Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Failure

Things that make you scratch your head and say out loud, "WTF"?

Do you sit unnoticed on the sidelines while others are picked? Are you always the wallflower and never the date? Try the latest scarf fashion and you too will be the center of attention...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Texturize Yourself

Kate at Chronicles of a Country Girl is a master at using textures to create photographic symphonies. What's this, you ask? I'm not sure - photographic symphony just sounded cool.

Anyway, Kate really is a master at both photography and transforming photos into unique masterpieces using various Photoshop techniques. I've tried following her direction with little success. I think it has something to do with left brain/right brain. Anyway, it simply does not compute for me.

I am the proud owner of one of Kate's mosaics entitled A Whiter Shade of Pale. Now you too can own one of Kate's photo treasures FREE by leaving a comment on her blog. But you better act fast - the giveaway ends at 6PM Thursday February 26. Click here for a quick link to Kate's giveaway post. Please return the favor by telling Kate I sent you. Good luck!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Grandson = Joy

I know I've mentioned this before, but I absolutely ADORE our grandson, Ayden. Yes, I love and adore all eight of our grandchildren. But Ayden is...well, we have a very special bond.

Ayden showed up at our house Saturday afternoon with his little Sponge Bob suitcase. He was all excitement about having a sleepover at Mimi and Bumpa's house. No sleepover would be complete without a drive around the neighborhood on the cart path.

Ayden was at the wheel of his RZR while Mimi and Bumpa followed behind in the golf cart. It was a chilly day but the bright sun made it pleasantly warm.

Like any other 4-year-old, Ayden has the attention span of a gnat. He began driving with both hands on the wheel that lasted about 3 minutes. He then fidgeted with the radio and kept turning around to be sure we were following close behind. He mistakenly drove off the path twice because he wasn't paying attention.

At one point he stopped abruptly and almost caused us to crash into the rear end of his RZR. When I asked him why he stopped, he replied, "Mmmmm...nothin'. I was just looking at the eagle."

"What eagle?"

"That one, Mimi. See? It went into the jungle over there."

[Pause] "OK, Ayden".

No, it wasn't an eagle...and the thick forested underbrush along the path isn't a jungle. However, in the imagination of a little boy, it IS.

We love you, Ayden!

Monday Giveway

Don't you love the treasures that bloggers give away? It's amazing what I find while blog surfing, and Barbara's giveaway is a wonderful prize. If you enjoy poetry you'll want to visit Barabara at The Serenity Gate. Please be sure to tell her I sent you :)

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


After careful examination of the damage to our home, the results are more extensive than originally expected. The roof was inspected by a roofing company - it is deemed a total loss. Among other areas that require replacing are the stucco mailbox...

...all window screens and gutters...

...ornamental stucco around windows...

...pool cover, and pool/patio furniture (see previous post).

Other neighbors in our subdivision suffered the same amount of damage. Yet, it could have been much worse. A sleep over with our grandson, Ayden provided comic relief. He is such fun and a joy to be around. We met Ayden's family for lunch after church today. Ayden and his mommy provided levity to an ordinary Sunday.

Like mother... son. Thanks for the laughs!

As for Ayden's younger brother and sister, well...they are just too CUTE! Yes, we are truly blessed.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Weather Mayhem

You may have wondered why I didn't update my blog for a couple days. Or, perhaps not. I'm going to explain my absence to you anyway.

As I left the office last Wednesday, our receptionist informed me about tornado warnings that were in effect until 8:00 that evening. Walking out the door I was immediately struck by the very warm temperatures - 71 degrees - and brilliant blue skies. Tornado warning? I didn't believe it. As I drove to my hair appointment I phoned my daughter and we both chuckled about the weather warning.

I was getting a hair cut in Peachtree City when the storms first appeared. Skies were churning an ominous green color and emergency sirens could be heard in the distance. Patrons in the salon were uneasy, but I urged my stylist to finish so I could leave. The salon receptionist came to tell me my daughter had phoned - a serious storm at her home in Tyrone was dropping large hail and heading toward my house (I live about 10 minutes away from their home in Fayetteville). The glass front windows in the salon were bowing in and out from the change in air pressure and creaked ominously. Still I urged Carol to finish quickly. I was concerned about my three pups at home alone.

By the time I made my way home, the main storm had passed. Temps had dropped 19 degrees in the wake of the storm. Driving by our neighborhood, the damage looked minimal. I continued to drive to our old home (currently empty and for sale) about a mile from our new house. The ground fog was so thick I couldn't see anything in front of me. I crawled along at about 10 mph until I reached the entrance to Ashley Forest. The crunching of tires on the road was deafening - I thought I was driving on debris from the storm and didn't realize I was driving on ice. Reaching our driveway on Gray Fox, I was stunned to see snow covering the lawn. Dummy me - it wasn't snow, it was ICE! Not just ice, but hail the size of tennis balls! Storm debris was everywhere.

Photo courtesy of Chere at Miss Priss Follies

We were fortunate to have sustained only minor damage. By comparison, many families lost entire homes. In all, 10 tornadoes touched down in our immediate area of Fayette and Coweta counties. The hail tore through our pool furniture and shredded every window screen. An insurance adjuster will determine the amount of damage to our roof, but already neighbors have reported serious damage. Thank goodness for insurance.

While the hail shown below doesn't look all that serious, let me explain. I collected several large hail stones to take home. I knew Doughboy wouldn't believe me, so I planned to place them in the freezer to show him later. Arriving home to Annelise Park, everything was dark. The street lamps were unlit and there were no lights in homes. It was eerily dark except for the flash of lightening every where. I sat in a dark house, alone with my pups, with nothing but candle light and the natural gas fireplace for comfort. I played solitaire on my laptop computer waiting for the power to be restored. I eventually gave up my wait and went to bed. I watched the flash of lightening through our bedroom windows until finally falling asleep. Somewhere around 3:00am Thursday the power came on. That is the reason I haven't posted. And that is why the hail stones don't appear as big as they were when first collected - they melted quite a bit while the power was off. But they are still BIG! View more hail photos at my friend's blog here. She lives a mile away from me in the opposite direction of our old house. According to a local newspaper article, hail the size of grapefruit was documented. Grapefruit!

Yes, it could have been much, much worse. My heart and prayers are with the families who lost everything; however, our severe weather season is only just beginning. I can only hope our luck continues to hold.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Failure

Things that make you scratch your head and say out loud, "WTF!?"

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Let Him Live Another Day

Even on the weekend I rise early. My usual wake up time Monday through Friday is 5:30am. On weekends I sleep until 6:30'ish depending on when the pups need to go outside. I always wake before Doughboy and let him sleep as long as he needs.

This past Saturday, Valentine's Day, was an exception. Doughboy had left a gift for me in the chair I usually sit upon. He woke early to surprise me and anticipated my usual routine: after feeding the pups their breakfast, I pour myself a glass of orange juice then sit in my brown leather chair to watch the morning news.

Seeing the bright colored gift bag, I said "Oh look! There's a bag in my chair".

Without missing a beat, Doughboy said "Not yet".

...I let him live another day.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Spring Fever

I have a case of spring fever and I've got it bad. The rain clouds of yesterday have blown away to reveal a brilliant cerulean blue sky. Temperatures have warmed in the light of the sun. It is a splendid day!

Signs of spring are beginning to appear everywhere. One of my favorite signs are blossoms from flowering Bradford pears. The experts warn that it's a mistake to plant Bradford pear trees, and rightly so: their limbs break too easily in stormy weather. Because of their fragility, Bradfords are outlawed in our new neighborhood. But just around the corner is a neighborhood whose one and only street is lined on either side with these flowering beauties. The following photos were taken this afternoon.

Another sign of spring is the number and variety of wild birds.

On the other hand, Kady finds all the excitement a bit dull.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Memories

My friend Chere reminded me that exactly two years ago we were on a Hawaiian cruise aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines. Chere, Deb, Jamie and I joined ScrapMap for a scrapping good time for nine glorious days. It was also Jamie's 30th birthday gift from me. Nice, huh?

There were adventures every day...swimming with turtles on The Big Island, zip-lining through the forest canopy and horseback riding on Kauai, biking down Haleakala on Maui...

...our first luau...


...and hanging out together.

We had such a great time we decided to go again. We're joining ScrapMap for the Ultimate Scrapbook Cruise 2010 to Mexico and Honduras. Check out Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas itinerary here.

What's your favorite Valentine's Day memory? What ever you do and where ever you are, I hope your Valentine's Day is wonderful!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Me: [on the phone with Doughboy] Uh, we have a problem.

DB: [sounding slightly annoyed or bored] I'm more than 800 miles can handle it. What's the problem?

Me: Well, we had a lot of wind from all the storms in the plains. Anyway, I thought someone had stolen our patio furniture. I could only find two chaise chairs.

DB: [silence]

Me: I found them...they are in the pool.

DB: So? Can you get them out? [duh]

Me: [peering into the deep end of the pool] No...they are in 7 feet of frigid water. What should I do?

DB: It's outdoor furniture...they're used to getting rained on. Just leave 'em there. [duh again]

At this point all common sense has flown right out the window. And I'm annoyed he can't do something - NOW! Yes, I know Doughboy is in Pittsburgh. Yes, I know that perhaps, just maybe, he is right about the furniture being alright for the time being. For some insane, irrational reason this is really under my skin. I keep walking outside to stare into the pool as if by magic the chaise chairs will fly out on their own. This just goes against my grain and all reason to leave them in the pool. But I can't get them out alone.

Guess what Doughboy has on his "honey do" list for tomorrow????

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Mind Of Her Own

Kady Elise (a/k/a Bug) has a mind of her own which is typical of her breed. When you call her to come, she may or may not respond depending on her mood. Most often she gives you "the look", then completely ignores you as if you were something messy she nearly stepped in.

Kady, come here. [long pause]


Did you see that? She just flipped me the dew claw!

Being ignored by a dog is an all time low. At least I can always count on my main man Leo to give me some sugar :)

Leo? LEO!!!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Perpetual Motion

Having grandsons in my life has been quite an adjustment. Let's face it - boys are much different than girls even at an early age. I had one child - a girl - who was mature well beyond her years. I always considered her as having an old soul. Jamie was content to play with her dolls or draw for hours on end with hardly a noise. On the other hand, boys are all noise and action. Always in motion! At almost 3 years old, Jameson never stops moving. I snapped the first two photos while he ate breakfast. It was a momentary opportunity to catch Jameson in photo without blur.

Keeping still didn't last long. He was in motion...again...

Yup, it's out of focus. {sigh} I guess I should feel fortunate to get two out of three photos in focus. I think this may be a new record.

It's a good thing he's cute.