Friday, April 29, 2011

Tornados

My poor home state of Alabama has been at the center of one of the worst tornado breakouts in recent history. I think I saw a report that there were 173 tornadoes in that one storm system. Over 300 deaths across all the states that were affected. No telling how many were injured. It was horrible.

I was on the phone with my family throughout the afternoon and evening. I was watching the local Alabama news channel on my computer. Listening to live coverage of the storms. I was 900 miles away from the storms and an absolute nervous wreck.

I lived in Alabama for years so I know that the weather guys often get excited when there is bad weather and can spin me up pretty fast with their play by play of what they are seeing on the radar. It is sometimes frustrating when they get all excited and then you find out it just looked like a rotation, but never really touched down. Lots of false alarms.

This time was different.

You could tell they were scared. You could hear them in the background of the newscast calling their own families and telling them to get to a safe place. They couldn't keep up with all the tornado warnings, with all the individual storm cells that were moving across north Alabama. They just finally said "We can't track all these storms. Please just get to a safe spot and stay there until we tell you it is safe to come out."

With such strong tornadoes there are not very many safe places to go except for underground.

So much damage. Some of the homes are just gone. Not just destroyed or damaged. GONE. My sister-in-law Debbi's little sister lost her house. Completely gone. Nothing left. Not one wall standing. Thankfully, they were not at home. Just one of a million stories that you hear of people surviving by happenstance, luck or divine intervention. Miracles.

Everyone has a story. Where they were when it happened. How terrifying it was.

In the aftermath, they are cleaning up. Searching for survivors.

They are without power. Can't get gas. Under a dusk to dawn curfew.

They are also happy to be alive.

Pulling together to help one another.

Out of this tragedy, they will rebuild.

Buildings will rise up and people will move on.

For now though, I think they could all just use a big hug. Just to let them know, that we know it was awful. We know it was terrifying. We know they lost a lot.

So to my sweet home Alabama...I am so sorry for your loss. My condolences to all the families that have lost loves ones in these storms. My heartfelt prayers go out to you. For all of those who have sustained catastrophic loss of homes and property. My heart breaks for you. I wouldn't know where to begin to rebuild.

Just know that lots of people are pulling for you...especially me.

With love, from a gal in Texas, whose heart will always belong to Bama!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter at the Hyatt

We spent Easter weekend at the Hyatt Lost Pines. It was lovely. Eating, swimming, marathon monopoly game, Easter baskets and family fun. Here are some pictures from the weekend.
















Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm Busy

Goodbye Forever.

Just kidding.

Not kidding about being busy - just about the goodbye forever.

My job description is changing pretty drastically. I am trying to transition my old workload to new folks so I can get on with the new work. Which means I am notifying God and everyone else on the planet of the change. Check your local mailbox for a postcard from me that Lynx Support Specialist will now be administered by Terrie W. I mean, I am notifying EVERYONE!

Just kidding.

I am sure am jovial for all the busy I am buried under.

Goodbye for a while.

I hope it isn't too long....

I will miss you...

Maybe I will pop in tomorrow just for a quick hello.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Hiccup

Happy Good Friday all! Our Good Friday started out with a bit of a hiccup. At 8:30 this morning Harry went outside to shoot some basketball. At 8:31 he walked back inside grabbing his eye. He had something in his eye and it was killing him.

I wanted to kill him also.

You see, Harry doesn't do well with debris in his eye. In fact, he is the worst "I got something in my eye patient EVER!"

I try to look in his eye and he is either squinting it shut tight or blinking so furiously it is damn near impossible to see anything. The whole time he is saying "It really hurts. It feels huge. It's killing me." You ask him to run some water in his eye to see if he can flush it out. No dice. He cannot open his eye under running water. He is missing that gene. I fill up the sink with water and ask him to put his eye under and blink. He does. It doesn't work. I'm all....keeping blinking, blink, blink, blink. See if you can work it out.

He can't. He swears something is embedded in his eye.

UGH!




Off to the Eye Clinic we go. Thankfully it is in our neighborhood.




We walk in. He is miserable. He says he can't wait for the numbing drops.

How does he know there are numbing drops, you ask?

This is not his first rodeo folks.

In fact, this is his third trip to a medical establishment for debris in the eye since 2009. That is only two years people and he has been to the doctor three times for this.

That is just excessive and unacceptable.

I told him that he has to start wearing goggles any time he goes outside. Swim goggles, sport goggles, science goggles,....I don't care what kind of goggles. Just SOMETHING to keep stuff out of his eyes.



Ahh, the relief of numbing drops. He is laughing like crazy in this picture because the nurse put the drop in his eye and then says "It is going to burn like crazy, but then it will go numb."

She walks out of the room and I said "Is it burning?"

He said "Yes, like you cannot believe. And everything in my world is yellow. OMG"

Relief came about 15 seconds later. Finally numb. Good.

The debris that the doctor removed from his eye was minuscule, tiny, weenie, bittie...how else can I say it is the smallest speck of debris possible to see with the naked eye.

Came right out. No damage. All is well in Harry's right eye.

Now, let's get on with the weekend, shall we?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Answer Me This.....???

I read a blog this morning where the author posted some open questions to her children. It was hysterical and made me realize that I have some questions of my own that I would like to pose to my children. So, I am stealing the idea, with the sincere hope that getting these answered will bring some understanding between the old/young - parent/child - mother/sons in this house.

1. Why don't you throw away the box when you use or eat the last item? Why do you put empty boxes back in the pantry? I don't understand this. The garbage can is literally two feet away. If you just pivot on one foot from the pantry, you can reach the garbage can without even trying that hard. You won't even have to stretch your arm out that far. No risk of injury, I promise. While on the subject of empty boxes...let's also cover bags of chips. Do you really think someone will be happy to reach into the pantry for some pretzels and find only three broken up partial pieces along with a teaspoon of salt. And how about cereal. Can you really not fit the last three Cheerios into your cereal bowl? Do you really think the next time you want some Cheerios that you will be happy to pick up the box and find those three little dried up O's all alone in the bottom of the giant box? I know that doesn't make me happy. Not at all. So, please explain why it is easier to put an empty box back into the pantry instead of into the garbage can.

2. Can you please help me understand what happens when you stand in front of a toilet that causes such frequent and blatant misdirection of your bodily fluids? Have you waited too long and are in such a hurry that fluids are leaving your body before you are correctly positioned? I don't have body parts like you so I really do not understand what the difficulty is with aiming that thing at the target. Is it like holding a fire hose? Is it so powerful that you are wrestling it from the moment you start peeing to when you are finished? Help me understand. I am so tired of my bathroom smelling like a gas station bathroom. I can tell immediately upon sitting myself down on the toilet that someone has missed. I am immediately transported to a 7-11 somewhere. It is not good. I think that sometimes if folks knew what went on in the bathroom of our house that they wouldn't even want to drink a cup of coffee here. I thank God for Clorox, but seriously would appreciate it so much if you boys would invent a self cleaning bathroom. Here is my vision: Something stark and sterile with a giant drain hole in the middle of the floor. A self-sealing unit that you pull the door closed, hit a button and boiling hot, antibacterial laced water blasts every surface in the place. Think of a car wash type set up with nozzels spinning and hitting all the nooks and crannies. I would also suggests some blowers to dry off the counters, walls and toilet quickly and efficiently. There are moms of boys all over this country that would pay for this feature in their homes. I promise you. It could make you super wealthy. Get on it.

3. Socks. I hate winter just because that means you little people will be wearing socks. Socks alone are not bad. They serve a great purpose. My question is why do you take off your socks at random places around the house AND leave them there? Socks belong in the dirty clothes category. They are tiny little pieces of dirty clothes. So, when you are taking off your clothes they generally and usually make it into the laundry basket. Socks? Hardly ever. WHY? Is it a game you are playing with me? Let's leave our socks in random and weird places all over the house and see if mom can find them. I don't like that game. It is kind of like "Banana Puncher". I don't like that game either. And on the subject of socks, if you pull off your shoe to show me the GIANT hole in the toe of your sock, please, please take that sock off immediately and throw it in the trash. Don't make me wash it, dry it, sort it, put it back in your dresser to have you wear again. If your sock has a hole that is big enough to say.....stick a Wii controller through (trying to give them something they understand) then THROW IT AWAY!!!! I'm yelling with my all caps because this one is so obvious to me, but I don't think you guys get it. Help me understand. Please.

That is all I have for now, my sweet little cherubs! You answer these for me and it may restore world peace. At least peace in our little piece of the world.

Love,
Mom

P.S. I am starting to wonder if maybe you guys don't know where the garbage can is in our house. It is the giant stainless steel can in the kitchen. It has a black bar you step on to open the lid. You should play with it. It is fun. New family game night - "Feed the Garbage Can". I really should have thought of this sooner....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bob Chronicles - Eleventh in a Series

Sometimes I am just so happy to have a blog. Somewhere I can store the day to day events that go on and the little nuggets of happiness and laughter I get from my family. Today especially, I am very happy.

I have another Bob Chronicles for you. It's current. Really current. In fact, this one happened today. It started with a call from my Dad.

Me: Hey, Dad. What's going on?
Dad: Not much. I am about to go shopping and just thought I would check in.
Me: That's nice. What are you shopping for?
Dad: Some moccasins.
Me: Some what?
Dad: Moccasins. You know shoes.
Me: You are going to buy some moccasins?
Dad: Yeah, if I can find them?
Me: Why?
Dad: To wear on our trip to Vegas. We are going to be doing alot of walking and I want something other than my tennis shoes to wear.
Me: But moccasins?

NOTE: The following picture is the image I saw in my head when he started talking about moccasins.



It scares me to think about Bob running around Vegas in these. Actually it scares me to think of him going anywhere in these.

We talk a little more and I finally figure out that what he is actually after is loafers. Some slip ons with a little arch support so he doesn't have to wear socks and tennis shoes everywhere.

At least I am hoping that is what he is going to come home with.

He promises to send me some pictures when he finds the moccasins.

I got these photos and captions just a short while ago and I have been chuckling to myself since then.

Here are the pictures with Bob's captions:


Do these new shoes make my legs look bigger?


I can't stop looking at them.


These are St. John's Bay shoes. I didn't hold back on costs.


I think once my legs get a little more tan they will look even better.


I just hope it won't attract the women like my tennis shoes do.


If you look close you can see my old sock line.

So Bob is sporting some moccasins. Looking dashing as ever. Just made my day to get his little photo album. I tell you what I am really looking forward to is his trip recaps from Vegas. He and my mother have never been. It is going to be some awesome material for me!

I will also share this little funny that probably deserves it's own post.

This past weekend my Mom and Dad went up to Tennessee to help my brother and his wife, Ms. Tennessee, repair some towel bars in their boys bathroom. Dad said all went well and they got the towel bars up and secure. Ms. Tennessee calls him last night. She says "Bob Chronicles Number 242. Both towel racks have fallen out of the wall with the first use." Dad says "What are they doing with them? Chin-ups?"

Needless to say, the repair crew (probably Lana will have to get involved this time!) will be going back up this weekend to patch the holes and anchor those suckers into a stud. Its always something!

I hope this story gave you a chuckle or a smile. It sure did me.

Connected

For the last six weeks or more, my work laptop has been cycling in and out of internet connection. Usually, every 8 minutes or so. I get all logged in and work feverishly, then it kicks me out and I do it again. It made my day so long and frustrating. We had the cable folks out many times. They said we had a weak connection they couldn't figure out why. I have since begun the process of switching cable provider companies, going with a different kind of technology in hopes of fixing the weak signal and keeping my laptop online.

Yesterday, I was supremely frustrated having worked on a couple of things and gotten almost done when the cable dropped again. ARRGGHHH!! I wanted to pitch the whole damn kit and kaboodle out in the backyard.

Last night when Hubby got home I asked him if he could help me hardwire my computer into the internet instead of using the wireless. He did. In about 2.5 seconds.

Praise the Lord....it is working beautifully and I could not be more grateful!!! I think the heavens may have actually opened and angels may have been singing at about 11:00 this morning when I realized I had been online for hours.

If you are computer whiz and it is obvious to you that I should have tried this weeks ago, please keep that information to yourself. I do not want to know how stupid I am. It is better living in my world that way.

So I have been a working machine today!! Processing mods like it is my job! Oh wait, it IS my job!! Now I can perform said work in a remarkably speedy fashion. Never have I been more thrilled.

Am I sad that I have a giant pit in my backyard that maybe I didn't need? Nah! I like change and until I am ready to paint another room I will be satisfied with changing the cable.

Woo Hoo!!!

Today's gonna be a good day! Today's gonna be a good, good day!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ten Random Tidbits

I am going to pound out a quick Ten Random Tidbits because my day is getting away from me and there is no time to upload pictures for my original post idea for today.

Here we go:

1. I was presenting on a teleconference today when someone rang the doorbell. Astro went crazy. Barking his real hard, deep bark. Of course he wasn't at the front door he was standing next to me in my office. It is very unprofessional to be speaking about RFP requirements to your peers and have your dog barking hard in the same room. Also very hard to correct. Either I put the phone on mute so they can't hear the dog, but that also means I put myself on mute and they can't hear me. Second option is to get the dog to shut up without talking. I admit, there was some hard snapping going on and Astro could have cared less. Finally, I resorted to throwing a folder at the dog so he would leave my office. I shut the door behind him. Stupid dog.

2. Pit update. The guy who rang the doorbell was here for the pit. He went in it and did something. Not sure what, since I was still on the phone. Wonder when we might be finished.

3. Chip hates rulers and anything to do with measuring. That is evident because he laid his head down in complete exhaustion when I tried to show him how to start measuring at zero, not at one. I am sure all he heard was "Wa waaa, wah, wah, wah, wah." ala Charlie Brown.

4. I might try one of those Five Hour Energy boosts deals. I need it to help me deal with this afternoon slump where I am typing with one eye closed because I am so drowsy. Anyone out there ever tried one?

5. My run-ins with whole raw chickens continue to give me trouble. Last time, the bird was frozen solid and I couldn't get the stupid gut pack out of the cavity. Today I thawed it out in cold water and the guts came right out. Unfortunately, when I lifted it up to look in the cavity to make sure I got it all, I poured all kinds of raw chicken juice down my shirt. YUCK!!!

6. Friday the boys played regular Monopoly. Sunday they played it again. Yesterday they played Monopoly City. Last night Harry went and bought Triopoly with his birthday money. What the heck?

7. Running sucks so bad when it is 85 degrees at 5:45 a.m. and 1,500% humidity. I mean it sucks pretty bad on a regular weather day, but it ultra sucks on a hot, humid, muggy morning. Don't even get me started on what it does to my hair. Seriously.

8. I love earrings.

9. Words with Friends is very fun. My Dad, Bob, is the biggest smack talker you will ever run across on this simple scrabble game. The funniest thing is he only plays three letter words. He did score a sweet 45 with ZAP yesterday. Today I got a 99 with JETE! Go me!

10. Chip needs braces. Within the next 12 months or so. He is eight and his teeth are a hot mess.

And here is one more bonus tidbit...

After our very, very awful "How to use a Ruler Lesson" that ended with both mother/son - teacher/student being very perturbed I heard a bit of a sob coming from the kitchen. I figured Chip was feeling sad for being so hard headed about using a ruler. I asked him what was wrong. He said through his tears "I need you to take me to the hospital. I have a piece of glass in my leg." I said "WHAT? How did you get glass in your leg." He doesn't know. I tell him I have to look at it. He dances around, making me promise not to touch it, not to even look at it hard. I promise. I hop him up on the counter and look at the back of his leg. It's a scab that has pulled up the little, tiniest bit. I said "That is not glass, that is a scab." He stops crying immediately and says "Oh. Okay, thanks Mom."

Crisis averted.

I am going to hunt down some chocolate. I need it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend in Review

Happy Monday Ya'll! Hope your weekend was as productive as mine! Let's recap shall we? I will jump in with a status on the pit. It's big. Ginormous, in fact. So big that the pit digger fellows were here for at least four hours that I know of on Friday. They had some big hydraulic machine in the back helping them plow through the roots and stones.


Here is the enormous pile of debris that was in the hole, but is now in my yard. Not sure if we are switching cable companies or putting in a pool.


Can you tell from this picture how big the tree roots are that the guys are cutting through? The pit is approximately 2 1/2 feet deep and about six feet wide.

Hmmm, I am wondering if they are coming back today for more. Only time will tell.


Friday afternoon was our annual spring carnival at school. Peggy and I were co-chairs for the prize committee. We set up the prizes like a "Chuckie Cheese" and the kids love it. Basically, they go play games and earn plastic coins. The coins are redeemed for a prize.

Have you ever worked at Chuckie Cheese?

One word of advice....

DON'T!

Here is a typical conversation that transpired on Friday night:

Me: Hi sweetheart, are you ready to trade in your coins for a prize.
Random Kid: Nods quietly.
Me: Okay. Let's see how many coins you have.
Random Kid: Holds out sweaty hand and we count the coins together.
Me: You have two coins. So look at these two boards which show you the eight prizes you can pick from. Which one do you want?
Random Kid: Can I have the inflatable sword?
Me: No, that is eight coins. You have two coins so you can pick from these two boards.
Random Kid: Can I have the light up flower ring?
Me: No, that is fifteen coins. You can either get two prizes for one coin or one prize for two coins. Look right here at these eight choices.
Random Kid: Can I get a rainbow baton?
Me: No, again that is eight. Look your eyes this way at these two posters. You can have anything right here, on this poster right here. You can have a finger trap, an alien parachute guy, a blow copter or a necklace.
Random Kid: How many more do I need to get the inflatable alien.
Me: You will need 13 more coins.
Random Kid: How many more do I need to get the stuffed dog.
Me: Six more. (Do they teach math at this school?)
Random Kid: Can I get two finger traps?
Me: YES!!! Oh, yes you can! That is a perfect choice.
Random Kid: Do you have yellow?
Me: No...blue, purple, red or green.
Random Kid: No thanks then. I guess I will take the alien guy.
Me: Okay. Also good choice. Here you go.
Random Kid: Can I have a blue one?
Me: No...actually you can't! Move on.

(Keep in mind that there are about forty kids waiting behind this kid and I have been through this scenario about 100 times too many...losing patience quickly.)

We were on our feet for hours and hours, but it is OVER! Can I get a Hallelujah???


Saturday we took some of the giant flat rocks the pit diggers had lifted from the backyard and extended the pathway on the side of the house. That required a trip to Lowe's. While there I picked up some sunshine for my front flower beds.


I can never get anything to grow in this spot. The dirt is awesome, full of worms, turns easily, but dead, dead, dead plants in what I get. I am trying Black-eyed Susan's this year. Wish me luck.


Here are some other lovelies blooming in the front yard.


This is an old football helmet in our garage. A tiny little sparrow has been building a nest in it every time we open the garage door. Not a good place for a nest, so we keep cleaning it out.


Many times this weekend these two brothers faced off in driveway basketball. It was hardcore.


Chip got two points for every basket and Harry got one. Trying to even it out due to obvious height advantage for Harry.

Oh yeah, the guy in the center is the Ref. He had a whistle and he was not afraid to use it.

Sadly. He used it alot. Called lots of fouls. Made lots of shrilling noises.

Let's see if you can just see in the pictures how this turned out.












Man down. Injury on the court.

It wasn't too bad.

His pride was hurt more than his knee.

He asked for a rematch 759 times yesterday afternoon, so we can assume he is fine.


The boys then moved indoors to entertain themselves with a new obsession.

Monopoly.



They played it a lot and talked about it even more. Did you know there is an Office version of Monopoly? Me either. Harry wants to buy it with his birthday money.

So that is the highlight reel. There was also some grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning and exercising thrown into the mix but that didn't make the cut.

Hope your week is off to a terrific start!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pit Diggers

If you were wondering how things are going on the cable front...they are still digging in my back yard!

Are they digging to China? If so, I think Chip may want in on that one!

Remember the hole he dug in my front flower bed?

Did I ever tell you what his Daddy did to him when he was in the process of daily digging that hole deeper and deeper in the front yard?

No?

Well it is pretty funny, so let me me tell you!

To refresh...remember that one day Chip asked me if he could dig a hole with the shovel. Sure I tell him. Little did I know it was going to be a daily project. Every day Chip is digging that hole. He is a diligent little digger. The hole is getting bigger and bigger. Finally, his Dad asks him why he is digging the hole so deep. Chip says just as innocently as he can - I am trying to dig to China.

Later in the week, Hubby went to take the trash out to the back yard and came busting through the front door yelling for Chip. Chip comes racing around the corner? WHAT DAD?? Dad says "There is a Chinese guy in our front yard! I think he came out of your hole!"

Chips eyes got so big. He ran over to the window and real cautiously peeked around the edge to see what or who was in the front yard.

His Dad starting laughing, which immediately alerted Chip that he had been fooled. Poor sweet gullible kid!

We covered the hole the next day.

I think he was worried it might really happen.

Not sure when my pit will be finished. I will keep you posted.

This is titilating reading, isn't it?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Pit

Were any of you curious about what "the pit" would look like that was being dug by my new cable installers? No. Oh, then sorry. Log off and come back another time, because I am about to get in picture mode to show you. For the two of you that are left, lets take a look at the back yard. Wow, that is a bigger hole than I thought. To give you some perspective, that is a full sheet of plywood lying on the ground covering the hole. I wasn't expecting the orange netting, but I think it is a nice touch. Makes it seem official. Can't wait to see what Astro thinks about it. I am sure it will be nothing more than something new and fabulous to pee on in the backyard.

I couldn't just take a picture of the top, I lifted up the board to see what was underneath. It's a giant hole. Exactly what you would imagine a pit would be like.


Lots of loose cable wires exposed. I am assuming this is what the guy who comes out tomorrow will be looking for. I hope he can get it rewired pretty easily and we can get on with switching the whole house over. Having said that, I am already chuckling because if I know nothing else about life, I know that with almost certainty it won't be easy and it will take many efforts to get the house switched over. That's okay. It's better when you anticipate it.



I had some spider lilies in the area by the pit. I don't any more. I may go out and try to save a few. I will have to go around the orange fencing. I am sure that is dangerous. I will probably fall in the stupid pit and have to be rescued like baby Jessica. Do you remember how her leg was up by her head when they pulled her out? OUCH. I am sure mine would snap off at that angle.


While out surveying the damage to the lilies I caught a glimpse of my rose bush. It is lovely.


Columbine - also lovely.

You know what will be supremely lovely? To have internet connection that is actually connected. ALL THE TIME!!! So, stay tuned....The cable squad is back tomorrow to finish up. I know you will be so thrilled to see this project through with me! You two are the best!