Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gustav... sigh

I LOVE living in the deep south. I was born here so it's home. But one of the perils of living here is having to deal with hurricane season every year - June to November. We've had a quiet couple of years since the year 2005 which brought us more than 2 dozen hurricanes, several of those being major and very destructive! But now as 2008 hurricane season enters its' peak time the tropics are getting extremely busy.

We have hurricane Gustav who is now in the Gulf of Mexico - spinning, eyeing the coastline and sizing up victims.  We have hurricane Hanna on the lower east coast side of Florida - who knows what she will do in the next at200807_sat several days?  And two more active storms are making their way across the Caribbean, from off the coast of Africa. They will come into play in the days to come. Yes, it's a very busy season. I am compelled to pray for all the Gulf coast states and their residents, that we would be kept safe through these storms of 2008.

The rains from the outer bands of Gustav have already begun in my neck of the woods in the southeast corner of Alabama.  I am about 75 miles inland from the coast, straight north of Panama City, FL.  Some of my family is in Panama City, and my Nathan is in Mobile, AL which is a coastal city about 30 minutes east of Biloxi, Mississippi.  So we will all experience some of the effects of Gustav, even if he stays on track. If he jogs east of the present track, our level of involvement will increase.  We always pray that the hurricanes which enter the Gulf will go straight west and fizzle out in the unpopulated wilderness of Mexico. This would be the best possible outcome, always. Right now it appears that will not happen this time. I just pray New Orleans can survive this one. God bless those people there.

My hat is off to the Republicans at the convention now, who are carefully, sensitively assessing the situation and going on standby mode, pending the outcome of Gustav. This is a wise decision although I am sorry to see their convention not able to run as scheduled.  I certainly understand and respect the McCain organization all the more, for living out the "Country First" motto. 

Stay safe everybody!  To Michelle over in Biloxi, hunker down girl! Stay safe!

Friday, August 29, 2008

VERY VERY CLASSY...

 

I watched the Democratic Convention last night via Fox News. During the 2 hours I watched, I saw the following ad run four times.

This cost John McCain a LOT of money and he didn't have to do this.  He suspended all current campaign ads in favor of running this single congratulatory ad during the convention tonight. A true gentleman and a very classy thing to do. 

And now to the BIG news of the day - McCain chooses SARAH PALIN!!!!!!!!!!  

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I am SOOOO STOKED over this choice John McCain has made for his vice presidential running mate!! Talk about "hitting a grand slam out of the park" - EAT YOUR HEART OUT BILL CLINTON!!! Ha!!  Months ago I said I hoped Sarah Palin would be the vice president and Bobby laughed at me, saying there was NO WAY she would be chosen! She was a long shot alright, but I knew that she would be an AWESOME choice! Congratulations John McCain and Godspeed to the McCain/Palin team as they travel across the nation on the "Straight Talk Express" over the crucial upcoming weeks.

Now LETS ROLL!!!!

In other news, can you all believe this Caylee Anthony story???  Bless her little heart. The DNA tests are in and they indicate that this beautiful little child is dead.  : (  So what the heck is going on with her mother???  Why is she sitting at home, seemingly detached from all of this? And take a look at this horrific story!!  This is SICK! What is wrong with people??

Well, I gotta get to school and pick up my girls! Ya'll have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

OH NO... Here We Go

Well well... this year seems to be shaping up to be very active, weather-wise. Hurricane Gustav is on his way gustavtrackmapand following close behind, Tropical Storm Hanna. When you live on the Gulf Coast, hurricanes are certainly a strong possibility. Every year from June to November we live with this possibility always in the back of our minds.

We watch the tropics on a regular basis and if we see a swirling bit of red out there in the far away Caribbean... we pay attention. Best case scenario is that the canes will make a sharp turn northward and drift harmlessly out into the Atlantic and die. Worst case scenario is that they enter the Gulf of Mexico where the waters are warm and beautiful, and well known to ripen hurricanes into high category dangerous killers. They tend to strengthen dramatically once in the warmth of the Gulf of Mexico.

 atl_overviewGustav will be in the Gulf of Mexico by Sunday and once in the gulf waters, which direction he heads is unknown at this point. Therefore, the whole gulf coast is on high alert.  Someone will be hit - we all know that.  Hanna will be right on his heels and what sort of destruction will she bring? And look here! Two circles in the lower right of this map indicate two more developing tropical storms following close behind. This is starting to bring back memories of 3 summers ago when we experienced some 26 named storms that summer! More than half a dozen of them had significant impact on the area I lived in. We are NOT anxious to see a repeat here in 2008! Die you dastardly storms... DIE!! Go away! 

On a lighter note - ROLL TIDE ROLL!!! Alabama football kicks off the 2008 season this Saturday evening! We are filled with high expectations for a great season! Can't wait to watch the season opener Saturday night! (STAY AWAY Gustav!)

On a "what the heck??" note - WHAT is up with the rock star party/greek god/temple of obama worship atmosphere shaping up at the Dems convention tonight??? Isn't this a little over the top??  Wasn't enough money spent "tricking out" the convention center, without having to expensively "trick out" a second venue??  And what about the special effects being built into this 50 yard line temple, making it seem like he is "more than mere mortal" descending by way of special effects platform -  to associate with us mortals??  More than a little weird, to me!!  Me thinks he has lost touch with reality here! Just my opinion.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Splish Splash...

Sunday it was still raining as Fay lingered along the gulf coast.... DSC00510

This was the view looking out my front door early today... and you can see one of my pretty siam tulips that I photographed last week, the one with the DSC00509spider in it (in a previous post below.) Yep, it's the thing in the lower corner of the photos that's broken and laying in the puddle. : / (click to enlarge)

My driveway is under water as well.

But the good news was that the repairs Bobby made to the roof yesterday (see previous post) seem to have held firm... no further leaking. 

Tonight all is quiet except for an occasional stray shower which pops up out of the Gulf of Mexico, the last of the lingering tails of the bands of wind and rain that swirled round the eye of the storm all weekend. 

We continue to have a strong chance of thundershowers through Wednesday of this week, but hopefully better weather will prevail.

There has been a little ray of sunshine in my life this past week... one which brings a smile to my face!  Gretchen got a new golden retriever puppy! Her name is Belle and she is almost 10 weeks old now. Though I haven't yet met her, Gretchen has told me all about her, how sweet and precious she is. Every time I look at her cute little face and furry little body, I smile! Take a look and see if you can smell the sweet puppy breath as well...

Isn't she adorable!!!!  : ) She's trying to entice Rebel to play with her, but he's an 'old man' now and didn't think too much of this young pup's antics! He snarled now and then but mostly just tried to ignore her! Hopefully it won't be long before he'll enjoy her company. He doesn't get around very well these days - very arthritic, but now and then he has a little burst of playfulness left in him. Gretchen hopes Belle will lift his spirits and make him feel better.

I just think she is so cute! She makes me smile! We can't wait to meet her - hopefully before she gets too big!

Well, I better shut it down for tonight and try to get to bed at a semi-decent hour. More rest (than my usual 4-5 hours per night) would probably help my spirits and my ability to cope with life's trials and struggles. If I get to bed shortly, I should get about 7 hours!

Stilllll Raining... Hit the Road Tropical Storm Fay

Oh boy... what fun we have had over the past 30 hours... NOT. Due to Tropical Storm Fay's anticipated trek, that she would come right across the Wiregrass area (lower SE Alabama) schools closed early on Friday and they urged everyone to make final preparations for dear Fay's arrival. I've lived in Panama City, Florida for the past several years, and lived through the season of hurricane after hurricane three years ago - BIG hurricanes like Katrina and Ivan... CAT 4 hurricanes! What was a little tropical storm to me??? Just a rainy weekend.

The winds picked up through the afternoon, and then the rains came as well. And it rained... and rained... and rained. Guess what! It's STILL raining some thirty hours later! And the winds BLEW and BLEW!! During the night we lost power due to the totally saturated ground and very high winds  breaking/uprooting  numerous trees  citywide.  That was fun... NOT. 

Then we started seeing wet spots on the ceiling in two different rooms. Well, that was even more fun... TOTALLY NOT! Then my beautiful wood floor in the entryway began to look soaked. No water was coming in under the front door, but we later determined the brick step that is right up against the threshold outside    was so saturated, it was wetting the ends of the wood planks where they met the brick under the threshold and the wood planks were soaking up the water like a sponge.   At this point... my Christian attitude was totally down the toilet.  Frustrated

I was MAAAD.... Angry   I was SAAAD.... Crying   I was FRUSTRATED.... At wits end  and was worried about the mega bucks this storm  was going to cost (which we do not  have!)  This was supposed to have been a rainy weekend... not a hurricane!  It was acting like a hurricane - the nerve of that storm!  And of course, I was here alone with the girls as usual... so no guy help around. SIGH. Well I called Bobby and he had to get in his car and drive from Panama City in this tropical storm!  Being an hour south of us, they happened to  be between the rain bands, so were not really in the bad  weather at that point.  But he got into it soon enough as he made his way here.  Once here, then he had to go up on the roof in driving rain, and fix the leaks!  I was the "ground support" at the  base of the ladder.  Well that was just more fun than we could hardly stand!! NOT!

I felt so stressed out by all this... being hot, having no power and all that entails, watching the paint on my walls literally bubbling and peeling as they became soaked... and getting soaked myself, it was just upsetting.  Once Bobby got the roof patch around the several drains that were leaking up there (the gaskets around the pvc pipes that go through the attic and out through the roof, were ALL busted and allowing water to pour in around the pipes) he came in and showered and sat down for a few minutes and then lo and behold - he left! He drove back to Panama City! 

These are strange times.. they are. For all practical purposes, I am a single parent these days. It was me who had to climb up in the attic and search for the leaks to see what was leaking - the roof, or pipes, or what?!  After finding the problem and calling him, he DID come and go up on the roof in the rain and patch around those pipes and replace the gasket on on of them. He brought one gasket, not knowing that several were busted... so patched the others as best he could, with the gooey patch stuff.

Apparently the combination of HOT weather, cold weather, rainy weather, drought weather - all had combined to dry out and crack the gaskets which were used to seal around these drain pipes and vent pipes that went out through the roof.  Hopefully this weekend coming up will be a dry one and he can get back on the roof and properly replace the other gaskets. For now, the leaks have apparently  been stopped... but some drywall damage has been done. Some ceiling damage has been done. And some wood floor damage has been done. Thank you so much, "DEAR" Fay.  NOT!!

I'm discouraged... about so many things. I just want peace in my life... not stress, not worry, not sadness, not regret... not this feeling I am drowning.

... And the rain keeps falling.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What Is This?

*** UPDATE - Sun Evening ***

My sweet lil Lisa friend saw my pictures and made a positive id on the flowers! She is so smart! I have never seen or heard of this flower bulb before, but it is called a Siam Tulip! I am so glad to know what it is, and now I am so sad that I did such a thorough job of digging out those beds and unknowing, removed most of these nice bulbs. : ( The lady who used to live here probably planted a number of these bulbs and in a nice orderly planting. Oh well.. I have three pretty ones left to enjoy. : / Thanks Lisa, for providing some info and a link in the comments. I wish you would go to blogger.com and start a blog. You have lots of knowledge on many various things, and interesting things to share. Please, please please!!!  : )

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These interesting pale lavender/pinkish flowers grew up out of nowhere recently. There is one in my little flower bed by the front door, and a couple in the bed of mexican heather on the opposite side of my front door. I assume they grew from bulbs the former owner planted since I turned these beds over pretty good (must've missed these!)  They are over 3 feet tall and the bloom is a spike which then opens. Very handsome flowers but I don't know what they are! If you know, leave me a comment and share the info on this pretty flower!  I've never planted bulbs so I am not familiar with many different types, only the very popular ones like daffodils/crocus etc.

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You can click on each picture for a closer look. Guess it's kind of icky to some of you, but while photographing the flower I saw this spider eating her dinner - a big bumble bee that was captured in her practically invisible web!  I thought it was kind of cool. The spider has hairy legs! LOL!! And when I viewed the picture full size, the bee actually looks furry, like a soft-coated dog!  I never realized they were furry! Aren't cameras great and isn't nature so very interesting! Oh, the things we miss when we don't take time to inspect creation more closely.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Out of my Element...

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed at all there is to do, to get ready for a wedding... and to think it only lasts a few minutes!  I am also feeling a bit ashamed that I didn't participate more in my own wedding nearly thirty years ago. There are a number of reasons for that, but this was my response to my mama's attempts to help me have a nice wedding... "I don't really care mama.. I could go to a courthouse and be married and save all this time, trouble, money..."  This was my attitude toward planning a wedding.  I know - SHAME on me. sigh.

I still think it has all gotten way out of hand over the past several decades - weddings and kids birthday parties!!  LOL!  The cost factor has gotten out of control!  But I want to do my best to enjoy Gretchen's planning process because she is doing things the way she wants to.  And I like seeing her happy. (Even if this is all 'foreign' to me and I am like a fishy out of water, flopping around on the floor!)

I wanted to post a picture of Hannah's tournament team since I have been saying I would for the past month! These are the girls who went to the Fastpitch Softball World Series back in July and ended up placing 9th in their age group. Not bad since there were more than 60 teams in their 16u classification.  There were more than 300 teams there this year, representing ages 8-18!  Hannah is on the back row, right end with a bottle of water in her hand.

Last, I want to say THANK YOU to Tänia! She sent a cute little graphic to me!  You can see it over in the left sidebar... "Ewe Bless Me"... thank you ma'am! 'Ewes a blessin' too!!'  LOL!

Back to searching for wedding music! 

Friday, August 08, 2008

Support Well Made Christian Films

Save up some "entertainment" funds for the end of September - and go to the movies! From the producers of "Facing The Giants" comes "Fireproof" and it looks to be really good!  You can watch the trailer by following the link below, and visit the website to find out if this movie will be playing in your area.  If it's not yet listed, there may be some contacts listed so you can join a local effort to bring this very worthwhile film to a theater in your town. 

You remember how "The Passion" was played down and Mel Gibson had some troubles getting it into widespread locales. You know how it goes - movies to teach your kids how to be witches and wizards are far-reaching to every local theater in every town, regardless of population - but movies promoting values, morals, godly choices, consequences of living unto ourselves rather than living submitted to Christ - they are often passed over by theaters. Support the effort to bring this very well made movie in your local theater! And if you see a local theater has already picked it up, show your support for decent movies by GOING to see it!

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Playing Tag

Sigh... it is so hard for me to get here these days. Not having my own computer that I can sit down to at will, has surely cramped my style!  I have so much to talk about but never have time to come here and write it all down.

Several days ago, Mary tagged me to play the "Random" game.

This means I have to write six random things about me.  But first there are rules.

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) Write 6 random things about yourself.
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged, leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Okay, here I go:

1)  When I was very young, I had the same 3 recurring nightmares  over and over again several times a week from about age 2, until I was around 12. I still remember all three of them vividly, though I have not dreamed them again in some 38-40 years.

2) When I was around 11 years old, I asked for a guitar for Christmas. My parents got me a little inexpensive beginners guitar and I taught myself to play! Several years later my mom gave me a good guitar for Christmas and I still have that one.

3) My first dog was a collie puppy I named Champ. He came to me on my 5th Christmas and though it was all ISkye05 ever wanted and dreamed about (I LOVED LASSIE!) when I first saw him, I was terrified of him!  He barked, he chased me, he jumped on me (as all happy 6 week old puppies do) and I had never been around a real dog (only Lassie up to that point!) so I was terrified of him! My mama made me take him out to potty every time and I would RUN down the back steps with him tumbling along behind me, barking joyfully. I would hit the ground and run for the swing set, shimmy up one of the legs and hang from the top bar of the swing set, crying! LOL!  He would stand beneath me and wag his tail and bark excitedly. It was a fun game for him!

Within days I lost the fear, fell in love with him, and we became the best of friends and inseparable.  We shared everything, including my daily lunch - peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Champ secured in me, a lifelong love for the collie breed and I have had several more collies over the course of my life.   The collie will always be my favorite breed. Sadly I have no photos of my beloved collie  Champ, but he was a white, rough-coated collie that looked very similar to this one I found on the web. He had the same sable and black markings on his head and his body was mostly white except a patch of sable near his hips and extending onto his tail. Very pretty!

4) RoyTriggergrayMy first hero was Roy Rogers!  (For you babies too young to know, he was a cowboy - a good guy with a smart and beautiful horse named Trigger!) By the time I was three years old, I was a cowboy too - from the hat on my head, to the boots on my feet, and the shiny pair  of six-shooters that hung at my waist. I had a stick horse, my "Trigger" and every day Champ and Trigger accompanied me on many imaginary journeys. My mama continually tried to lure me in to play with dolls and tea sets in my younger years. I would watch her play and feed the dolls, amused, but I would not join in. After a few minutes, I would run back outside and jump on my trusty steed, Trigger, and head off for another adventure! (can we say tomboy, here??)

5) Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday... always has been.

6) When I was about 20 years old, I met actor Paul Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward. That was back in daypaulnewman1a when he was making movies such as "The Sting" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." My best friend and I got some tickets to the Atlanta International Motor Speedway (between Atlanta and Athens, Georgia) to the races one weekend. I lived in Atlanta back then. Paul was racing his Datsun that weekend and we got paddock passes and spent the whole day with the Newmans, at their RV which was parked right at the fence overlooking the track. It was fun! SO fun that we got tickets again the following year, and did the same thing again! I have pictures but will have to dig them out of the box and scan them in. I'll try to do that sometime soon. They were very relaxed and friendly. I guess it's because people at the racetrack don't hound them like people who are "star-chasers" (i.e. paparazzi.)  I don't know when this picture was taken, which I found on the web, but this was his approximate age when I met him. He looked very similar to this picture. I'll hunt for my pics and scan then in and post one.

Soooo, that's some randomness about me!  I won't tag anyone to do this because so many of you have already done it. If you haven't yet, and want to participate though, just leave me a comment and let me know you are, and I'll come visit and read your "Randomness!" I still have to share about the Softball World Series we went to several weeks ago, which I will try to do next time I get on here.

Until then....