Saturday, January 29, 2011

What's this??

It's a baby daffodil sprouting right by my front door!  :)

Excited ain't even the word I'd use for how I'm feeling today.  It's 70 degrees in the shade, the bank clock and my car said 74!  Of course, I'm wearing shorts and I'm barefoot!!  Oh, yeah, I wear shorts and am barefoot when it's 30 degrees.  But anyway, yay!!!  Spring weather!!! 

If that groundhog sees his shadow next week, I'mma kill him.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chia Obama update!

Looking better!!  :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Odie and me

Larry wrote me the sweetest poem and I just had to share it!  He's such a doll baby and writes me poems all the time but this one, this one...well, I'll let you be the judge.

She loved her baby dolls
and a country music band
but the love that made her cry
was the one that licked her hand.

She would walk and he would run,
they wore that dirt road out,
laughter she still hears because
what is Boo without his Scout?

He had a table scrap smile
and a t-bone steak heart,
there wasn't anything
that could keep those two apart.

Too fast came the last goodbye,
gone, her furry little friend,
no wet nose and wagging tail,
but he loved her to the end.

Like shrapnel and a tattoo,
she was wounded and marked
by the half-breed heartbreaker
who jumped and ran and barked.

A stray mutt one day appeared,
you learned to call him baby,
he wasn't much to look at,
your mama called him crazy.

A new love you found that day,
he said his name was Larry,
then you made him wag his tail,
this man that you would marry.

When too fast he'll say goodbye,
he will look up your old friend.
They'll tell each other stories
over and over again.

We will jump and run and play
'til the Pearly Gates you see,
waiting for Jesus to bring you
to be with Odie and me.

This is the only picture I have of my Odie. Biting a flea on his tail!  He was born the summer I turned 13 and died of heart worms in March of 1988, at the very young age of eight.  He broke my heart and I've never had a dog, cat or pet of any kind since him.  I promised him when he was dying that I'd never love another dog.  Ever.  And I haven't.  I may not ever.  I still cry when I talk about him.  He was the runt of one of Reckless' many litters and was the most beautiful golden color I'd ever seen, almost yellow, and since I was a Garfield freak back then, I named him Odie.  I remember walking with him down Pine Road behind our house and he would always walk ahead of me a little bit, scoping out the place, making sure it was safe.  I would play with him by just stopping in the middle of the road and he would turn around and come back for me and just stand there beside me until I was ready to walk again.  He never failed to come back for me.  He was the best dog, companion, friend.  When he got sick and Dr. Derrick told me I needed to have him put to sleep, I just couldn't.  I went to pick him up at the vet and as soon as he saw me, he jumped up in that pen and started wagging his tail, so happy to see me.  I said, "Come on, boy, let's go home."  I got some pain pills from the doctor and put Odie in the back seat of my Chrysler LeBaron with the velour seats and we stopped by C-Mart and I got a pack of bologna.  Odie loved bologna.  We went home and for the next few days, I wrapped a pain pill up in a slice of bologna and fed them to him.  He died one afternoon while I was at work, right there by the back door.  Daddy buried him out near the old railroad trestle where we used to live.

This dog has ruined me for pets!!  Everybody says I need a pet, I need a dog, I need a cat, I need something.  I just can't bring myself to love another one.  I made a promise to him and I know that's silly and since Odie was so full of love and life, he would want me to love another dog.  I just haven't yet.  And it's been 23 years!

I made a promise to Larry, too.  I'll never love another man.  I'm a one-man and a one-dog woman!  :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chia Obama update -- apparently we CAN'T

This is how my President Obama chia pet looks today. He's not growing well at all. I have placed him in the sunniest spot in my house, my laundry room window, and I put him on the dryer at night so the cold won't hurt him. I keep it full of water, too.  I guess we haven't had enough direct sunlight so far this month.  It has been gloomy.  I hate January.

I'm thinking of doing a scrub and starting over!

This one little sprout must have heard that
President Obama's approval rating is up again, finally!

***Update***  I did a little research online tonight and added more seeds and covered it with a plastic bag to give it a greenhouse effect.  Back in the window he goes tomorrow!!  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Meet Finnian and Hodgewocket!

The cutest two little gnome men this side of the meadow!  And they have come to live with ME, thanks to my friend, Brandy.  Brandy lives in Virginia with her husband and beautiful baby daughter and just as beautiful baby son on the way.  Brandy makes the coolest things and sells them at her Etsy store to help support her little family.  She makes cloth napkins that I absolutely LOVE.  I have a stack of them on my dining room table and I've had them for several years now.  They are extremely well made and hold up under many, many washings, tumbles in the dryer and hours on the clothesline.  They will completely end your need for paper napkins, which is the whole idea!  Less trash in the landfill!  More smiles at dinnertime!  :)  Brandy also makes mei tai baby carriers and grows and sells kefir grains.  And she makes the most awesome homemade soap! 

I'd been eyeing some felted gnomes and mushrooms online and I emailed her a couple of weeks ago and asked her if she thought she could do the gnomes.  I knew she could do the mushrooms.  She said she thought she could, we agreed on a price and here they are!!

I think she did a fabulous job.  They are exactly what I was wanting and they're even bigger than I expected!!  I love them sooooooo much!!
Here are the mushrooms!

I came up with the names.  :)
Finnian with the green eyes, Hodgewocket with the blue.
They're still a little unsure of me. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

'Tater chip love

Larry and I were sitting together today munching on chips and homemade dip when I spotted this one! A perfect little heart right in the middle.

You can find love absolutely everywhere if you just pay attention.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yo, sound the bell, school's in, sucka

Yep, school's in. I went back last night. I found out Tuesday when I logged in to my online class that I'd have to have a projects code to set up the class. I didn't know that. So I had to go to the bookstore on the FIRST day of class yesterday and stand in line for an hour and 45 minutes to get an 18-digit code that cost me $75.  I always try to get a used book or borrow one mainly to save trees but it saves money, too, so I borrowed the book I needed for the class.  I didn't know anything about this code until I logged in.  That's how they get you.  Textbooks are so expensive and even when you borrow one, sometimes there's even more expense tied to it.  It is a racket, I tell ya! This computer class is the LAST online class I'll have to take and I am so glad.  I have to have this class to graduate so I figured I'd go ahead and take it now and get it behind me.  I'm used to taking two or three classes a quarter anyway.

I'm taking Solid State this quarter.  The third class in Electronics Fundamentals.  I've had Direct Current, Alternating Current and now Solid State.  I have a pretty cool teacher who's worked at Robins 27 years and his main job is testing government employees for recertifications.  He's never taught an electronics class so we're all gonna learn this together, I guess. 

I couldn't resist this title.  I dare ya to watch this video and not sing along.  I can't believe this song is 21 years old!  I sit in class with a bunch of young folks but I feel like I fit right in with them.  It's when I realize that songs from back in MY DAY are over 20 years old that I feel old.  Dang.

Stop.  Hammertime.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day 2.0

While the ice melted today and dripped off the roof of my cozy little house, I looked out into my backyard at the piles of leaves with ice mixed in and I daydreamed about spring and gerber daisies.

I was thankful for another snow day.  By the time I got up, most of the ice had melted from the road and the driveway and I was able to get out and go to Walgreens.  I had cabin fever so bad!!  I enjoyed sleeping in, napping when I wanted to, reading and talking to my friends on Facebook but it is time to get back to work!!  I started my online computer class this afternoon, too.  My evening Solid State class was canceled for tonight but the thing about online classes is that the weather does not affect them!  The first assignments were pretty simple and I was glad to get them done while I had some free time.

My northern friends think we're nuts for shutting completely down when we get an inch of ice.  We just cannot drive on that!  There would be so many folks dead if life went on as usual down here during an ice storm. For instance, I had nothing to scrape the ice from my windshield this morning.  I used my IKEA spatula and it worked great!  We're just not equipped for snow, ice and living our lives around them.  I guess if we got wintry weather every year, we'd be more prepared. 

I bet we'd still run out and get milk and bread, though.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My snow day thus far

Snow day!!

I took these pictures from my front door. No way was I stepping out there. We got ICE. A thick layer of ice covered by sleet and freezing rain, which made more ICE. I'm enjoying it from the windows today.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Chia Obama...the beginning

Y'all know I got an Obama chia pet for Christmas, right?  My Secret Santa, Lisa Skinner, got him for me.  I thought it was hilarious and looked like so much fun!!  So we're gonna start him tonight. 

First thing you have to do is soak the planter in water for an hour.

 Soak 2 tsp of seeds in 1/4 cup of water for an hour.

Then rub the gel-like seeds all over and into the grooves on his head and place him in a sunny spot.  That's gonna be hard in January but we'll try.  Some days, we have lots of sun.  I may have to move him to another room from time to time!

Keep the planter full of water to keep the seeds moist until they sprout.

I'll update y'all (I know you cannot wait!!) when the seeds sprout!

Snow's coming!

They're telling us that tomorrow night and Monday may be dicey.
And icy!! 1-3 inches of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

For those of you up north (and keep in mind that "up north" for us is Atlanta) reading this and you've been covered in snow since November, just humor me.  1-3 inches is a big deal down here in middle and south Georgia!  What seems to be a light dusting to you is


here. We tend to lose our freaking minds down here if it does anything other than rain.

A few of us girls from work had a girls' night out last night at Norma's and we played Bunco and attempted Wii Zumba.  I loved the Zumba even if I'm not too coordinated and have no rhythm.  I am a true white chick. It was still so much fun and I was still wore slap out when we were done so I decided I'd give it a try at home.  I still want to lose 30 more pounds and I'd like to do that by April if I can.  So I went to Walmart today to get it.  I swannee, there were 20,000 people in there!!  With buggies piled high of cereal, milk, bread, toilet paper and enough food to feed everybody in the store.  Even though they were probably in pretty good shape already at home.  Something about the "S" word that makes everybody run out and buy milk and bread.  For what??  Milk sammiches?  You gotta at least have peanut butter, too.  Come on.  Anyway, back to Zumba.  Walmart didn't have any.  They were sold out.

So I bought milk.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Three Kings Day

Today is the official end of Christmas.  The day we celebrate the Three Wise Men arriving to see and give their gifts to Baby Jesus. 

Traditionally, this is the day we take down the Christmas tree and pack all of our decorations up and put them away for another year.  It's also a good day to clean house and organize, throw out the old and get ready for the new year.

Um, I didn't wait.  I already did ALL that and I'm still cleaning and organizing and throwing out and putting stuff out by the curb that is GONE the next day!!  That makes me so happy.  I hate to throw out anything, I get by with one bag of trash per week, and it just kills me to have to throw something away.  It's so wasteful and it just further burdens landfills that are already overflowing with 100 years of trash.  So I try to do what I can, when I can.

I don't remember celebrating Three Kings Day or The Epiphany.  Our tradition was that the Wise Men got to the manger the same night Baby Jesus was born and we took our Christmas tree down before New Year's Day.  Mama wasn't having that tree up when the new year came in!  And I've adopted that tradition for my own home.  I was raised a Southern Missionary Baptist and I just don't remember much being said about January 6th.  Except it was my cousin Christie's birthday.  Happy Birthday, Christie!!  We were back in school by then and life went back to normal pretty quick. 

Although I think we know that actually, the Wise Men didn't get to Baby Jesus until He was a toddler and my house looks like it never had a stitch of Christmas in it right now, today is a pretty special day to remember and reflect on how they must have FELT when they saw that baby.  Oh, can you imagine??

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The first feel-good story of the new year

The homeless man with the "golden radio voice" wanted a second chance -- and did he ever get it. 

As soon as Ted Williams, a panhandler who became an online hit after video of him begging on an Ohio roadside was posted to the Internet, appeared on a local radio show this morning the offers began pouring in -- including a dream job with the Cleveland Cavaliers and a free house.

"The Cleveland Cavaliers just offered me a full-time job and a house! A house! A house!," repeated a stunned Williams, 53, on local radio station WNCI.

A caller to the show who said she represented the Cavs offered Williams, who shot to stardom after local newspaper the Columbus Dispatch on Monday posted video of his perfectly-pitched panhandling, a full-time job doing voiceover work for the team and parent company and a free home in Cleveland.

The Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, native trained to be a radio announcer before drugs and alcohol ruined his chances at a career, and he was reduced to begging on the side of a road in Columbus, Ohio, before the newspaper found him.

Local police would refer to Williams as "Radio man," when chasing him from his usual begging spots, Williams said.

"I've been out there about a year; I just didn't know anything like this would ever happen," an overwhelmed Williams said earlier in the show. "There's so many words. I've already been characterized to [Scottish singing sensation] Susan Boyle ... I'm just so happy."

Before the Cavs made their bid, the station said a group of credit unions offered Williams a contract worth up to $10,000; a caller claiming to rep MTV expressed interest in having him guest-announce a show; and callers who said they were the voiceover actors behind plugs for "The Simpsons" and "Entertainment Tonight" said they wanted him to compete on their upcoming "America's Next Voice" -- where the prize includes a home studio.

For a man suddenly thrust from an Ohio roadside into the hearts of the world, Williams set his sights low. "Just to get back to some normalcy and responsibility -- If I can a job, whether it's a twenty-five or even $18,000, I'd be happy," he said. "At least I know God has me where he wants me."

"At least I know God has me where he wants me." 

Amen, brother.

***Update - January 6, 2011***  I knew this guy's story was going to be HUGE and it was!!  He was reunited with his 92-year-old mother today and has taken a voice-over job with Kraft.  The YouTube video has come down but you can still Google it and see it on any of the national network morning shows.  I'm kinda partial to The Today Show.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Burglarizing squirrels and my poor sunburned scalp

I have squirrels in my attic.  Squirrels the size of small cats, since I've been feeding them bread and cookies and bird seed and peanuts and whatever else I've had that I could just toss out the patio door to the backyard.  No more of that!  Sometime after our chimney was professionally cleaned in October, 'cause surely it was there then or they would have told me, the vent on the side blew off in the wind and disappeared, leaving a hole 'bout the size of Texas in the side of the chimney.  Apparently it also left a flashing neon sign to COME RIGHT IN IT'S WARM IN HERE 'cause that's what they did.  I called a pest control company and the guy came out, found a dead rat up there, set some traps and scheduled an appointment to come back last Thursday to check them.  He did and nothing had been touched.  I've heard no more scratching and clawing in the wall either.  Bug Man got up on the roof and found the hole in the chimney.  He also found a smaller hole where they have chewed their way into the siding in the back of the house.  So he's coming back this week sometime to make those repairs.

I've been here nearly eight years (January 19th) and I've enjoyed feeding and watching the squirrels in my backyard.  I hate to stop feeding them but when they break into my house, I have to protect what's mine, right??

I bet you're wondering how I could have a sunburned scalp in the dead of winter, aren't you??  Well, I'm gonna tell you.  It's really not sunburned, it just feels like it.  After my brain MRI in November, I was diagnosed with 5th cranial neuritis, inflammation of the 5th cranial nerve right where it exits my brain stem.  That's causing the numbness in the right side of my face.  Well, now this has progressed to hot searing burning pain on that side from time to time.  I take 900 mg of Neurontin daily and I'm telling you, if I didn't, I would not be able to stand it.  I tested it Friday when I was home all day and didn't take my pills and by 3:00 that afternoon, I was in so much pain, I said, "Screw that.  I need some drugs!"!!  I've done a lot of research online about this and talked with people who are in the know about such things (my sister, who fights her own demon every single day of her life and knows how to match symptoms with what it is you've got, two doctors I work with and a PA who brings her baby to us) and I've come to the conclusion that this 5th cranial neuritis is trigeminal neuralgia.  I just have all of the symptoms of it and now that my scalp burns like I've been on the beach for five hours in July with no floppy hat on and no good sense, I'm convinced that's what I have.  Maybe the neuritis has turned into neuralgia.  Maybe it's been that the whole time, I don't know.  I do know that I'm in pain now when I was just numb before.  And that my drugs are my best good friend.  Even though they make me forget things, names and what I'm even saying sometimes.  I called my doctor and he wants me to give it three more months.  If I'm no better by then, we're going to try some other things.  I know this is a waiting game.  I know it's going to take time for that nerve to heal.  It's been 15 weeks since the numbness started and Doc told me it could take NINE TO TWELVE MONTHS to get well.  I know I could have a long road ahead of me.

I know all that but if my head is gonna feel like it's been to the beach, I want it to have been to the beach.  I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

This southern girl has to have black-eyed peas and collard greens for New Year's Day!  I also baked a Cornish hen stuffed with wild rice (just like my sweet mother-in-law always made for me when I'd visit them in Florida), roasted some red potatoes, steamed some Brussels sprouts and made some skillet cornbread.  Only a few peas and collards were left to pose for this picture!  Ha!

Ami put this on her blog last night and I just LOVED it.  I told her I was gonna steal it.  This is what we all need to live by in 2011.  Life is too short to spend it doing things we don't like, working jobs we don't love and sharing our space with people who bring us down instead of lifting us up.  I love the line "getting lost will help you find yourself."  That is so true.  You will end up in places you never even knew were there.  Life is so awesome!!  :)

Happy 2011!!