Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday again ... and time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge.  Won't you join us in the fun?  Just click on the button above.

1. Do you think the world became a more dangerous place on September 11, 2001 or did we just become more aware of the danger? How has your own life changed as a result of that day?
I don’t know that the world has become more dangerous … I suspect that most of us had no clue that danger was right here among us.  I think we were “forced” to become more aware of the danger.  I’ve never been a fan of flying, but I hate it even more after 9/11 … with packing restrictions, with long lines at airports, with full body scans and pat downs. 
2. Did you think your parents were too strict when you were growing up? How about in hindsight?
My parents were strict, and when growing up, I thought they were a little too strict, but what teenager doesn’t?  I will say that their strictness probably wouldn’t haven’t been as chafing had it been tempered with some communication (besides “as long as you live in my house, you’ll live by my rules”) and with some love.  However, in hindsight, when I’ve see what happens to kids whose parents weren’t as strict, I cannot say that they were too strict. 
3. Share one random but candid fact about yourself.
I am such a creature of habit.  I have the same thing for breakfast every. single. day … except for Wednesdays when DH has breakfast at the Bread Co. (and is sweet enough to bring me a bagel for my breakfast ).
4. Would your nearest and dearest describe you as simple or far too complicated?
Too complicated.  I prefer to think of myself as complex.  ;-)
5. What is your favorite stadium or carnival food?
When we go to the ballgame, I’ve “got” to have a brat.  I haven’t done a fair or carnival in years, although if I would ever go, I’m sure I’d have some kettle corn.
6. Tornado, hurricane, many of these natural disasters have you experienced? Which event do you think would be the scariest?
I’ve never experienced a hurricane.  I think it would be the least scary, if only because there’s enough warning to get out of danger.  We are near enough the New Madrid Fault to experience some affects of seismic activity.  The most vivid and most “severe” was on a Saturday morning in November, 1968.  I was home alone, up on the 2nd floor of our house ironing something to wear on my date that evening.  I felt the tremors and ran outside … where everyone else was, too!  I live in Illinois, land of the tornados, and tornado warnings are as much a part of spring as daffodils.  Just this past spring, we had tornados that touched down way too close for my comfort.  At the end of February, an EF1 touched down 12 miles to the west and an EF2 touched down 3 miles to the east.  But the scariest one was the F4 tornado on Good Friday that touched down and destroyed a good bit of Lambert Airport in St. Louis; it crossed the river and touched down as an F2 just 12 miles to the west and again about 14 miles to the east.  And I’ll never forget the F4 that touched down a half mile or so from where I was living in April, 1981.     
7. Labor Day weekend is approaching so a work related question seems appropriate. Growing up, did your parents assign you regular chores? Were you paid for doing those chores? If you're a parent do you assign chores to your own children? Why or why not?
That last question was inspired by a post Mindee wrote on Monday. Everyone go say hi to Mindee. She blogs at Our Front Door and she's funny
I had chores when growing up, but I wasn’t paid.  I did receive an allowance, but it wasn’t payment for the chores that I did. 
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I had a wonderful day yesterday.  I spent a good part of the morning/early afternoon cleaning out the closet (and bundling up stuff for Goodwill) and dresser drawers and under the bathroom vanity.  After I finished that, I spent several hours working on T#4’s big girl quilt.  It’s coming along … hand quilting is such slow work, but I’m not complaining … I love to hand quilt!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Miscellany Monday


Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters


Once again, a weekend has just flown by (where DID it go??) and Monday’s here … which means that it’s time for Miscellany Monday. 


1.  Watched a lot of the weather channel this weekend.  Remember, I told y’all that I’m a weather geek.  And hurricanes seem to be especially fascinating to me … I don’t know if it’s the anticipation or the fact that they seem to hit in places where I’ve been or what.  So we watched a fair amount of Irene coverage.  And while she didn’t do nearly as much damage as originally forecast, that’s small consolation to those affected by her winds, rains, and flooding. 


2.  Got a good bit of hand quilting done on T#4’s big girl quilt.  I still have a ways to go, but I’m making some progress. 


3.  Watched some movies on TV … we’d seen most of them before, but at that price, they were worth watching again (and since we’d seen them before, I could quilt along while watching).


4.  Got our plans finalized for our alternate destination for our trip next month.  While Irene didn’t do as much damage to the Outer Banks as we were afraid she’d do, she did make a direct hit.  We decided that we’d rather wait to go next year when we know that everything should be back 100%.  We found a new travel website …  It’s similar to … you don’t know what hotel you’re getting until you’ve booked it, but they do provide some description and pictures of the rooms … and since we’ve stayed at the hotel being offered, we knew what we were getting.  And we got a rate almost 25% cheaper than what was offering.  On top of that, they do give refunds for cancellations (with enough advance notice), unlike

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We’ll miss you, sweet girl

Flying Toby
Toby relaxing
I’ve had a number of dogs over the years, but I’ve never had a better one that this sweet girl. I’m missing her so much already.  Every where I turn, I expect to see her right here by my side.  She was definitely a mama’s girl … she just couldn’t control herself whenever she saw her first mama (DD) and she wouldn’t rest easy until she knew that her second mama (me) was here.  I know … she was just a dog, and yet my heart will never be quite the same now that she’s gone.

Wednesday Hodgepodge



It’s Wednesday aka Hump Day (although it’s not Hump Day for me … this week’s work schedule has Wednesday as my first day at work … so I guess that Thursday will be my Hump Day ha!).  I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking forward to Wednesday because that means it’s time for HODGEPODGE!!  After you’ve finished reading my answers, why not head on over to Joyce’s and see what everyone else had to say?  Just click on the button above.


1. What is something that bothers you if it's not done perfectly?

Just about everything!  It might be easier to answer what doesn’t bother me if it’s not done perfectly.  And I hate it because when I’ve needed/asked for some help, I am never quite satisfied with how it’s done.  :-(  Remember, I was an accountant for almost 30 years … and you’ve got to be a little (ok, maybe a lot) anal-retentive/OCD to be a good accountant! ;-)

2. Do you think a 6th sense exists? Explain.

I’m not sure that we have a 6th sense, but I do believe that we have an intuition about things, often based on our personal experiences and perceptions.  And often, I believe that it’s the Holy Spirit guiding and directing us. 


3. Do you say your goodbyes slowly, quickly, or not at all?

Quickly.  I hate dragging things out, especially goodbyes.  Of course, if a certain little one happens to run to me wanting one more hug, I don’t mind dragging it out … I’ll do just about anything for one more hug or kiss from one of my Ts! :-)

4. On a scale of 1-10, with ten being hot hot hot, what level of spice do you like in your food? What's your favorite 'spicy' dish?

I’d say 7, depending on the dish, of course.  Hot simply for the sake of hot may not necessarily appeal to me, but I do like some kick to some foods.  My favorite would be hot wings.  I know, I know … that’s so unimaginative, but I do love me some hot wings.


5. What is one of your all time favorite commercial jingles?

Ok, I KNOW no one else is going to come up with the same answer as me.  Whenever I think of a commercial jingle, I can’t help but think of the jingle for Frederic Roofing, a St. Louis roofing company.  They had their commercials on TV, on radio (especially on the baseball and hockey games) … everywhere.  I couldn’t find a video on, but if you go to their website, their jingle will play.  It’s the best I can do.

6. Plane, train, boat or auto...your preferred method of travel?

Auto!  DH and I do NOT like to fly – AT ALL.  We’ve never traveled by train or by boat, so my answer is auto.  I love that our only constraint on what we can take is the space inside the vehicle … I can take my pillows, I can take a good supply of Diet Coke, I can buy as many souvenirs as I’d like, and I can hang our nicer clothes.  We can stop where and when we want to.  I love the time in the car where DH and I have no interruptions, no distractions and can talk … really talk.  And we get to see some of this beautiful country on our way to our destination. 


7. What is something you take for granted?

I’d like to think that I don’t take anything for granted, but I’m sure I’m like everyone else.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I thought we were past the worst of the hot days, but we’ve got another heat advisory for today.  Thankfully, this heat spell will be short lived because we’ll be back to the mid 80’s for the next several days.  Hopefully THIS will be the last of triple-digit temperatures and triple-digit heat indices!


Ok, I know Joyce said thought, not thoughts, but it’s my blog so … it looks like Irene might not interfere with our trip next month.  Every forecast update shows that she’s shifting further to the east, and while the current forecast shows that she’s making a beeline for the Outer Banks, a lot can change in the next 2 1/2 days.  We’ve got a Plan B (and a Plan C) in place, so whatever Irene brings, we’ll be ready for the beach!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Miscellany Monday


Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters 

I haven’t done a Miscellany Monday in a long, long time … and I don’t know why since my life is the very definition of randomness.  ;-)


Another weekend has come to an end.  If only the week days would go by as quickly as the weekends, right?  And yes, even though I’m retired (ok, mostly retired), I still look forward to the weekends and hate to see them come to an end. 


Saturday was a lazy day here (haven’t had one of those since mid-May), I went to the slider to just look outside and saw this out on our deck. 


I have no idea what kind of lizard that is … I had no idea that little lizards like this even existed this far north. 


Yesterday I got a bit of quilting done.  I quilted in the afternoon while watching Steel Magnolias.  That’s a movie that I can watch again and again … and never fail to have tears in my eyes in certain parts or recite some of the memorable lines. 


DH seems to be coming down with some kind of respiratory bug … hoping he keeps that to himself! 


This morning I’ve got an Italian beef going in the crock pot.  I don’t know why I don’t use my crock pot more often.  I need to be more intentional with my meal planning; DD has found some kind of meal planning program that she likes … I’m going to have to ask her for more details. 


I read on another blog that some readers are concerned about the Feedjit app.  While IMHO there was nothing to be concerned about regarding privacy (the information I see is the same that any reader would see … the general location [by city] of the readers’ ISP), I can understand how some might be a little concerned and removed that from my blog.  I will say that it was interesting to see how many readers stopped by; my mind was completely boggled by some of the locations … places within an hour’s drive and places halfway around the globe.   


We have a hibiscus plant that we put out on our deck … they’re not hardy here, so we bring it inside over the winter.  This summer, other than a smattering of blooms in early June, that hibiscus hasn’t bloomed.   Finally we’re getting a second round of blooms.  I love seeing the color … and love that the blooms draw hummingbirds.  Granted, this bloom was a bit past its prime when I took the shot, but it still is beautiful.



It looks like Hurricane Irene might decide to visit the Outer Banks ahead of us, so I guess that means that I’ll be doing some research on an alternative destination for our trip next month.  I realize that it’s way too early to call off the visit to the OBX, but it won’t hurt to have an alternate in place … just in case. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Camera Phone Friday–Nature Edition


I neglected to take my camera with my on our weekend getaway, but I did have my iPhone with me and used it.  I was pleasantly surprised (and pleased) at how well the photos turned out using the iPhone.  I am going to definitely remember to pull it out in the future when I see blog-worthy photo-ops. 

Here are some pictures, taken with my iPhone.  If you click on the collage, it’ll open to a larger picture.
Photo Friday
1. Our hibiscus on the deck.  This is its 3rd summer out on the deck (we take it in to the basement for the winter).  We had at best a half dozen blooms in June … and nary a glimpse since then … until early this week when we found a good number of tiny buds.  We just might see a few more blooms yet this summer.  2. The Chihuly exhibit at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.  We visited on Sunday … it was a gorgeous day for a tour of the garden.  3. An orchid … inside the Climatron at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  We learned that 10% of all plants on this earth are orchids … I didn’t know that and I didn’t really appreciate the beauty of orchids until Sunday.  4. Busch Stadium in St. Louis.  We took in a Cardinals-Rockies game Saturday evening … we got there plenty early, long before most everyone it would appear from this photo.  5. The Outer Banks.  Where we’ll be in exactly one month.  I can’t wait … I haven’t had any beach time since our Spring Training trip last March.  6. A clump of grass growing in the standing water in a gutter drain.  I saw this on my walk last night and thought it was strange.  Obviously these neighbors have a sprinkling system because we have had only 1/2 inch of rain in the last 2 months.  7. On Wednesday’s Hodgepodge, I answered one of the questions with “gathering shells”.  As most of you know, I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the beach (see #5 above) and enjoy gathering shells as we walk along the beach.  The shells in the glass container (sorry for the glare) are from our trip to Sanibel Island last year.  There are a few sand dollars there, from trips to Hilton Head.  There are some pieces of granite … from Hilton Head, Hunting Island State Park, Isle of Palms, and St. Simons Island.  And there are a few rocks from our non-beach trips – Rocky Mountain National Park and the Oregon coast.  8. This is “Lucky”, the “butterfly” that T#2 caught (actually it’s a moth, but I didn’t have the heart to tell her that).  She has a butterfly net that she’s been wanting to use, so she brought it with her when the Ts came over the other day.  While the littles were napping, she asked me to help her.  I didn’t expect to be able to catch anything … especially when she’d move sooooo slowly trying to sneak up on the butterflies (aka moths).  So when she caught one, I was totally unprepared.  I had to leave her out in the empty lot behind our house, with the net on the ground, trapping Lucky while I had to run into the house, find a jar (spaghetti sauce in the fridge), clean it out, dry it, and poke holes in the lid … all so Lucky would have a “home”.  She took Lucky home with her that evening, and while she was trying to slip some grass (for food) into the jar, Lucky made his/her escape.  Fly away, Lucky. Be free!  (For those of you who aren’t parents or grandparents of toddlers, that’s a nod to a line from Cars, T#3’s favorite movie … although he’s also a big fan of Cars 2 – imagine that! ha!)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday



It is impossible to be negative while we are giving thanks.—Donald Curtis


Thursday’s here … and so is my opportunity to take a few minutes to be intentionally thankful. 


I’m thankful for:


  • a good start to the school year for DD and the Ts.  She’s decided to get a head start on kindergarten for T#3.  He’s such a wild man and so full of energy … she’s going to have her hands full with him. ;-) 


  • a nice visit at the Missouri Botanical Garden on Sunday … the weather was wonderful, the plants were beautiful, and I’d forgotten how fascinating the Climatron is.


  • the nice visit with friends from out of town … it was just so good to see them and catch up on what they’ve been up to since they left the area.


  • the gorgeous weather we’ve been having.


  • my sweet hubby, who has willingly picked up some of the slack while I’m back at work.


  • sweet voice mail messages left on my cell phone … hearing “I love you, Nana” never grows old.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge


Wow!  This is Hodgepodge #40.  Hard to imagine that we’ve been doing this for 40 fun-filled weeks … seems like we just got started a few weeks back.  ;-)  If you’d like to join in the fun, just click on the link above. 


1. Using what's in your frig right now what sort of meal would you be able to make for guests who are knocking at the front door this very minute?

I’d make chicken marsala with a salad and dinner rolls (most everything came from the refrigerator and/or freezer – which is technically part of the refrigerator).  I’d just need a couple of ingredients from the pantry.  It doesn’t take too long, it’s healthy, and it’s delicious!


2. What is something about yourself that you hope will change but that probably never will?

My low self-esteem.

3. What's something about yourself that you hope will never change?

My optimistic outlook.   

4. Do you usually send serious or funny greeting cards? Why?

I usually try to match the greeting card to the occasion and the recipient. 

5. Bird watching, shell gathering, or star gazing- your choice for whiling away the hours?

This one’s a no-brainer for me:  shell gathering.  Remember: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the beach, and my favorite thing to do on the beach is to walk along the water’s edge, looking for sea shells.  I’ve got a large glass container full of shells in our entertainment center and 2 gallon-sized zip lock bags full of extras.  And yet, I always gather more shells on our trips to the beach.


6. Do you double or triple check things? If so, what?

Quadruple check.  I can be very anal/OCD … and as I’m getting older, my memory just isn’t what it used to be.  So I double and triple check things … and then go back a time or two to check again because I can’t remember if I did my usual double or triple check. 

7. What's your favorite place for people watching?

The airport.  Not that I’m there very often as DH & I hate, hate, hate flying.  But when I am, it’s the prime place to people watch.  And I like wondering, too, where they’re going, why they’re going there, etc.  Who needs a book to read while waiting in the airport when there are people to watch?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I got a last-minute invitation yesterday to join some out-of-town friends for lunch … our previous minister and his wife.  It was like a salve for my heart hearing him pray again when he prayed over our meal … I’ve missed them so much. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Weekend Wrap-up

My sisters and their significant others, my dad, and DH and I all got together for the weekend in St. Louis. 

On Saturday, we had lunch at our favorite restaurant on The Hill.  We spent a couple of hours at the pool at our hotel.  And we finished the night with a baseball game.  Our Cardinals lost – badly.  Of course, they’re winning tonight; we originally bought tickets for today’s game … which was originally scheduled as a day game.  But they moved it to an evening game … but the game started 30 minutes after my youngest sister and her S.O. flew back to Texas.  So we swapped our tickets for the Saturday evening game.

Today we spent the morning just visiting and helping my dad do some preliminary planning for his annual snow-bird visit to the Alabama Gulf Coast.  We had some good BBQ for lunch, and we spent the afternoon at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  Here are some of the beautiful things we saw. 
MoBot 8-14-11
(A side note: did you know that 10% of all plants on this earth are orchids?)  You can click on the pictures if you want to see them better.

While I had a good time, I was so glad to get back home this evening.  There really is no place like home … not for me anyway.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thankful Thursday



It’s Thursday and time to take a few moments to be intentionally thankful.


I’m thankful for:

  • cooler temperatures … it’s so nice to be able to open the windows and let in the fresh air


  • a family who loves me in spite of my foibles and flaws, who knows where I came from and knows that doesn’t define me


  • time to get some quilting done this afternoon … while catching up on DVR’d Food Network Star episodes


  • God’s love


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It’s Wednesday already … this week is flying right by.  Summer will be over before we know it … in the meantime, let’s play Wednesday Hodgepodge.  Don’t forget … you can click on the button above to see what everyone else’s answers are.  ;-)
1. If you could work for any one government agency which would you choose and why?
I did … and still am (temporarily).  The University where I retired from is a State University and considered a state agency by the State of Illinois … ergo, it’s a (state) government agency. 
2. How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize?
I think forgiving someone is something that doesn’t come naturally for most of us.  And I think that the refusal to apologize also makes it more difficult for most of us to forgive … at least I know that it does me.  Refusing to apologize makes me feel like the offender believes that his/her behavior is perfectly acceptable and will likely be repeated.  I have to say that it’s hard for me to forgive someone who I know/believe is going to turn right around and hurt me again.  Thankfully God gives me the strength I need to be able to forgive even the most hurtful offenses … and with His grace and practice, I’m getting better at doing just that.     
3. What is your favorite meatless supper?
We don’t do meatless very often here.  DH loves his meat, but by the same token, if I do prepare a meatless meal on occasion, he’ll eat it with no complaints.  My favorite would be cheese-filled tortellini with peas and mushrooms in a light alfredo sauce with a salad and garlic bread.
4. Wednesday August 10th is National Lazy Day...will you be celebrating? If so, tell us how so we can be lazy too.
My plan is to be lazy.  I’m off today, and the only thing on my calendar will be helping DD with getting the 3 older Ts’ hair cut.  It’s supposed to be a gorgeous day, weather-wise, so DH & I would like to get out for a bike ride.  I’ve not done much quilting lately, and I’d like to get some quilting done.  I’m not sure that any of that actually qualifies as being lazy?  I’m not sure I CAN be lazy … my “laziest” times are still spent doing something (reading, quilting).
5. As a child did you have any special back to school traditions and if so, what were they? If you're a parent did you carry on those traditions with your own children?
No and no.  :-(  I sure wish I had thought to establish some back-to-school traditions with DD.  We did go buy school supplies, but that’s not what I think of when I think of a special back-to-school tradition. 
6. Write a summer tongue twister.
She sells sea shells by the sea shore.  Ok, it’s not an original (seriously, were you expecting something original?  ha!), but when I think of summer, I think of the beach (even though we never go to the beach in the summer) and when I think of the beach, I think of collecting sea shells. 
7. Would you be interested in observing a surgery or do you turn away when the nurse brings out the needle?
Ewwwwwww … no looking here.  Yes, I turn my head when a needle comes my way.   
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Finally we were able to open the windows last night … the high today is supposed to be 76-77.  Perfect!  I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep the windows open … it’s going to get back into the mid 80’s in another couple of days, and when it gets that warm, DH would rather run the air conditioner.  So I’m definitely going to enjoy the open windows and cooler temperatures as long as I can.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Weekend Wrap-up



Didn’t the weekend just start about 3 hours ago?  :-)  Seriously … where did the weekend go? 


Friday, DH picked me up after work and we headed to the Gun Club for some Captain Hog’s BBQ.  Yummy!  I always get the pulled pork and sweet potato fries … and they were as delicious as always.  When we got home, I set up the new laptop.  I thought I was done when I went to bed that evening … but I was still working on some tweaks Sunday morning (like finally figuring out how to import my bookmarks), but as far as I know now, I’ve got everything pretty much the way I want it.  The only “problem” I encountered was that I wasn’t able to install Quicken … I found the Quicken 98 disk and tried to install it but it wasn’t compatible with the new Windows 7 computer (which puzzled me, because I was running Quicken on the old windows 7 laptop).  So I downloaded Quicken 2011 and got it up and running with our data.  Sunday as I was going through our box of computer software, I discovered the disk for Quicken 2004 … which is, of course, the version that was on my old laptop (and would more than likely have been compatible with this Windows 7 computer).  <sigh>


Saturday morning and afternoon was spent watching the Ts while DD ran errands.  T#2 came down with tonsillitis and strep earlier in the week, and T#1 came down sick Thursday.  I found T#3 had crashed in his bed when I went to check on him before I started lunch … that’s so not like him … he’s FULL of energy.  Sure enough, he’s got it, too … and T#4 was running a fever Sunday afternoon.  They can’t catch a break … I cannot remember a time when all 4 were well at the same time for a full week.  :-(


Sunday morning we went to church and stopped by DD’s afterwards to drop off our old laptop (the one we replaced) … DSIL would like a laptop, and since he’s a big-time computer geek, he can fix anything that might be wrong with it.  DD’s MIL was picking up T#2 for an afternoon together, and DD asked if I’d like an afternoon with T#1.  I love all 4 Ts, but I cherish the one-on-one times.  We had a wonderful afternoon spent in search of Star Wars Lego sets and a Luke Skywalker watch … not nearly enough time to do all we wanted.  Hopefully we’ll get a chance to do this again. 


It was a hot weekend, but our forecast says that we’ve got rain coming that will bring in cooler weather, and I’m ready!  It’ll be nice to be able to open windows and get out for a bike ride.  And speaking of a bike ride, I’m taking some bike-riding clothes with me to work … DH & I are still going to try to get in that bike ride this evening after I get off work.  Hopefully the rain will have already passed through and brought the cooler temperatures with it.  ;-)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday’s Miscellany

Ahhhhh, welcome to the weekend! 

Our old laptop has been giving us fits for a little while now, and it was getting time to do something about it.  It’s over 5 years old, so we didn’t want to spend much money on it (repairs, replacement battery, etc.), so on a whim Wednesday afternoon, I checked online for the prices of a new laptop.  I found some excellent prices, so we decided to bite the bullet and order a new one.  A little more than 36 hours later, the laptop arrived.  So I spent last night transferring all my stuff to the new laptop … I forgot how long it takes to install/download software, transfer documents, etc. 

This morning DH took the dogs out for a walk and went out the garage … and while he had the door up, a hummingbird flew in!  The silly little thing hovered only along the ceiling above the open garage doors.  I got a broom, in hopes of swatting it (LIGHTLY!!) to steer it out the open doors, but #1 it didn’t move away from above the garage doors for very long and #2 when it did, it moved FAST!  I have to admit that I was worried about using a broom because I didn’t want to do more harm than good.  I’m sure it was quite a sight … our swatting the air with our brooms (since we weren’t fast enough to keep up with the hummingbird).  We then moved my pot of flowers into the garage (near the open doors) in hopes that they’d catch its attention, and it would be low enough that if it didn’t see the open doors … and freedom … on its own, we could help a little. 
I zoomed in so you could see it … that’s a standard sized electrical plug to the left (for the garage door opener) so you can get an idea as to the hummingbird’s size ... if you click on it, you'll get a bigger picture.  DH went next door to get our neighbor’s fishing net (DH helped another neighbor capture a hummingbird in their garage using a fishing net) … by the time DH got back, the hummingbird had found its way out.  Whew!

We got a bit of rain yesterday (about a half inch total in two separate rain showers), and we’re back under a heat advisory (I warned you … I’m a weather geek).  The good news is that come Monday, the temperatures are going to get almost balmy … we won’t even hit 85 until the following weekend.  I work on Monday, but I’ve already told DH to load the bikes up and meet me at the University at 4:30 (when I get off work) … we’re going on a bike ride … there are a couple of trails through/near the campus. 

This is a section of the path that runs through the University, so not only will we get in a good ride, but we’ll have beautiful scenery to enjoy while riding. ;-)

Holy “brown cow” … today is National Root Beer Float Day!  Where’s an A&W stand when you need one? ;-)

Another retiree and I are sharing the fill-in positions at work (on our temporary assignments) … she works when I am off and vice versa.  She left work early Thursday, not feeling well.  She was sure it was new medicine that she was taking, but after a little while, she realized that she needed to go to the ER.  She was admitted … she’d had a heart attack!  She was released that evening, had a stress test yesterday, and hasn’t been placed on any restrictions … and plans to be back at work next week.  Praise God! 

In about a half hour, I’ll be heading up to DD’s.  She’s going to take advantage of the Old Navy sales and run a few other errands, and I’ll watch the Ts.  ;-)  So regardless of whatever else happens this weekend, I know it’s going to be a good one!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thankful Thursday


It’s Thursday, and that means it’s time to stop and count my blessings. 


I’m thankful for:

  • temperatures returning to more seasonable levels … it’s still plenty warm, but we’re no longer under an extreme heat warning


  • getting some one-on-one time with T#4 yesterday afternoon … I love her sweet nature and adorable smile … but it’s getting apparent that she’s getting close to turning 2 … she has no qualms about letting you know exactly how she feels!


  • 3 days off in a row … it’s so nice to be able to get a nice, slow start to my days … I enjoy the work I’m doing, the people I work with/for and the supplement to our retirement income, but I’m definitely ready to go back to being retired full time


  • nice clean carpets … we rented a carpet cleaner and I cleaned our living room carpet … I was surprised how quickly it dried … I went over the carpet three times to get it good and clean, and it was dry within a couple of hours!


  • our sump pump … we haven’t had more than .5 of rain (total) in the last two months, and yet our sump pump still runs periodically … makes me wonder how wet our basement would be during the spring rains!


  • God’s grace … I confess that I have to be reminded (more often than I would like to admit) that there’s nothing I can do to earn my salvation … it’s all been done for me

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It’s Wednesday … Hump Day.  And that means that it’s time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge.  When you’re done here, why not click on the button above to see what everyone else has to say?
1. Share a favorite song lyric.
I better not see 'I can't think of one' on anybody's paper. That's an automatic F in the Wednesday Hodgepodge you know.

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

From You Never Let Go by Matt Redman.  This song will always mean something because I heard this song on the way to DD’s the morning they got the call that they needed to get to the NICU right away for T#3.  I remember singing it, crying and praying.  And God didn’t let go of us through that storm … and He still has ahold of us.
And speaking of T#3 … today is his 4th birthday!! 
2. When was the last time someone yelled at you?
It’s been too long to remember.  Thankfully. 
3. Money, fame, happiness...are they mutually exclusive?
Wow, this is deep, Joyce.  Are you trying to make us think this morning?  ;-)  If you use the world’s definition of happiness, then no, they aren’t … and in fact, to the world, money and fame are frequently requirements for happiness.  But if you use the biblical definition of happiness (better known as joy), then I don’t know that they’re mutually exclusive … I suppose that if one is grounded deeply enough in Christ, it’s possible that he/she can have money and/or fame and joy.  But I would think that it would be extremely difficult.
4. What is your favorite dish to prepare for family and friends that doesn't require turning on the stove, oven or an outdoor grill?
Fresh fruit with dip.
5. The first week of August is National Simplify Your Life Week. What is one thing you could do this week to simplify your life? Will you do it?
I think my life is pretty simple.  I have a couple of closets and a couple of cabinet drawers that could stand de-cluttering.  Yes, I’ll do it … but it might be later rather than sooner.  ha!
6. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being 100% and 1 being not at all) how tuned in are you to your country's national political scene?
Normally, probably about a 4.  I very rarely watch the news (too depressing); I do check the local and St. Louis newspapers online … I try to stay informed enough to have half a clue.  If there’s a crisis (such as the debt ceiling debate), then I make a little more effort to stay informed (unless it becomes just. too. much … such as the debt ceiling debate or elections).   
7. What are your final parting words to the month of July?
Good riddance! 
Not that weather so far in August has been much better than it was in July … it’s hit 100 every day with heat indices 10-15 degrees hotter.  But there’s hope in sight … there’s rain in the forecast for 5 of the next 10 days, and by the end of the week, the highs should be at a more seasonable level of the upper 80’s (in the meantime, the highs will be in the lower 90’s, which will still be a welcome relief from what we’ve been getting).   
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with DD & the Ts.  They had free tickets to the Grizzlies baseball game last night, but DD decided that it was going to be just too hot so they decided to pass on the game.  She mentioned that if DH & I wanted to take T#1 and T#2 to the game, we could use their tickets.  It was definitely too hot for Nana, too.  But T#1 and T#2 did try their best to persuade Nana to change her mind, singing their own version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”:
“Take us out to the ballgame
Take us out to the crowd
Buy us an apple and crackerjacks”

I wish I could remember the rest of their version of the lyrics.  ;-)  

I have to admit that I did have a bit of regret that I hadn’t taken DD up on her offer … then I checked the weather for the ballpark … heat index was 98 at 9:45 PM.  Nope, last night was a night to stay home and stay cool (not to mention that an early bedtime was likely best for T#2, who was feeling better yesterday … but I could see that she definitely wasn’t 100% yesterday afternoon).  ;-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday Trivia


I cannot believe it’s August already.  The summer is 2/3 over!  How did this happen?  Now, mind you, I can’t say that, given how hot and dry it’s been, that I’m sorry that we’re getting closer to fall.  But maybe, given the wacky weather we’ve been having for the last 8-9 months, I should think twice before professing how I’m looking forward to fall.  ha!


I’ve got the next 3 days off work.  I like having a nice block of days off and try to schedule my work time accordingly, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way … I have to coordinate my schedule with a fellow retiree called back to work with me so that there’s at least one of us in the office most every day.  I suspect that today I’ll be getting a call to watch T#2 (who’s got strep and tonsillitis – poor thing) and T#4 while DD takes T#1 & T#3 to their swim lessons. 


DH goes to get his hearing aid checked today … it’s not been operating quite properly.  It’s designed to make a sound when it’s out of his ear (partially or fully) … and it’s been making that sound frequently even when he moves his head, etc.  It also seems like he’s not hearing quite as well with it as he used to.  Hopefully it’ll be just a minor adjustment.


T#3 turns 4 tomorrow.  I remember the night DD told me he was on the way … she shared the good news much earlier than she normally does because earlier that day my mom had passed.  I’m sure I was still somewhat in shock since her passing was so unexpected, but it still meant the world to me that DD wanted to give me some news of hope. 


37 years ago today was a day that will always be etched in my heart … it was the day that I lost my sweet Rose.  My biggest regret is that I never got to see her (they just did things so differently back in the day, and I was still very sick and very drugged up from the emergency c-section).  To this day, I don’t understand why God had to take her home, but He showed me such sweet mercy by bringing me my DD a year later.