Saturday, May 31, 2008

More Random Thoughts

Since none of you seem to want to answer questions from my previous post Random Thoughts and Questions (i.e., shamelessly begging for a comment or two or Is anybody really out there?), I'll answer a few of the questions myself and maybe add another thought or two. I'm also going to re-ask some of my burning questions...hoping some of you readers can give me some answers. (Another shameless plea for know what!)

If you notice my little hyper-link above, you should be proud! You are probably the one who taught me how to do it! If not, well...then be proud of me anyway! I'm nothing if not a lifelong-learner...even at my advanced age!

I've been trying to come up with a cool pseudonym for that fits him like Pioneer Woman's "Marlboro Man." I've decided to go with dd's advice and refer to my dh as "Mr. Fix-It." I was truly considering HOBL (Hunk of Burning Love) but then dd couldn't quit laughing! Come on! The name, Mr. Fix-It, doesn't exactly give you that mind picture of a rough and rugged HE-man but it's better than Jack-Of-All-Trades. Although, MFI is kind of bland, it does pretty much fit my sweetie. Not that he's bland, but that he can fix anything, if he wants to! (The "want to" part gets to be a problem sometime! LOL!) The only thing we've found that he can't do... is ...Give Birth!

Nobody commented (to my face, anyway) on my question: Does piano practice for a 16 yo who wants to be (out of the house) riding her horse ALWAYS have to end up in tears? (Thanks a lot, Princess!) However, I've come up with my own answer and plan to eliminate this particular dd problem. This would involve chains, saying NO to outside activities and giving lots more hugs!

Is Publix out to get me? No, they were just out of stock! Hallelujah!

How does she [Pat Weso] get so much done? Nobody seems to know the answer to this unbelievable mystery. I've decided that God is probably the only one who can answer this...especially about the bustier! (Okay... so Don may know about the bustier!)

Burning Question:
How deep does dust need to be for it to be classified as dirt? I really need someone to answer this...not sure why!

Burning Question from yet another unanswered post:
I would really appreciate someone telling me what kind of bug is in this picture. It was so ugly,and since it ate little holes in my shower curtain that I have to look at every day... I'd like to at least know it's name.

Left click the picture to blow it up and get a close up view of this ugly guy!

Okay, after all those questions...I don't have any other thoughts to add today. I've been in town all day and I think my brain is fried from the heat...

Stay tuned!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Busy Day! ...Finally Over

Today was an unusual day in that I made a trip to town on a Friday. It's been quite a few weeks since I've been sucked into that black hole of traffic that occurs on Friday afternoons in Tallytown. If it hadn't been important business, it wouldn't have happened today! Even more strange is that I had to make TWO trips to town. With gas prices today, that is a real no-no at our house!

But remember, I had important business!

Actually, tonight was the annual MCS Awards Banquet. This is like the 'prom' for this Christian school--except with awards for sports and academics and without the dancing! So the girls all dress up in their formals, get their hair done and just generally gussie up for the evening. Many parents attend --but don't gussie up quite as much. (Thank you, Lord!)

So, in addition to taking dd in to town in order to do said 'gussie' and drop her off at her friend's home to complete the process... my dh and I made the trip back to town for the banquet.

The pictures we took were terrible. I don't know what happened to my handy-dandy camera....

Here is dd with some of her buddies. Don't they look sweet? They actually found modest dresses...not an easy thing to do!

DD got her hair cut and actually left it down for the Banquet. (I did threaten her with bodily harm if she put it up in her normal ponytail!)

Two of my very favorite people! Dh cleans up pretty good, too! Our sweet girl won Best Defensive Player for her Varsity Volleyball team. (Mom and Dad were quite proud!)

They just grow up too fast! Of course, 3" heels helped her grow a bit taller than mom for the night!

So now, after a long day of running here and there with traffic snarls at every turn...I gladly settle in at Lonesome Pine for a nice (if late) evening with dh.

Our dd is at the age that she doesn't want to come home with the old folks after such a big she is spending the night with a reconstruct the evening, talk about every other girl's dress, who sat with who, which guys looked good, etc. Didn't I say they grow up wayyyyyy too fast? Sigh.....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Things Change

Last week, my dh helped his parents move from the home they've lived in since 1965. They are downsizing and moving to a new home in St. Marks. They'll be closer to Granny's daughter...who spends a lot of time taking care of her. Can you imagine how much 'stuff' you can accumulate over 43 years? It's not pretty.

This is Granny. Actually, this is dh's step-mother. He was pretty much grown when she and his dad married. If you can picture "Granny Clampett" from the Beverly Hillbillies, you've got a really good picture of our Granny. She's tiny, she's fiesty and raised in Wakulla County. Need I say more?

This is PaPa (Or Pee-Paw, as other grandkids call him). He still works every weekend at his carpet/rug store at the Flea Market. Looking back at pictures over the last 25+ years of our marriage, I get a really good picture of what dh is going to look like in our coming years. He and his dad look a LOT alike! He's in remarkably good health for almost 80 and having been a heavy smoker for most of his adult life.

If any of you have had to deal with aging parents, you can feel the pain that up-rooting causes them. The good things that can come of making the move are often outweighed by the fear of change and the feelings of loss involved.

Thankfully, dh's parents seem to be handling the change well. Say a prayer for them today as they adjust to a new house, new neighborhood, new neighbors and not having all the memories surrounding them. They'll probably do fine without all the 'stuff' would we all!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ahhh...The Gift of Sight

Today, I finally took the time to go to the eye dr. Not that it's all that big of a deal to go to the eye dr. It's not like the DENTIST!!! It's just that I have to carve out a time in my busy "town" schedule to work it in. So, I managed to just keep putting it off...and putting it off...for months!

This past September I had to go for my annual check-up (I don't really put that off...). At that time, the Dr. tweaked my contact prescription and I thought I would be good to go for another year. It wasn't long before I noticed that I was having trouble reading street signs, seeing the preacher's face on Sunday morning, seeing faces across the parking lot, or even being able to see anything that was farther away than my hands. This can really be a problem when you have a teen driver and you are trying to give directions and can't read the street signs until you are right on top of them...painful, too when said teen slams on the brakes! At the Mall, I couldn't even see ANY facial details more than a table or two away from me. When I was hurrying to meet a friend at the Tally Mall the other day, she was waving at me across the center court. All I could see was that someone was waving in my direction, I couldn't see anything but a blob (no offense, friend). That could be really embarrassing if it had been someone I didn't know!

So you get the gist.

Yesterday, I finally called for an appointment and got one for today. The dr. tweaked, tweaked and tweaked some more. Finally, he decided on a prescription and gave me a new pair of contacts to try. He warned me that the trade-off would be that I might have more trouble seeing up close..because of my age. (He really could have left that part out!) This might necessitate reading glasses. I didn't think this was that big of a deal...I already use reading glasses when I'm tired or it's late at night or too early in the morning.

I asked the dr. what type things could cause this change so quickly. One of the things he mentioned was blood pressure. Well, now! We're getting somewhere. Nobody ever told me that!

My b/p has been a problem most of my adult life...especially the last 20 years. When I had my fun (horse-induced) concussion a year and a half ago, the dr. started treating my high b/p. After getting it under some control, my "good" normal b/p was never under 140/80 (this was my goal). Yet, at my 'medical' doctors appointment yesterday, my blood pressure was 118/68. I probably haven't had a good b/p report like this since I was 3! When the nurse told me what it was, I asked her to check my pulse to see if I was really alive! [yes, I know your b/p shows you're alive, too!...but it made her laugh!!] Since I've started walking 2-3 times a week, my b/p has really dropped like a rock. I'm amazed at what just a 'little' exercise will do. My dr. is very happy and planning on lowering my b/p medicine soon to compensate.

[We interrupt this program...As I type this, I'm listening to a program on PBS...did you know there was such a thing as Jack-Ass Penguins? I'm not kidding! Jack-Ass Penguins. It's something to do with the sounds they make...who'd a thunk it?]

Now back to my little eye situation...

After leaving the eye dr. I could actually SEE!! Wow! All that tweaking made such a difference. I could read the signs at the hospital, I could read real estate signs, I could read car tags without being directly behind them!! [Oh, no! Am I turning into a serial sign reader? Maybe.] So tonight, I sat on the back row at church (like any good Baptist) and I could read ALLL the throw-up music (the words on the wall know they "throw up the words on the wall?"), I could read the smaller print they use for the Scripture, AND I finally saw our Pastor's face clearly while he was more watching blobs!!! So now, if you see me at the Mall, please wave...I can actually see who you are now! Just don't ask me to read a menu at a restaurant.

Hallelujah! Praise God for the gift of sight, for the wisdom of professionals, for two legs and feet that can STILL walk and for air conditioning! (Okay, so I had to add that last in because I would be miserable without it!) I am truly thankful!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Will the Real DD, Please Stand Up?

A friend of ours has decided she wants to be a photographer. She took her sister (my dd's sweet friend) and my dd out for a photo shoot one day. She got some great shots of both girls. Thought I would share some of the pictures. (Please be aware I have cropped some of these and lowered their image sizes so as not to blow Blogger's mind.)

Most teens tend to look like this a LOT of the time! Of course, you should see their mothers!!

Does this face look familiar? Probably not. I've sure seen it a time or two or three or a BUNCH! Not my favorite look, obviously. This is dd's mad look. This particular time it was a pose for the camera, but there are times when it is very real! It's very rare for anyone other than her dear mom (and one other who will remain nameless) to see it. Why is that? So I'm sharing it with the world-- just in case you doubt it exists. (See PrincessDeb...she DOES do this!)

This is the look she gives when she can't quite believe her dear mom could be so stupid!

But here is the look I love and cherish. This is the one her parents and the world most normally see.

A laughing, smiling teenager makes my heart feel blessed!

Yes indeed, I am surely a blessed woman!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Random Thoughts and Questions

Since I'm fresh out of blog ideas today, I thought I would let you into my a head for a brief visit. Be warned: It's not pretty! But here are a few of my thoughts today...

I prefer a bag of salad shreds rather than a bag of mixed greens or romaine hearts or spinach leaves or whatever. It's just so much easier to make a simple salad with shreds since I don't like the taste of lettuce at all and would be forced to cut up any lettuce leaves into little tiny pieces and slather them with salad dressing so I don't have to taste them.

Does piano practice for a 16 yo who wants to be (out of the house) riding her horse ALWAYS have to end up in tears? Then after having terrible practice sessions, why does the teacher always tell me how great she did? Wonder how the PrincessDeb would handle this?

What words did I misspell in my blog that won't tell me about? She didn't even tell me that she liked her ds's picture on my blog...maybe it's because I wasn't sure if he was L or M....I'm thinking M.

Is Publix out to get me? First, they quit carrying my favorite flavor of spaghetti sauce (Classico Garden Primevera). Then they discontinued my most favorite lemon drops (which I had the whole volleyball team hooked on...and now will have to order from my favorite candy store in Indiana and pay $16 to have a little can shipped to Florida, but I have to do it because the volleyball team cannot win without their little lemon powered drops!). Now, I go in to my little store in the hole and they aren't stocking the only fat-free salad dressing I can stand the taste of when slathered all over my salad shreds! Maybe it's a conspiracy.

Pat Weso must be Superwoman without the bustier (pronounced boo-stee-ay). How does she get so much done? Maybe she wears the bustier under her shirt where its supposed to be?

How deep does dust need to be for it to be classified as dirt?

Wonder if those yummy apple dumplings I made last night really have a gazillion calories? Why does anything yummy have a gazillion calories? Why couldn't God make my taste buds hate sugar? How bad can it be for me to have one more dumpling?

I sure miss my phone calls late at night from my friend, Edna. Why won't anybody else call me after 10 just to chat?

Since Edna loved babies so much, do you think Jesus will let her hold baby Seth for a bit? Maybe her and sweet Rebecca could take turns.

Why am I always wearing the same two shirts in all our pictures? If it's summer I always have on a shirt with big blue flowers...if it's winter, I always have on my dark green sweatshirt. Don't I have more clothes than this? I must do something about this...

Why can't I have a cool name for my dh like "Marlboro Man" like the Pioneer Woman does? But then again, my dd doesn't think she would like being called a 'punk'. Wonder if Marlboro Man smokes? Sure wish I could take pictures like she does.

How do all these other bloggers get the little frame around their pictures? And how do you put links to other websites in your blog? AND how do they find all these cutesy add-ons to make their blogs so pretty? Who taught them? Is this a conspiracy, too? Maybe someone will take pity on me and give me some pointers...

hopefully, before I have to do this weird, letting-you-in-my-head thingy again....

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy 30th, Class of 78'

As I heard my alarm go off this morning at 6am it occurred to me....As of Friday, May 23 I've been out of high school for 30 years!!!! Don't ask me about the weird thoughts that go through my head at 6am. I'm lucky to have ANY thought going through my head at that ungodly time of day! Needless to say, this is NOT my normal time for arising--except on Sunday mornings. Unfortunately, since my dh IS old, he insists we go to the 8:15 service at our church, which means we have to leave home by 7:45, which means I have to get up at that crazy hour in order to get ready, put the finishing touches on my SS lesson, and spend the last hour fussing at my teen dd to "let's go!" I know all of you have delightful Sunday mornings...but I digress.

As the day has progressed I have continued thinking about this milestone in my life. I've been thinking of all the things that have happened in the past 30 years. (Oh, my. It still sounds funny to even be able to say, "30 years ago, I..." Do you know what I mean? Where did all of those years go?) Now, I know all of you youngsters are thinking..."Wow! She is really old! They didn't even know the world was round when she was in school!"

This reminds me of another rabbit trail...(yes, it's my rabbit and I'll chase it if I want to!)...when dd was small, we were looking at an old photo album that included black and white pictures. She turned to me and asked, "Mommy, when did God start coloring the world?" (She was so cute!)

Okay, where was I? Oh, yeah...I'm thinking back to my Senior year in high school.

A little about my high school. It was small. The school was K-12. Our Senior Class was the biggest ever (at that time) with 40 that graduated. (At least 3 of the graduates brought their child to graduation!) The lunches in the lunchroom were actually delicious! We had lots of extra-curricular activities. I was a member of all but a few of the clubs. Everybody in town went to football and basketball games...even parents! The cheerleaders really led cheers and wore those cool saddle-oxfords. Homecoming was a BIG deal! We had Pep Rally's and Bonfires. The homecoming parade was a BIG deal for the whole town. We didn't have any air-conditioning in the high school section until my Junior year. The gym was NOT air-conditioned (still isn't!). We had lots of dances where we danced to a real jukebox. (No dirty dancing was allowed.) Students did NOT talk back to teachers--those that did got in BIG trouble. Shorts were not allowed except for P.E. The boys tucked their shirts in. The basic mode of dress was jeans and cowboy boots...for everyone. (Who would even think of wearing flip-flops to school?) Prom was a big thing...everybody wanted to go!

Homecoming week was fun, but the best week of school was the 3-days of the Suwanee River Livestock Fair in Fanning Springs, FL. Back then, we didn't get out of school to go unless we were participants. Three counties (Levy, Dixie & Gilchrist) would come together to showcase students with their livestock. You could be in FFA (Future Farmers of America) or 4H to participate. Even if you didn't show a steer, a horse, a goat, a rabbit or chickens -- YOU WENT--you could enter something in the Home Ec section! Walking around during that week, seeing kids from rival high schools, hanging out with friends, meeting new friends (spelled B-O-Y-S); it was a blast! Just your basic good country fun.

High school was fun for me. Yes, there was quite a bit of painful teenage angst...but I still had fun. [Another rabbit trail: When folks question me about all the things my dd is missing out on by being home educated it doesn't make me feel guilty. She does soooo many things that 'normal' high school kids don't get to do! But the biggest thing is that high schools are not the same as they were in my day. If they were, I might consider sending my dd to high school just for the fun times. But knowing what I know about public school these days... that ain't gonna happen!]

Being at a small school we had a lot of traditions --some I didn't understand --some I still don't understand. For example, we had an interesting competition with a tire rim. I can hear you now..."A tire rim?" I did say I didn't always understand these things! Each year the Senior Class would repaint this tire rim and it was called the "Hot Pot." Now here is the weird part. The Seniors and Juniors would fight for possession of the Hot Pot for the entire school year. Of course, there were rules...I can't remember many of them. It was supposed to be left in plain sight, it could not be kept inside a building, etc. My senior year, the senior's kept the Hot Pot all year. It spent some time on the roof of the school building, some time buried by the wall around the school (yes, a piece of it was in plain sight!), and various other interesting spots. Remember, it was a small school, so we all had a hand in the craziness. Much time was spent on the school grounds after dark. I remember seeing it chained to the monkey bars on Graduation Night. I wonder if the tradition has been continued?

Speaking of graduation. Do you remember everybody asking you "what are you going to do with your life?" I remember thinking they were kind of dumb if they didn't think I had it all figured out. I had a scholarship to Community College and I had a plan! Little did I know the curves life would throw me...very quickly. When I think back to just the first five years after high school, I'm amazed I'm alive!

Hmmm... within the first five years. My mom died, my dad remarried, I moved away from home, I got kicked out of FSU (after graduating #1 in my high school class and graduating on the Dean's list from Community College), I moved 7 times, and I got married. I probably need to stop right there because my dd reads this blog sometimes...suffice it to say, those were some rough years...with a LOT of stupidity added in the mix! Only God's mercy and grace brought me through these tough years.

So, now that I've confessed that I'm an old lady, I have to say... I sure don't feel that old! Maybe I'll try to get in touch with some of those old friends....

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Meet Boomer and Bessy

As I considered my topic for the day, I came up empty...
--Nothing particularly humiliating has happened to me since the "shoe incident."
--All of my friends seem to be feeling well. (Praise God!)
--Our foster-dd got engaged this week.
--I don't have 10 different kids to write about.
--We haven't traveled anywhere exciting.

All in all, it's been a fairly boring week at our house. With this in mind, I decided to fall back on stealing other blogger's ideas--I'll talk about some of the critters that live on our vast estate. Since I've already talked about our equine variety -- these would be of the canine variety.


Meet Boomer. He's an American Bulldog who became part of our family in early 2001 when he was about 10 weeks old. He was so cute then. Today, he's about 7 1/2 years old.

This is pretty much his favorite position.

Unless you count this. This is the only 'child' that Boomer will tolerate. He loves his girl. She can drag him by the tail, sit on him, and any number of other humiliations...but he loves his girl.

I never dreamed we would own a dog that didn't like kids. Actually, Boomer HATES kids...and that is NOT an exaggeration. We don't know why he is this way. It started when he was about a year old. We think he has an eye-sight problem and that short kids scare him. I voted to get rid of him, but as you can see in this picture --that was NOT an option.

This is his ALERT look! For some reason, FedEx and UPS drivers think this looks menacing. Frankly, it just means he is awake.

This look says "Somebody has a treat in their hand and is teasing me with it." Boomer is like a goat. He will eat virtually anything...usually in one gulp! He's so easy to entice into the dog-pen...just take a little scrap of bread...he doesn't care. He thinks its a big treat and willingly follows you anywhere!

This is his normal pose for "I'm such a good doggy, please give me some attention!" He is a good watch dog. He watches and then runs and hides if you get out of your car...unless he thinks you're a short kid (like Donna T.).

He's very good at staying at the house when dd heads out to ride her horse. But he will sit under the carport and whine and moan (you would think he was dying...) until she comes home.


Meet Bessy. She is about 8 1/2 years old and is a full sister to Boomer...but from the litter before him. She came to live with us when she was over a year old because the folks that had her couldn't keep her in their fence. Of course, Bulldog's must be contained or you're asking for trouble--just because of the breed.

Bessy is a super-dee-duper loving girl. She is also super-dee-duper aggravating. In her earlier life, she had been beaten. This makes her nearly impossible to discipline. She cowers and shakes if you even raise your voice to her. This is her sad, "I'm in jail" look.

She is also very, very sneaky. You don't dare go for a walk without her because she will show up on your walk when you least expect it. She refuses to be left behind! She climbs gates and slides under fences (like in the picture). She is amazingly agile. Once she catches up to you on your walk, she's your best buddy and hangs right with you.

This is her "I'm just a sweet girl ready to play and follow you anywhere!" look. If we really pampered our dogs, she would have had braces to fix her weird bottom teeth. It doesn't seem to affect her ability to eat. She's a butterball!

This is her favorite position. Her 'dead dog' look. She'll sleep like this. She loves to scratch her back out in the yard!

So now you've met Boomer and Bessy...

They both make our lives a bit richer and our wallets a bit poorer...but we love them!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Last night, I had trouble falling asleep. This is definitely not normal for me. Usually, I fall asleep very easily while reading a book. But for some reason, my brain would just not shut down last night. I tossed and turned. Looked at the clock...12:17 am. Finally, I drifted off....

I was startled awake when I heard familiar scratching under our bedroom door. This is our dc (dear cat), Squeaky's, way of saying "I need to go outside...quick!" After seeing that it was only 12:34 am, I was a bit aggravated for two reasons: 1) I had just managed to fall asleep, and 2) When dd came to give kisses goodnight, I mentioned that the cat should be put out because he had been in for more than 24 hours without having a potty break! She assured me that dc was fine and would be sleeping with her. Yeah, right! [Note to Readers: Lest you fear that dc is mistreated having to 'hold it' for such a long time...this is strictly HIS decision. We do NOT have a litter box, but believe me, should he find it necessary to attend to ...ahem...necessities; he has no trouble letting us know about it!]

(Here is a picture of Squeaky snuggled with a buddy in dd's bed.)

Since I'm the only one in this household who seems bothered by this annoying scratching sound, I arise and let him out the front door. At this point, I was compelled --yes, compelled!--to go into dd's room, pull the cozy comforter away from her upper body and gently (yes, gently...sort of) awaken the sleeping beauty. I told her I just wanted to share the love and let her know that 'I' had just been rudely awakened by the dc whom I had sweetly suggested 'she' should put outside before retiring to her bed...thus, letting her dear mother sleep!

This new behavioral training just occurred to me. Sounds kind of like that saying "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" I think I'll continue this training in the future. (I'm sure it's scriptural!)

Okay. The dc is outside. I put myself back to bed, snuggling under the covers. After tossing and turning a bit more, I drift off to sleep...

Once again, I'm startled awake by a strange noise coming from our master bathroom. As usual, I look at my bedside clock...3:23 am. Ughhh! Then I hear it again. It sort of sounds like a huge drip...drip...drip. Now, I'm aware of the drip in the kitchen sink, but none of the faucets in our bath drip! I listen carefully. It hasn't rained, so the roof wouldn't be leaking...the dc is outside, so it's not him into's not the dog on the back porch scratching while leaning against the back we have another mouse? I elbow dh, but he just says...zzzzzzzzz..... After listening for several more minutes, I decide to get up and investigate. I'm certainly not going to be able to sleep through this! If it's a mouse, he'll stop chewing when I turn on the bathroom light...hopefully.

So I go in the bathroom, flip the light on and carefully look around. Nothing out of the ordinary (I would say nothing out of place...but that would be a lie!). After standing very still for a minute or two, the drip or maybe it's a clicking sound continues. Where is it coming from? I sit down on the throne, and decide to keep vigil until I figure it out--I surely can't sleep! There it is again...but where?

Then, looking straight ahead I see it! A BUG!!!! A huge bug! Seeing a bug in our country home is not really new or a big deal. But this one is eating my brand new shower curtain liner!!! Why would he be eating a new plastic really good bacteria, mold or mildew to spice it up? I can understand him climbing up this beautiful, sparkling clean liner...but, he's eating holes in it! That is the clicking sound I'm hearing. At first I was fascinated watching him poke the hole, then pull the plastic out. Then, I got mad. I spent at least $2 on this liner! How am I supposed to guard our budget if I have bugs eating my new liner? I also spent my valuable time cutting off the bottom so it wouldn't hold the moisture and mold! How dare he?

Now, I'm really miffed. I call out to my fearless protector hero guy...okay, maybe I screeched a little. He comes in the bathroom still half asleep, looks at the bug and says, "It's just a grasshopper. What's the big deal?"

"He's EATING our brand new shower curtain liner, that's the big deal!" I respond. You can see one little round hole in this picture.

"Where's the Bengal?" he asks. (We love Bengal Roach kills every bug in it's is wonderful!) I search and search. No Bengal. We love it so much, we've used it up...again. Now what are we going to do? My next thought...of get the camera. We must get a picture of this bug for posterity (and my blog). He left 4 holes in my brand new shower curtain liner!

Not being able to use Bengal on him, my sweet dh grabbed a washcloth and captured him. My hero!

Ewwwww! What an ugly bug! If you feel led and can tell me this plastic eating bug's name...please do. Then I will be able to notify his next of kin that he won't be coming home!

(If you left click the picture to blow it up...look very carefully and you can see a piece of plastic still clutched in his mouth!)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Just Horsin' Around

It's surely no dear daughter is a horse-nut. Not just a casual absolute full-blown crazy girl when it comes to her horses! Someone told me that a young girl having a horse is like bug-spray for boys. Hmmm....haven't seen many of those pesky critters around here, so I guess it does work! Yippee! (Unfortunately, they also told me it wears off somewhere between the ages of 18-20...bummer.)

Since dd was tiny she has loved horses. We have a video of a big, Labor Day family picnic when she was about 3 yo at my Dad's farm in central Florida. Several of my brothers brought their horses. There weren't quite enough to go around. So when our dd had to give up HER ride, she was very upset and let everybody (especially her dad) know it! She was so cute giving him the silent treatment!

Since before she could actually pronounce the word, she's always said she wants to be a veterinarian. Her love for horses (all animals, really) hasn't let up so far. At 16 and 1/2, she's started getting more serious with the training and care of her animals. Very soon she's going to have to get more serious about school if she wants to be a DVM! At this point, she just wants to be outside...and she hasn't quite figured out how to do Algebra on the back of the horse!

When dd was barely 7, God put a special horse in our path. Although we weren't really ready to jump into the horse world, we couldn't turn away from this sweet 9 year old Paso Fino. Calico Jack (lovingly referred to as CJ) is an absolute dream horse for a little girl. He was well trained, easy going and extremely patient. At 19, he's still all of those things and deeply embedded in a teen girls heart.

Here are a few horsey pictures through the years. (I have earlier pictures...but only have more recent digital pics on my computer!)

CJ puts up with just about anything. Here an almost 13 yo had taken scissors and cut a brand in his rump! You can see the capital 'B' and little hearts!

He even puts up with girls braiding his mane and tail...even though its not terribly manly!

Didn't I say he was patient? This was just last year when a little friend wanted a ride.

Someone once said,"If anybody asks you what you think of their horse and you don't think very highly of the horse, you can always say 'Well, he's got kind eyes!'" CJ really does have kind eyes.

In early 2006, a pretty thoroughbred, Kodak Gold (lovingly referred to as Kodi or not so lovingly as "the Monster") came to live with our family. He's the HUGE, darker horse in this picture. Kodi is 16.2 hands tall. In comparison, CJ is barely 14. He makes CJ look like a pony. When you're on Kodi, it looks like a lonnnnngggggg way down! Kodi is retired from the Leon County Sheriff's Posse. He has arthritis in his right shoulder and can't do long trail rides.

Here's a better picture of Kodi with our foster-dd, Krystal. This was supposed to be Krystal's horse...but that didn't work out too well. She lacks the horse 'gene'. LOL!

Since he didn't get ridden very much, Kodi got quite saucy by late 2006. In October 2006, he dumped me off (complete with concussion!) and thus, kept the girls off of him. My husband was the only one who could handle him until the last few months.

This picture of dd on CJ was taken the day Kodi came to live with us. In this picture, dd is using her favorite tack. Notice her saddle and bridle! Now, she often rides him all over the pasture with nothing but a handful of mane. He's such a sweetie!

About 3 months ago, dd decided she was tired of riding double with her friends so she set out to 're-train the monster!' She's read all of the Horse Whisperer books from cover to cover and has used some of these methods to work with Kodi. He has responded wonderfully to her attention. You can see she is wearing the despised helmet. This is in response to mom's demand that if she's going to ride the monster, she has to wear protection.

Kodi loves dd so much now he'll put up with just about anything--from HER!

It's much more fun riding with a friend!

This one was taken last winter. Its one of my most favorite pic's of dd because it shows her heart (CJ) and sweet smile.

It's amazing for Mom and Dad to watch dd's progress. She has such a knack with animals. Of course, we are totally unbiased in our admiration of her abilities!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Important Mall Information

It is so hard to believe its already 11pm, Wednesday night. I spent my whole day in town today, so I didn't have time to blog for myself. So, I'll reprise a short e-mail (with a few tweaks) I sent my homeschool group before becoming a real, live blogger!


I didn't learn everything I needed to know in Kindergarten, but I have learned some things while walking in the Mall today.

1. You don't sweat nearly as much walking in the air-conditioned mall.

2. It would be much more fun walking with an old (or new!) friend through the mall. (Especially someone who would huff and puff like myself--at least a little bit!)

3. There is no point going to the Mall in search of a "modest" bathing suit for your 16 yo dd. No salesperson can believe you are even ASKING such a stupid question!

4. Even while trying to maintain a decent (not pro-level) pace, you can walk through the bigger chain stores and check out their sales...maybe see that JC Penney has a lot of ladies dresses on sale for 50-75% off.

5. After you pass that cart with the hand lotion stuff and say "No Thanks" about the third time...don't you think they should quit asking you if you want to try their product?

6. If, like me, you like to sing while you walk...folks kind of look at you funny. Even when you don't have those funny earplugs in your ears!

7. Your pedometer will not count the steps on the escalator or elevator...bummer. Hey, you're moving up...shouldn't it notice?

8. It's probably a good thing to stay as far from the Food Court as might not have the time to walk the full 24 hours straight necessary to walk off one Cinnabon!

9. Sitting at a table, reading your book does not burn many calories. (But it's usually more fun!)

and #10...drum roll please..........

10. The MOST important thing I learned at the mall today is.....If you carry a shopping bag (or plastic bag) in one hand with your water bottle in it. You can pass yourself off as a "shopper" and not be embarrassed when little old ladies (walking for their health) pass you....leaving you in their dust!

Just thought you should know....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Finally, the last day of travel-blah blah blah

I'm really tired of posting about our trip...but I must finish the last day of 'scenery' for posterity's sake. I've been racking my brain for anything else I've done to humiliate myself in the past. Seems self-humiliation is a big draw to blog fans and I must keep up my readership! Don't worry, I humiliate myself quite regularly, so I'm sure to have something juicy, very soon!

But back to our trip....

On Tuesday night, we made it to Amarillo, TX as planned. We got there kind of late and we were alllllll tired and grumpy. We needed a good night's sleep! This would be our last hotel stay since we planned to drive all night Wednesday night to arrive in Tally-town early Thursday morning.

Our plan for Wednesday morning was to get up before daylight. After having breakfast at the hotel, we wanted to go about 30 miles east near Groom, TX to see the big Cross I had heard about and seen pictures of via e-mail. My dh and dd weren't nearly as excited as me because they hadn't seen the pictures...they were in for a treat!

The sunrise this morning was beautiful. Plenty of time for contemplating what we were going to see. I'm still not a 'sunrise' person...but I'm beginning to like seeing God's beautiful handiwork each morning. (Little did we know that we would be in the middle of a huge storm within the next 1/2 hour!)

In this picture you can see the cross in the distance. We're still at least 5 miles away. This is really an awesome sight!

We arrive at the Cross complex. Surrounding the cross, are little vignettes of the story of Christ's death, burial and resurrection. The bronze (I think) statues are incredibly detailed and nearly life size. Actually, for the time period, this may have been life size...seems I've read somewhere how much bigger folks are now?

In this picture you can see dd trying to stand up against a terrible, bone-chilling wind. You can see a big storm coming in the distance. We hurried to get as many pictures as we could before the storm hit. My hands were frozen just taking the first few pictures. My sweet dh, dressed like an Eskimo with gloves and all took the camera and tried to hurry the process so we could get back in the truck!
These statues are amazingly detailed. You really should click on this picture to blow it up and look at the detail. The protective covering the soldier has over his jaw is sooo detailed you can even see the little tie at the bottom! His sandals had amazing details, too!

This picture gives new meaning to standing at the 'foot of the cross.'

Here we are in the EMPTY tomb! Praise God! Jesus is alive!!! (We were happy to be out of the chilling wind!)

This website has much better pictures of this wonderful place. Check them out, they are absolutely beautiful!

We're back in the car...glad to be warm again! We're sad that we didn't get to spend more time at the Cross because of the storm...but we're so glad we took the time to stop. This is a good picture of dd, I didn't really need to put this in...but she's just so cute!

After we left Groom, TX, we took a smaller road heading towards Dallas. We really enjoyed seeing some of the real Texas towns. We were also VERY glad to see real trees! Now, its starting to feel more like home and we are pushing hard to really be home in the morning.

Well, we drove allllllll night Wednesday. The rain started about dark and didn't let up until nearly daylight on Thursday morning. We made it to Baton Rouge, LA about 11:30 pm (our time). By this time, dh was starting to get tired. He had been driving since 8 this morning. The rest of the night and early morning hours was spent battling fatigue. We would drive for an hour/stop for an hour and so on. I even got to drive for a couple of hours! By 5:30 am, we were finally back in Florida and VERY happy to see the sunrise about 7am! For some reason, its easier to stay awake in the daylight.

We arrived at our last fuel stop (the Flying J in Midway, FL) about 10 am. After fueling, we hung out in the parking lot for a few minutes looking for out-of-state car tags. Trying to find a few we missed on the trip. Throughout our trip we had been watching tags. We saw tags from 36 states, 1 from Alberta, Canada and 1 from British Columbia, Canada!

This picture shows us with Alfie. We're are READY to be home!

Here is dh with our friend and neighbor, Steve. He was the one who sent us on this crazy adventure and he was soooo excited to see his new car! (We did mention to Steve that we would like to go to Wyoming next time!) We unloaded this precious cargo and headed up the road to our house.

Finally, we're home. We've driven 4,895.2 miles since pulling out of our driveway almost exactly 150 hours ago. That means we averaged about 32.63 miles per hour (even when we were sleeping!! LOL!!) Whew! What an adventure, what fun, what a wonderful time for our family! Now, we're going to take a nice nap...