekends there is a Friday night game, and then a Saturday competition the next day. This keeps the whole family busy. All the band parents must help out in some way.

Our job is to tow the band trailer full of musical instruments to competitions and away games. It is like high school re-visited, for us!