Friday, May 29, 2009

Beach Trip Beginnings

We had a nice easy flight two Fridays ago and got to Lo's house in Durham around 11:30 p.m. We flew into Raleigh/Durham airport instead of flying directly to Wilmington, because I had not been back to Durham since Grandma's funeral and I wanted to see Lo's new house. Two of my high school buddies were there waiting for me and we partied well into the night (morning?). I loved her house and the next day I got to see more of it before My Sweetie and I took off on our little road trip. The ride was nice and easy and the highway had random spots of beautiful wildflowers which I took pictures of and we stopped at one rest area that had a WWII Howitzer. And wow! North Carolina has really nice rest areas. We stopped at Mom's new house and had a quick tour and visit and headed to our cottage. A few hours later, Lo arrived and we went to dinner at Daddy Mack's. It's a nice place we could walk to and was on the beach. We sat outside had great food, stopped by Buddie's (my bar) and headed back to the cottage to watch "Saturday Night Live" and about 5 minutes after the show started, this is what happened to My Sweetie and Lo:
(zzzzzzzzzzzz)
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I sat there on that loveseat and watched the show by myself and once when I got up to get a beer, as I was returning to my seat, when I stepped over My Sweetie, I clanged my foot into that fish table and broke my right pinkie toe:

That picture was taken on Monday when all that blood had washed into my foot (in the circled area). I guess my skin reflected the flash but that "bruised" area looked much darker in person. I guess you are thinking that if I am going to drink beer around the clock I should probably wear shoes. Yeah, that's not going to happen. With me and shoes it's First & Last: First things off and Last things on. And yes I did break another toe not long ago, but the other toe I broke was 33 years ago, so I was probably overdue. And I still have 7 good toes. That's plenty.
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I didn't let my broken toe cramp my style. Between the beer and the etodolac that I take for my thumb, it wasn't really much of a problem. We joked that the fish had bitten me because I hit my toe right on that fish's mouth:

Saturday had been cloudy and we had even hit one rain spot on the drive down but Sunday morning started off sunny but cool. But by noon, it started to cloud up again and then was pretty much rainy through Tuesday. I felt really bad for Lo because she had to go back home Monday evening and didn't get any beach time. Those first few days with the bad weather I mostly spent on that loveseat doing sudoku puzzles, chatting, and watching silly TV. And enjoying the view from where I was sitting:

I don't have to be on the sand. As long as I can see the ocean, I'm good.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back from Vacation

Man, I got home from my trip with a seemingly terminal case of the Post Vacation Lazies. I've barely been on the computer at all and just today looked at the backlog of Astronomy Pictures of the Day. I have watched a lot of TV and been to the grocery store, unpacked, did laundry and even had a Memorial Day cookout for my daughter and her fiance. But I've been one slow moving bunny over here. So tonight I made a little movie from my trip and will type more later, but now I think I'm going to rejoin the ole blogging community and read some blogs.

video

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Le Hodge De L'Podge

Funny Products: Last Saturday when we were at the grocery store, I spotted this in a freezer:
It seemed so stupid I had to take a picture. What is that? Chickensaurus Rex?
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Today at my hair salon I saw this in the bathroom and for some reason thought of Jammie J (whose blog is no longer private if you guys want to visit):

Speaking of the hair salon, I was SO happy to get a haircut. It's still long enough to "put up" but it had gotten so bad that I told people that rinsing my hair after I shampooed it was like trying to rinse a pair of jeans wrapped around my head. For the last two weeks I had dreaded taking a shower because my hair had gotten so thick and heavy. It was hideous. Now I feel all light and breezy. And I know just what to do. (ha ha, did anyone get that reference?)
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For the Frenchies out there: The French seem to have terms for situations that the English do not have so I'm wondering if there is an expression for the following (and I think everyone has experienced this): This morning while I was getting ready for Meals on Wheels my phone rang and I saw it was Mrs.V. I immediately thought, "Oh, no, what can it be?" Well she called to ask if I had a camera, (uhm, yep) and told me her cactuses were blooming and asked if I could take some pictures when I got there:

So I was all, OH NO! and then it was nothing and I really felt like an ass. Is there some foreign expression for that situation? And don't just say, "Yeah, you're an ass."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Must Keep Brains Intact

I'm getting so excited about going to the beach on Friday, I feel like my head's going to crack open.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Baby Mockingbird

Saturday was a dreary day. Not long after I got up, I was out in the garage and heard a loud bird ruckus and wondered what was going on. I opened the door and saw two Mockingbirds going crazy screeching at Barney who was hunkered down looking frightened. I ran out to shoo them off, but they didn't go far. I figured Barney was trying to get from the backyard into the garage to eat and the birds were just being asses. He came into the garage with me and I shut the door and didn't think too much about it but mentioned to My Sweetie that some mockingbirds were bothering Barney and we were both all, "Poor Barney, he has the hardest time."
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After lunch I went into the backyard to water the flowers and realized those birds were still going at it. I came inside for my Nerf gun. I went out and fired some shots of little Nerf pellets at the birds but they never went far (and of course I didn't hit them.) I continued with watering the flowers and then saw one of the mockingbirds actually dive bomb Barney. Then I was getting irritated. I grabbed my Nerf gun and went after them in ernest but they were smart. They either stayed on the fence or just inside my neighbor's yard. These are the neighbors whose cat attacked Barney last year and when I demanded money, it didn't go over well and so I knew I couldn't fire into their yard, or I'd never get my Nerf "bullets" back.
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So now I was thinking "prevention." I called Barney to come over onto the patio with me so they couldn't bother him. Barney wanted to go back to the side of the house which was the bird stronghold, so then I got irritated thinking maybe he was hungry and couldn't get to his food. I walked with him along the side to the garage door, but he didn't follow me. He was more interested in a bush. I thought "Why does he want to hang out here to look at a bush when it's obvious it's making these birds crazy?"
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Then something clicked in my tiny slow brain and I went over to inspect the bush and found this little guy:

Suddenly everything made sense. I grabbed Barney and went back to the patio and decided to keep him over there until the parent birds could do something about the baby bird. Twice, over time, one of the big mockingbirds would check back with us to see where Barney was, but the fuss died down and now Barney was busy in the grass on the far side of the backyard. It got quiet and I figured it was all well. And I like a happy ending. Since Barney was preoccupied, I decided to go check things out. I slipped over there and didn't see Ma or Pa and was about to go check the bush when I saw the baby hopping toward the gate to the front yard. There's plenty of room under the gate, so I figured he'd make it out just fine.
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I opened the back door and called for My Sweetie to go check baby bird's progress while I kept and eye on Barney. Sweetie opened the gate and gently helped Baby out into the front yard. At this point I thought it was all over and the parents could take care of their tot without worrying about Barney and went about my day. I took my shower and started getting ready and then realized I was still thinking about the bird. Barney was asleep on the deck and all was quiet. I went out the front door and walked over to look for the little guy and found him under a bush. But where were the parents?
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I kept going out to the garage where I could keep an eye on him and not scare the other birds away and kept watch through the garage door window:

I stood there for a long time listening to the radio, sipping beers and watching all the birds and lizards in the neighborhood. Finally, just to the left of the Crape Myrtle that you can see part of on the left of the above picture, I saw a mockingbird on my neighbor's mailbox:

That bird was one of the parents and flew over to the baby and looked like it was feeding it. I was really happy, because I thought they had lost each other. I continued my watch and saw the bird come back again. I felt like it was all going to be good. As we were leaving to go out, I took one more picture of the bird:

We went out to eat and then to the grocery store and when we returned I watched the driveway carefully as we turned in so we wouldn't run over the tiny bird. I saw something by my truck tire under my truck. After we parked I jumped out and checked with the little flashlight that hangs on my purse and that was him. I figured he'd sleep through the night and his parents would come back in the morning to take care of everything.
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When I woke up on Sunday, My Sweetie told me that he had gone out to check early that morning and the little baby mockingbird had died. I was so sad. I like a happy ending and there was not one. Poor little bird.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Beach and Beer Good




I am now just days out from my trip to North Carolina and my beach cottage. I spent the whole day printing out all sorts of different maps and things. Usually we fly straight into Wilmington and Mom picks us up, but Lo, my bestest buddy bought her first house almost a year ago and I have not seen it yet, so we are flying into the Raleigh/Durham airport so I can see Lo's house. We will spend Friday night there and drive down to the beach cottage on Saturday, stopping to see Mom's new house. A distance of 159 miles. (That's 12 kilograms Canadian.)

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My brain is so full of stuff to take. Now that Mom has a real house instead of living in that camper thing, we can leave all the bulky items that you have to take like sheets and towels and kitchen towels, oven mitts and stuff so I'm picking out things I can live without here in Texas. And because the light pollution there is almost nil, I spent some time looking for my planisphere.

It's going to be nice to be able to name all the constellations we'll be able to see. I also called Mom to issue a "formal invitation" for dinner at my cottage on the 17th. I will be making my yum city shrimp boil using shrimp that I will buy off a boat right there on the island. Speaking of Mom, guess what she has been doing all week? (I am so laughing right now - literally) Well she has been working her ass off all week getting ready for the yard sale they are having this (Saturday) morning of all the junk that was left in the house they bought. Paybacks are hell. She has been calling me for prices and oddly she has agreed with everything I have said.

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Of course everything will be easier for them because it's a laid back place and they can put signs pretty much anywhere and everywhere they want to. I had regulations to follow. Mom has been a real sweetie pie, though. Today she told me not to bring towels. She decided she needs new towels and will let me have her "old" ones. I've used them and they are lot nicer than what I was going to take. We will also be getting our birthday presents and she told me "I want to tell you now, so you won't have to buy as many groceries when you get here: I'm giving you some cash with your gifts so you can eat out more." She's so cute. She forgets about my semi-agoraphobia. I wouldn't eat out every day if it were free and I could have anything I wanted. I need my IN DAYS.

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Anyway, I'm so excited about my trip that it pretty much occupies my thoughts at all times except, you know, those moments when I think, "Time for another beer."

Thursday, May 07, 2009

May The Dust Be With You

My Star Wars shelf
Of the 15,000 or so shelves in my house, this is the one I most hate to dust. When I noticed my daughter had written her name in the dust a few weeks ago, I sighed and collected the "tools" I would need: dust mask, air spray can and tray. I gathered all the little Star Wars guys, put them in the tray and took them outside and blew the hell out of each little fellow with canned air. Then I dusted the shelf. I probably only do it twice a year or so. I mean how many shelves require that much effort to dust?
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That picture on the back left is an autographed picture from Peter Mayhew. I didn't meet him but he was at one of my husband's work events. There's more little things on the side walls of the shelf you can't see. And what's cool is I didn't buy a thing. They were all freebies through My Sweetie's job except for my lightsaber and I "won" that at Dave & Buster's. Oh and my Darth Vader does this:

video

Earlier, when I was thinking about this post, I started thinking about lightsabers and wondering what the energy source could be and I was thinking maybe photonic ions and then I thought, "No. That's Star Trek." And then I thought about how geeky my thoughts were. But here's the thing: People who do not follow this stuff at all would think I was a total geek because I do know a lot of dorky fun details and histories, but to the "true fans" I would just be a muggle. Oh wait! That's Harry Potter.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

My Brother Jesus


About two years ago, my brother was in a play and starred as Jesus. I had a DVD of the play for almost a year and never watched it until this afternoon. I took it down to watch it with Carole my neighbor. She knows all about the Bible and I know very little so I thought she could help if I had any questions. Plus My Sweetie had no interest in watching it. I really didn't know what to expect.
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I don't think I've talked about my brother much here although I have spilled some stuff in some of your comment boxes. In a nutshell: In the years before Dad died my brother had a really nice house with a wife and two kids. He was a junior partner at Dad's insurance business, was a member of a civics organization, a Cub Scout leader and a Little League coach. After Dad died he took a long bad ride on the white powder train. After his nose blew out, he took to smoking the stuff. I cut off communications with him at this time because as everyone knows, the personality has been replaced by the drug. He lives in North Carolina and I live in Texas, so most of this was out of sight and out of mind, but I got phone calls from his wife (they were separated of course) and heard of sightings from my friends. And I had many long sad conversations about him with Mom. Before he ran the business into the ground, he sold it and once that money was gone (he had already blown through his inheritance), he was evicted and lived who knows where, occasionally showing up at some unlucky old friend's house asking for food or whatever.
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Well, one of those old friends said, "I'll take you in and give you a job but: 1) you can not drink or anything else, 2) you must study the Bible with us every night and 3) you must attend church with us on Sundays.
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Whatever your personal beliefs about churches or religions (and I know what most of yours are), this worked for my brother. He cleaned up his act and reconciled with his wife and kids. I thought it was all an act and kept my distance, but after a year or so, I saw that it had "taken" as they say in the south. I tentatively started talking to him again and that was a few years ago and now we are friends.
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I guess I must have had the DVD since either June or September of last year when Mom gave it to me on one of my visits to N.C., but for some reason I just didn't feel up to watching it until just now. Carole, who is awesome, invited me over to watch it on her TV which is as big as my truck. So watch it I did, and although I am not a Christian, I found it very moving. On many different levels.
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And yes that's a screen capture of my brother from the movie.
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And now, on the lighter side: My tongue has always been terribly tangled by tongue twisters and tonight I discovered that I cannot say "Splenda® goblin." (Please don't ask me why I was trying to say it, it's too stupid and I won't tell you.)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Just Some Stuff with Irony

Do you have certain words that never look quite right to you? I'm like that with "bottling." I saw this truck on Wednesday and it nearly made my brain explode. I mean it's not a word you see every day. My brain wants to pronounce it as "Bott-Ling" even though I know it is "bott-uhl-ing." They should have spelled it "bottleing." Or not. My third grade teacher Miss Parker taught me so many great basic pronunciation rules but it seems like there are a trillion words that defy Miss Parker. You know what they are.
We went to The Tequila Factory tonight. There was a musician there and his range was so insane I can't even describe it. Oh and My Sweetie ordered a margarita and then I noticed it was red. I asked, "Why is your margarita red?" He had ordered some sort of Chambord margarita. I didn't know such a thing existed.
I didn't know hiccups could affect typing but they do. I have had to retype almost every third word. Hiccups both amuse me and irritate me. Sort of like a toddler. Hiccups I meant, not myself. Oh and getting back to that musician guy. He played all sorts of music, but the weirdest part was he looked like Garth Brooks with the cowboy hat and everything and he was playing this when we came in:

video
My Sweetie and I were cracking up and he said "I think he appreciates irony." Either that or he doesn't get it. Or maybe he had the hiccups.

Friday, May 01, 2009

On The Facebook Thing

I was never really crazy about Myspace, but joined to see what my daughter was doing and because one old friend posts all her pictures there, so I was not in a big hurry to check out Facebook.
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I thought it was somewhat interesting at first and did reconnect with a few old friends and even my former step-mom, but then found myself sort of hanging out on this one guy's page. He's a nice friendly guy from high school and married a nice friendly girl from high school and a bunch of people from high school seemed to converge there. Then I realized I was feeling the same old anxiety from the the same old people and I had to ask myself: What the hell are you doing?
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So I decided several days ago to not even look at it anymore. Then two days in a row, two old high school friends - actual friends, not Facebook people, called me about talk of a high school reunion. So out of curiosity, I checked the site tonight and had a friend request from someone from high school, someone that I always thought was really cool and interesting. We've since exchanged nice long catch-up messages. She's even in San Diego which is one of my very favorite places as you all know.
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So maybe Facebook isn't all bad.