Saturday, February 21, 2015

Where is Jay?

Well, I intended to count this year all Jay...but where is Jay?

January and February have been brutal.  Just seemed like one crisis after another.  I guess my jay is that I'm still breathing...I survived. 

Work has been crazy (who said there is no crying during tax season?).  It was so bad that I swore at work!  That most definitely shocked my co-worker, who has known me for years!

Cletus started working weekend shift (Friday-Sunday 6a to 6p).  So getting used to him home more is a challenge.  I love him, but he has been a bear.  And since it has been too cold to ride the motorpickle, he has been cooped up and grumpy.

If that wasn't enough, Cletus was told that he's diabetic and needs to straighten up his little red wagon (eat healthy, exercise more).  It was a blow to him.  And he has been going through the five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and well....he hasn't quite made it to acceptance.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I haven't felt creative.  My get up and go seems to have got up and went.  I even went so far as to clean the craft room.  And the only thing I have discovered is that I have a lot of supplies (and yet I still need more).

Snowbird is in a few weeks.  Maybe by then I'll catch fire and be amazing.  At least, that is what I'm hoping for.  Something to overcome this crappy weather and my blahs.  Maybe having someone else do the cooking, cleaning and thinking will unleash the creative juices. And I'll find Jay.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Thoughts about 2014 (and 2015)

I don't make New Year's Resolutions.  I find them boring and tedious.  They would look a lot like the beginning of Bridget Jones' Diary.  New Year.  Day one: pounds lost = none.  Resolutions kept = none. (by the way what in the world happened to Renee Zellweger? she used to be so cute)

So I will reflect upon my bucket list and such.  Traveling: went to Snowbird...twice! and to the beach!  Hope to do more traveling this year: I'd love to go see Mickey Mouse!  Although maybe I shouldn't do the driving.  So far I have managed to get lost in the "large" metropolitan areas of: Scottsboro, Ardmore, Athens, Fayetteville, and this year add Fort Payne to the list and well... Huntsville.

I must tell the Huntsville story (yes I've lived in the Huntsville area since 1988).  I was looking for a restaurant/bar called "Under the Radar".  I trusted Garmin to guide me downtown through the one way streets.  Oh no.  I ended up literally in the secured area under the gianormous satellite radar dishes at the local CBS television station.  That's me.  Probably couldn't beat my way out of a wet paper bag! Ugh!!  Must work on my sense of direction.  (probably a good thing that I don't hike much).

And I stepped out of my comfort zone a few times.  I rode the wheel of death at the county fair.  And petted a llama.  Thankfully the llama did not spit on me!  I'm not much of a country girl.  Up until a few years ago, I thought that all chickens were white.  And what do you did my sister. :D

This year I hope to step further out of the box and go skydiving.  My partner in crime, Buddy's Sunday school teacher was going to go with me.  But her husband said absolutely not.  I think he is worried about raising three rambunctious boys (ages 4, 6, & 8) on his own.  But I'm sure Tdawg would love to go with me for his 21st birthday.  Now if I can just get Cletus on board with the plan.

And as for the rest of the year.  I'm counting it all jay.  I'm sure it will be a surprise...

Change of Season and more

Well, if the summer went fast...the fall went faster.  There was a change of season and a whole lot more.

Most of it started with a call from Dee.  I used to work with her.  She wondered if I was interested in going back to work.  Well, no...but just because of Buddy.  There are no adult daycare options.  And I would have to make quite a bit to make daycare worthwhile.  If you think baby daycare is expensive, try pricing adult daycare. 

But Dee's boss, the VP of Operations, insisted on talking to me.  He offered me a job, making more than when I left the last place, with flexible hours (I could work from home some) and a place for Buddy.  Well, that's an offer I couldn't refuse.  I, however, was quite fearful.  I hate to start something and have to bail out.  But Buddy has done wonderfully well.  He actually enjoys going to work!   He works puzzles and snacks.  Then we go to lunch.  He thinks it is grand. 

Work itself has its challenges.  The payroll tax in multiple states is seriously hosed up.  I have been working at least 20 hours a week just to get it all fixed and running well.  I have had to write up procedures as I go along.  So far I have not worked from home.  I have needed the personal interaction to determine what is wrong with payroll and the best way to fix it.  Eventually, I think my hours will diminish.  Although it may turn into a case of the more you can do, the more they give you to do.  The lone accountant would love to have me there on a full-time basis.

Before heading back to work.  We did go on the scarecrow trail.  This was my favorite...

And to Lyons Farm, where Buddy petted a chicken...

 And fall baseball...

2014 was an interesting year.  I'm kind of glad to see it disappearing into the rearview mirror.  Ready to move along...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Back to School

Wow!  Summer just breezed by.  Before I knew it we took our annual trek to the beach

 and then moved Tdawg back to school.

 He is liking apartment living.  He even cooks, cleans and does laundry!  Who is this kid??  I asked for a first day of school pic...

Not exactly what I was expecting.  Gone are the happy to be growing up and going to school pictures.  Well, considering that he is taking: (1)Sociology (2) Sex, Gender and Society (psych 215c), (3) Organic Chemistry (chem 211) and (4) Equilibrium and Analysis (chem 220).  Yikes!  I'm not sure I'd be smiling either.  His classes and labs are pretty much 8-4 four days a week and a short day.  Needless to say, no time for football.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Crazy Days of Summer

This summer has been a little crazy.  Thanks in part to T'dawg.  It has been an adjustment to have him back at home for the summer.  He is used to dorm life.  So he thinks nothing of piles of clothes, trash etc.  Not to mention dorm life hours: sleep until noon, stay up until 4am watching television. 

However, the rest of the fam participates in the world of typical human hours.  Buddy and I have gotten accustomed to going to bed by 10p.  And I'm up without an alarm about 7a.  And Cletus is a morning person.  So he goes into work really early, and thus goes to bed first. And I like my tidy home.

The other challenge has been that T'dawg's skin is breaking out.  After consulting the dermatologist, we were referred to an allergist.  T'dawg's skin was too bad to do the normal patch skin testing, so they did blood tests.  We just got the results in the mail.  On the scale of one to five, with five being the worst.  He scored 3-5 for molds. 4's for cow milk, cheddar cheese and beef.  3 for pork, wheat, gluten and egg whites.  Wow!  Well, that eliminates quite a bit!  We have an appointment to discuss these results.  But my guess is avoidance is the only course of action.  That or treating the symptoms with creams, Zyrtec, Benadryl, etc.

So, looks like the whole family will be eating a lot of chicken and turkey for the remainder of the summer. I would appreciate cooking tips.  I understand that turkey is quite lean and thus doesn't cook well without lots of help (herbs and onions).  So far I have modified my chicken recipes to eliminate the cheese and wheat.  And we have had seafood.  I'm trying to look at this as a good thing.  Maybe even save money since the beef prices have skyrocketed.  And summer is the perfect time to be more of a vegetarian with all of the tasty home grown selections.  The beef that I have will just have to wait in the freezer until fall.

Here's to hoping the rest of the summer is less stressful!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

RR Too

A friend of mine has the coolest artwork in her living room.  It is four very large canvases: one big tree divided up in the four seasons with a bible verse to go with each one.  Using that as inspiration, I wanted to paint the same tree in the four seasons and then I'll attach the canvases together to hang as one piece. The verse is done in a Sharpie.  I need to go over them with a paint pen so they can be seen.  And painting the trees with a pallet knife was challenging.  It was difficult for me just to paint the same tree four times. So, I consider them a work in progress.  Only the winter tree is considered a finished work (except the verse).
I realized this weekend that I never duplicate my art.  I just can't mass produce.  Someone asked: can you do that again but in a different color pallet.  Hmm.  No, I really don't like to do that.
I got so much done this weekend.  I even slept a good eight hours per night. Some of those crazy ladies stayed up until 4a!! I enjoyed the pool and even got a massage.  I needed the massage.  She said I was the worst one.  I get knots between my shoulder blades.  She had to really work!  But I feel oh so much better!!   
Saturday breakfast was a fresh blueberry French toast bake.  Lunch was chicken salad and shrimp salad.  And dinner was grilled hamburgers with all the fixings.  Perfect summertime menu!!
Well that puts a lid on June and now I'm ready for July...

Red Rooster

I feel so special.! I was given the opportunity to go to Red Rooster twice in one year!  What is so great about RR?  Well, it is on Smith Lake, so it is way off the beaten path, serene and beautiful (inspirational) scenery.  And all you have to do is relax and wait for the dinner bell.  Yes, they actually ring a bell for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  And my goodness, that sweet little lady (Jennifer) can cook!!  And no dishes.  And no laundry.  And no interruptions.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Several months ago a lady I had not talked to in years, saw my spring RR pictures and invited me to their get together.  Her daughter and Tdawg went to preschool together...gosh, can it be 15 years ago!??  Anyway, her group had space available.  So there were 9 who scrapbooked, 2 who read books (and napped), 1 quilted, and I painted.

Although it did not start out relaxing.  I had to kill a ginormous spider that morning at the house, and had to crawl (less than 20 mph) down the interstate for ten miles with lots of eighteen wheelers.  That just about made me nuts.  You know how it is when a lane closes,  some behave and take turns.  Others have to be first and cause accidents!  Two of the trucks got together and wouldn't let anyone butt ahead.  Good for them! 

So I got to Cullman.  And well, tradition mandated :) that I stop at my fav consignment shop.  My fortune changed because they were having a sale!  Yea me!!  I got a skirt, necklace and well, I call them lauriepalooza pants.  They are stretchy and fun prints.  I wouldn't wear them in public...but they are awesome lounge wear! Don't worry, I won't post any modeling pictures. LOL!  Anyway, I was going to get a pair in spring and so regretted that I didn't.

Then onto RR.

I arrived just in time for lunch. Yea me!!  And what a lunch: BLT salad, and Pimento cheese.  Their pimento cheese was great.  I didn't even know I liked pimento cheese!  I say that a lot about Jennifer's cooking.  During the spring stay it was St. Patrick's day so they Reuben sandwiches.  I thought I didn't like them.  But hers were so good!  Sorry no food pics.  I was too hungry :D

Now that I'm fortified (fat and happy)...on to painting...And a nuclear meltdown.  In all of my packing, repacking and list making.  I forgot my brushes! Waahhhhh.  I really didn't feel up to driving back to town.  I'm sure it isn't that far, but when you already don't know where you are going...  So I dug through my bag.  And found a small pallet knife and made lemonade out of my lemons.
It was a challenge but it worked out pretty well. 

I told Cletus what happened and sent him these pictures.  He told me to throw out the brushes, that these were my best acrylics yet.  He knows just what to say :)  He truly is a keeper!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Miracle League Mariners - Spring 2014

One of our last games, Tdawg was able to come and pitch.   It was fun to watch both boys out having a good time together.  Miracle League is so uplifting.  Everyone plays.  Everyone wins.  Everyone is accepted, no questions asked.  And everyone leave better than they came.

Another Year

Another year has flown by.  Hard to believe that this time last year we were moving in! 

We have seen our share of wildlife.  Last night we saw seven deer and three wild turkeys.  They are pretty common sightings.  But this one really surprised us: a snapping turtle in the driveway!

We had to call our neighbor, Kevin. He showed us how to pick it up by the tail.  And put it in a box for transport...back to the woods near the creek.  The turtle was quite stinky and not at all happy.  He hissed and snapped like crazy.  Hopefully he has found new living quarters!