Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Little Bit of This and A Whole Lot of That AKA The Blog That Never Ends

Today is Saturday, three days after the storms that tore through the southeast. It was a beautiful day, brilliant blue skies, warm sunshine, and not a cloud to be found. We are still getting news of the historical weather event that spawned a record number of tornadoes and an astounding number of deaths and injuries. tornado outbreak The photos that come out of the ravaged areas are heartbreaking and I can't help but feel guilty that while I am enjoying a lazy Saturday afternoon others are reeling in the aftermath, struggling to make sense of it all as they attempt to dig themselves out of the destruction. I thank God for my family, my home, and my safety, and ask for His mercy and grace upon all that are suffering physically and mentally.

You'd think that all that has happened in the last 72 hours would have spurred me on to doing something worthwhile. Unfortunately I'm still my usual half-baked self. For me it was just another Saturday.

My loving husband taunted me with just-baked cinnamon rolls first thing this morning. I'm not really one for sweets, I'd much prefer chips and salsa. However, I have a soft spot for these babies and he's not beyond using them to get me out of bed at a decent hour. So, we'll score one for Dale.

From there we went to "what's on the agenda for the day?"  Hmmmm. Let me think.

Well, I've got a birthday coming up next week and we know what that means. Yep, gotta get the van inspected so the new car tag can be purchased. I'm embarrassed to tell you that this simple act literally sends me into a panic attack every. single. year.

I know it sounds silly but believe me I've got good reason. What starts out as a $25 little inspection sometimes turns into a $300 nightmare. I know this because I've gotten the great big F for fail too many times to count. Unfortunately when one drives cars that are older than dirt they are frequent victims of the ol' catalytic converter belly-up.

I just can't handle the agonizing fifteen minutes or so that it takes for them to deliver the verdict - my heart beats like it's ready to jump out of my chest, my palms get clammy, and I find myself blabbering to anyone within listening distance. For me it's sheer (irrational though it may be) torture so I usually put it off until the very last minute. Sometimes I trick my husband or son into going for the inspection but this year I decided to put my big girl pants on and do it myself. Well, sorta ..... I drug my husband along for moral support, and hand holding. And guess what ...... we passed! Hallelujah, no new "cat" for the Jelly Bean this year.

After surviving the traumatic car inspection we decided to treat ourselves to some comfort food. Good ol' Krystal hamburgers for lunch. Yummy goodness. Some people don't like Krystals and for the life of me I can't figure out why. I grew up eating them.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are of going to spend the night at my grandmother's house. After a terrifying night of half-sleeping on her couch, watching the ominous shadows dance on the living room wall, she'd feed me Coke  (yes, Coke! Ice cold in the bottle, nothing like it) and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Her cinnamon rolls weren't like the ones Dale baked this morning, hers were store bought and had thick white icing covering them, I'm getting all giddy just thinking about them. Later in the afternoon we'd head on down to Krystal for lunch...burgers, fries, and yes, another coke. And then she'd take me home and let my parents deal with the aftermath of all that sugar, caffeine, and sliders.  Ahhhhh, sweet memories.

I guess you could say that today I was just reliving my childhood.

After lunch we headed over to Hobby Lobby  I am officially two steps closer to getting back to scrapbooking. Thursday I picked up 75 prints of Ian's trip to Japan which will be my first project. Today I bought an album and some cardstock. It's official now. I've spent money so I have to scrapbook.

I figured that since I had been victorious in getting my inspection I should go ahead and get the tag today too. I dropped Dale off at home and headed over to the Tag Office. I'm not real sure why I thought it would be a good idea. It is, after all the last day of April. It was evident as soon as I pulled into the parking lot that there were a lot of April-birthday boys and girls who'd waited until the last minute to get their tag. The line of people spilled out of the building and there wasn't an available spot in the parking lot. I pulled a quick U-turn (oops, is that a police precinct right next to the tag office?) and high tailed it out of there. I can come back another day.

On the way home I discovered a new Tuesday Morning store  had opened near the mall. I decided to go in for a browse. An hour and two purchases later I really was on my way home. And for the record ... those purchases were NOT for me. Someone has a graduation coming up and she better not be reading this now!! Just in case she is reading, I won't post what I bought, just trust me when I say it's cute and useful.

Upon arriving home I discovered a bicycle parked in the garage . Apparently my husband is really trying to work at getting more fit. First he started lifting weights and now he's going for bike rides. I am NOT going to be happy when he starts losing weight and I'm still sitting here like a puff-a-lump. Remember those? They were really cute little stuffed animals. Andrew had one. It was a bunny, and next to his plug it was his favorite possession. Isn't this adorable?  So....maybe being a puff-a-lump isn't so bad, a long as one is loved and cherished.

Regardless, the hubs is beginning to make me look bad so maybe I need to check into something to do to make me more fit. I have a feeling that cinnamon rolls and Krystals aren't going to get the job done.


I cheered myself up by whipping up this little bag. Now isn't this the cutest thing you've ever seen? I can't take credit for the idea. I saw it on one of the 674 blogs that I read daily.  I actually bought the fabric and ribbon months ago but haven't been motivated to do the work until now. I'm hoping some loving mommy will see it and snap it up.

Knock, knock, .... any buyer out there? This bag's dying to go home to a with an aspiring ballerina. Give me a call and it's yours!

Speaking of reading blogs - it leads me to the internet and a confession of yet another one of my vices. I spent well over an hour today "Stumbling" and "Pinning". Some of you won't have a clue what that is. It's a computer/internet thing and involves this site stumbleupon and this site pinterest. Just because I've given you the links doesn't mean you have to click on them, but if you do, let me warn you - both are highly addictive. Some may call them time-suckers. I call them INSPIRATION!

This evening as I was stumbling and pinning from the kitchen table I looked out the window to see this . She's trying to look nonchalant  but really she is in stalking mode. And yes these photos are blurry and I don't know why other than user error, so don't bother adjusting your monitor, it won't make a difference. Despite the bad photography you get the picture right? (hee, hee pun intended)

Anywho, I won't tell you who or what she is stalking but I will tell you that I've told my husband he needs to move the birdhouse becaue I'm tired of fretting over those silly birds.

Well, that's it for my exciting Saturday. I hope your's was equally so. Later.

ps. it's getting late and I'm too lazy to do any editing, so if you find any errors .... shhhh, keep it to yourself :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Score: Birds 1 - Humans 0

The boys and Sarah have been here for a long weekend which explains my absence on the blog ... too many other things to do. We had a great visit with them and I have a funny story to tell about Sarah and the birds. Unfortunately I don't have photos to share, it happened all too fast.

We were on bird watching duty all weekend, waiting to see if the eggs would hatch. Sarah was especially enamored with the whole situation. From a distance she kept peering into the bird house trying to catch a glimpse of what was going on inside. At one point she was sure she saw baby birds but after a second look wasn't so sure.

Sarah decided it would be a good idea to take a photo and thus set out to wait for the perfect time. She watched from the kitchen window for her chance. Finally she saw the mama bird fly from the nest. Grabbing her camera she took off outside to grab a shot or two. Inching ever so close she exclaimed "there's still a bird in here, I guess that was the daddy bird."

I really don't have any idea how the whole bird family thing works. I guess we didn't cover that in our homeschooling days. Does daddy bird fly back and forth bringing food home while mama sits on the eggs? Or maybe it's a role reversal thing where mama brings home the worm while daddy tends the nest? Or maybe it's two mama birds, sister wives, taking turns caring for the brood?

While Sarah went about her quest of shooting the birds (oh, that sounds bad doesn't it?) the rest of us were sitting around the kitchen table watching the budding photographer set up for the perfect photo. I made a comment "wouldn't it be funny if that bird flew out at her?" Not two seconds later we heard a blood curdling scream and watched Sarah sprint for the back porch. It all played out exactly as I had predicted.

I guess the mama bird thought the crazy girl with the camera was getting way too close and set out to defend her nest. She flew straight at Sarah, prepared to peck her eyes out. Ok, I'm just kidding with that part. She did fly out but did not appear to have damage-to-the-human on her mind. Not to mention, if you could only see these birds, you'd doubt their ability to do much harm. They're itty-bitty birds.

Regardless of her intent, whether it be to simply warn off the human, or to maim the crazy girl with the camera, she got instant results. Sarah ran for the house, screaming something about having escaped death. The rest of us .... we were ROTFLOL (Mother - that means rolling-on-the-floor-laughing-out-loud). Tears were streaming down my face as I was kicking myself for not having my camera on hand to capture the priceless moment.

For the rest of the weekend Sarah continued to watch from the safety of the kitchen window. For awhile there wasn't much movement at Casa el Pajaro but eventually she saw mama/papa bird return to flying to and from the nest so I'm assuming they weren't totally freaked out by the screaming human.

As for Sarah, she was pretty traumatized by the whole event. Good thing I didn't tell her how much birds like human hair. All that long thick hair would be a nest building bird's dream!

Meanwhile I'll keep you updated as to what's going on here  I am now officially on bird watching duty.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Good News!

I was just outside sweeping the catkins.

If you can't remember, these are catkins . We're due for another round of storms this afternoon so I thought I'd sweep them off the patio ... so they can return during the storm.

Anyway, while sweeping near the birdhouse I just happened to peer inside and guess what ...

mama bird is sitting in there! She came back to her eggs. I would take her photo but I don't want to traumatize her more than I already have.

Oh my, how do I keep Spunky from figuring this out?

Great. Something else for me to fret over. Ain't life grand?

Monday, April 18, 2011


Have you ever said something and later come to regret it? You know, one of those statements that you really mean but should probably keep to yourself because it really comes across bad? Admit it, tell me I'm not the only one so I can stop beating myself up now.

My incriminating statement was put on Facebook for all my family, friends, and casual acquaintances to see. It read something like this (I can't rewrite word for word because I've since gone back and removed it from my wall): "My husband told me tonight that I could have two more kitties once the dogs are gone. Could someone please come take them off my hands because I really need more cats!"

Why did I write this? Well the simple answer is I want more cats! I have one now and she is very lonely . She really needs the company and me, I love cats  and just don't think that one is enough. If you've read much of my blog or know me personally you will know that up until recently I had two kitties, current girl and my snuggle buddy, Tiger. Unfortunately Tiger died back in October and I have been devastated by the loss. He was the cat that didn't know he wasn't human. He thought and acted like he was a real baby. And it didn't help that we lost him almost exactly one year after our little guy Boo  disappeared. Losing Boo, then Tiger left a giant hole in my heart, one that has slowly started to mend.  It has come to the point now where I'm ready, not to replace them, but to replace them .... does that make sense?

The other reason I wrote the status is because ..... well, to put it bluntly ... I was never meant to be a dog owner. I just don't bond to dogs like I do to cats. We got dogs because the boys really wanted them but now they're away at college and my husband and I are left home holding the bag.  I've blogged about it before so I won't rehash it. Suffice it to say, I honestly believe the dogs would be better off if they lived in a home where they were loved and pampered instead of here where they pretty much just exist.

However.... I never, repeat - NEVER - wish any real harm to the dogs.

So, can you guess where this is going?

Saturday morning my husband woke me up saying there was something wrong with Holly, said she was laying on the back porch not moving. I got up and went with him to check while listening to him tell what had transpired earlier. He had gotten up early as usual. He and the dogs and the cat had done their usual Saturday morning routine of going out, sipping coffee and smoking (the husband, not the animals) and running around peeing, pooping, and inspecting all the fallen branches from the previous night's storm (the animals, not the husband). They all came back in, husband settled in to checking email and internet browsing. Holly went back outside. A little while later she came back and was, according to him, acting weird. She was panting heavily and sorta stumbling around. At one point her legs went out from under her but she got back up and asked to go back outside. After letting her out, hubby went to the living room to watch a little TV. About thirty minutes later he went back out to check on her and that's when he found her laying on the porch.

It was pretty evident to me when I got to her that she was dead. I am ashamed to admit my first thought was "oh my gosh, I can't believe this is happening less than twelve hours after posting that stupid status." My next thought was to console my husband, because even though she hounded him to death, she loved him dearly and they were companion whether he liked it or not (part of him did!) and, then ... oh no, we have to call Andrew and tell him.

We really don't know what happened. We can only speculate. We had really bad storms the night before and we wondered if a snake or something else displaced from the storms had come along and bitten her. There was also the fact that she was somewhat overweight and we wondered if maybe she had a heart problem, though she was only ten years old. Someone else suggested poisoning but I find that very unlikely. I guess we'll never know.

What I do know is that I felt horrible about it. I wanted her gone ... but just to another home, maybe one with kids who'd play with her and love on her. I did not want her dead.

We buried her in the back yard near the boy's tree house. And now, she's in doggie heaven being alpha dog to all the other dogs and maybe she's found her buddy Tiger. They did love to chase each other around the back yard.

As for me, I'll be more careful in the future how I word what I post!

R.I.P Holly Bear. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Winners and Losers

I entered a contest today. Pioneer Woman is giving away this  set of pots and pans. I think I should win because .... well, to answer her question How would you rate the current state of your cookware? I replied something along the lines of "a big fat zero because I'm cooking with the same pots and pans I received when I got married twenty-four years ago." Not that it really matters how I  responded because her winners are picked randomly by some computer generated number picker-er. But, you'd think with that sad answer I should win.

Odds are against me winning because PW is so popular she has tens of thousands of people vying for her giveaways. And me, I never win anything. Unless you count the time my employer was raffling off a TV which I won. Well, technically I didn't win, my husband did. And it wasn't even a new TV but one that had been used for playing company videos. And did I mention that everyone accused me of rigging the raffle. Just because I was the one who organized the raffle doesn't mean I rigged the results. Besides, who cheats to win a used TV anyway??

But, I digress. Back to the pots and pans give away. Here's where I would normally post a photo of my current set and say "don't you agree that I deserve to win, after all these years of cooking with these pans?"  But frankly I'm too embarrassed to do so. The condition of my pans is so bad it's amazing that we haven't died from some sort of poisoning.

Yes, they're that bad.

We keep talking about buying a new set but can't seem to take the next step. Part of the problem is the money. OMGosh have you priced cookware lately? The set she's giving away retails for $765. That's close to a house payment for me.

The other side of the problem is I want stainless and my husband prefers teflon coated. I say since I'm the primary cook we should get what I want. However on those few occasions that he cooks his own grill-cheese sandwiches if he doesn't have a teflon coated pan that grill cheese sandwich becomes permanently stuck to my stainless steel pan. And my house reeks of burnt sandwich for days.

Of course since he brings home this bacon  and I only bring home this bacon  ... do you think one bacon trumps the other? Should the holder of the "right" bacon get to make the decision?

Oh well, maybe I will win the giveaway and this will be a moot point. I'll get a lovely set of stainless steel cookware and he can go buy his own teflon coated frying pan.

I'd give you the link to sign up for this giveaway but then that would just lessen my chances of winning. Because you know one more person added to the 15,000+ who've already signed up in just two hours really makes a difference.

Ok, I'll be a good sport, here's her link Pioneer Woman's giveaway but if you win you have to give me something in return. How about becoming a regular follower of my blog because I want to be like PW and have over a million followers. And to my already loyal handful of readers, thanks for reading and the comments you leave. It means a whole lot more to me than a $765 set of stainless pots and pans.

Really, it does.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blasphemy, I know!

I've always stated that I like living where I do because I get to experience all four seasons. Granted some are more intense than others but regardless of their severity, we get all four. I can give you reasons to love and enjoy each one.

Fall - my personal favorite, cooler weather, magnificent fall colors in the foliage, football, celebrating Thanksgiving   (love me some turkey and dressing), ,
Winter - Christmas, decorating for the holidays, sitting around the fireplace, SNOW!
Spring - warmer weather, flowers and trees in bloom, lush green grass sprouting, baseball, 
Summer - hmmm, well let me get back with you on this one, can't seem to come up with any reasons to love summer and 100* weather

However, as much as I love the seasons, I also have a few reasons to hate intensely dislike them ... and for the last couple of weeks it has been especially evident what I dislike about Spring.

Weather wise it's been a roller coaster of a ride. I like this kind of roller coaster   but not the weather kind. What's a weather roller coaster? Just when you get use to the bright sunshine, brilliant blue skies, and soft gentle winds you get punched in the gut with severe weather. Raging thunderstorms, intense lightening, strong winds, falling trees, and hail have caused several sleepless nights here.

Not to mention the up-and-down temperatures. Windows open, windows closed. Heaters off, fans on, fans off, heaters on. Capris and short sleeves on Monday, jeans and sweat shirts on Tuesday.

My head is spinning, make it stop.

Speaking of heads - mine is all clogged up. It's caused by the dozens of pollen that cover Georgia each year. I know pollen is necessary and all but it's just. no. fun to have around. Some can't be seen but tearing eyes, scratchy throats, coughing, and sneezing are evidence these pollens are in the air. And then there is the film of yellow dust that covers everything, this is also the pollen you  feel in your nose and throat .... pine pollen that makes outdoor furniture, cars, and pets change color.  Here's what a black cat looks like after rolling around in the pollen.

Have I mentioned how much I HATE pine pollen?

Speaking of pine trees, there are these things everywhere. After a little research I've got a name to put on them. They are catkins aka male pine cones. They release pine pollen. They also fall off the trees and create a mess.
After our last storm they literally covered the driveway and back porch, in addition to the grass. With Dale, Eddie, and the dogs going in and out multiple times a day, they begin to creep into my house.   Starting at the back door and continuing all the way to the bathroom floor in the back of the house  I find a trail of them. It doesn't matter how often I sweep and vacuum, they're always there.

Speaking of green folliage, what the heck is this?   Apparently overnight my home has been overtaken by an alien. This stuff has literally sprung up overnight and appears to be on it's way to covering my entire house.  I'm a little afraid to go to sleep for fear that I won't be able to get out tomorrow!

Then, there's these guys   you're friendly but un-neighborly carpenter bee. I've had a hard time convincing Eddie that these things are harmless to humans. They're only deadly to your home. They don't bite or sting but can eat your home almost as fast as termites. Every year they show up and every year we fight the battle. My husband likes to get out there and fill the holes they bore with caulk. Not the best solution since all they need to do is turn around and burrow their way out another hole. My youngest son likes to get out there and "play" badminton with them. Effective but not very humane.

Me... I just try to ignore them. That is until they decide to come INTO the house. Monday there were two of those suckers in here. Once in, they weren't very happy and were frantically trying to find their way out again. Neither was very smart because all they kept doing was buzzing and throwing themselves at the window panes. Being the ever so resourceful WOMAN that I am, I got out my trusty butterfly net  and showed them the way. I probably should have squished 'em dead now that I think about it. I just have a hard time killing God's creatures.

Speaking of butterfly nets - if you're wondering why I have one, it's not to catch butterflies. Nope I catch birds with it! You see, we have a problem with our back porch screen door.  It never gets closed.

I didn't say it wouldn't close, it just d.o.e.s.  n.o.t get closed. You see, it's much easier to let the dogs out into the back yard by just opening the door and shooing them on their way. If I had to go and open the screen door too .... well, we wouldn't want to exert ourselves and over do it now would we?

Anywho, as a consequence of leaving the screen door open all the time we frequently find birds on the back porch. They're real good about flying in but not so much flying back out. Consequently, I have to get out there with my trusty butterfly net and coax them out.

Let me tell you - this is not an easy task. They're scared and not very trusting so they tend to fly back and forth from one side of the porch to the other. I have to chase them while dodging all the junk on our Sandford and Son porch. Not having the stealth like skills of this creatureI seldom catch them in mid flight. But once they light on the railing I have a good chance of netting them. (Don't worry, while I'm outside chasing birds on the porch this girl is safely inside flinging herself at the windows trying to get out. I know she wants to "help" but I'm not having any of that)

Sometimes the birds aren't very cooperative and get overly rambunctious. They fly kamikaze style into the screens, knocking themselves senseless (off course they did get trapped on a screen porch to begin with so I'm not so sure how much sense they actually have anyway). As they stagger around on the floor it's rather easy to scoop them up and take them out to the yard. I usually watch over them until they come out of their coma and fly off. And Spunky? She's still inside flinging herself against the window.

What is this leading up to you ask? Well, a couple of weeks ago I came home to find a bird on the back porch. I went out and did the above mentioned dance and got her out. How do I know it was a "her" you ask? Well, after shooing her away I turned and noticed this.  It's a bird house that never quite made it out into the yard and has been sitting on the Sandford and Son back porch for months. Look closely,  what's that? While we were away at church that morning this mama bird was gettin' down making herself a nest.

Oh, dilemma, what should I do? If I leave it there this girl is going to be stalking it big time. Add to it the dogs, the husband, and a little boy coming and going 500 times a day and I doubt very seriously mama bird is going to want to take up permanent  residence here.

I felt really bad because she had obviously gone to a lot of work but I couldn't just leave it and risk having bird feathers and body parts everywhere. So, I carefully took the house, with nest intact, and placed it outside of the porch.

Long story short (aren't you glad I'm finally getting there?) mama bird not only never came back but apparently was forced to leave her unborn babies behind. I realized today there were already eggs in the nest , eggs that never hatched and never produced itty, bitty, baby birds. Birds that will never get the chance to chirp and fill the spring air with song.


YIKES!  What a depressing note to end a blog on. Oh well, there you have it sometimes even the best of things has a rotten smell to it.

And Spring - well, yes, I love and I hate it. So there, deal with it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Mary Alice Binkley Frazier AKA Gigi!

Well, we survived the party and it was a complete success. Gigi (aka Mary Alice, Mother, Grandma) was completely surprised and loved every minute of the attention.

Three of her four children were there  as well as four of her ten grandchildren and four of her seven great-grandkids.

She got roses, compliments of her new son-in-law - aren't they beautiful?  Ever the smarty pants I wanted to know why there weren't eighty-nine roses there. Everyone just ignored me.

One of her grandsons-in-law, Hooper, aka Michael, Wesley (what is it with this family and multiple names for one person?)  made an awesome cake for the occasion, complete with candles. Lot's of candles.

taken with another camera it looks like the place is ready to go up in flames!  fortunately no one was harmed in the filming of this incident.

It was so nice to get together and just shoot the breeze with family that we don't get to see often enough.  and it was especially fun watching the younger generation enjoy each other's company.  Even at this young age they are obsessed with technology. My kids and their cousins used to "fight" over cars and Bat Man figures, this generation .... it's iPhones and iPods.

Dale and I laughed on the way home. We are always complaining whenever we go out to eat and there is invariably a loud obnoxious group of diners there. Well, tonight WE were that group. I'm sure all the people dining at Red Lobster in Roswell were not only cursing us for being rowdy but also themselves for picking that night and that particular restaurant for a quiet night of dining.

I guess we should have sent out warning announcements ahead of time. Oh well, maybe next time I will be more accepting of the hooligans around us, if not and I complain about here, please feel free to remind of Gigi's birthday dinner.

Meanwhile, I will close by adding that I survived the great photo debacle and came out somewhat unscathed. It turns out that my niece took pity and made sure to get one decent photo of me.  And while it's not the glamour shot suggested by my friend, Pam, it is acceptable. If you focus on my lips though, I bet you can tell what I'm saying

     "hurry, up and take the dang photo please!"

If only I could learn to keep my mouth shut.

Yeah, that's never gonna happen.