Friday, October 21, 2011

I Think My Brain is Shrinking

I need to step away from the debates. The candidates need to do the same.  Cain has now flipped his stance so many times on the abortion issue, I'm a little dizzy watching and listening to him. R. Paul is whining about him not getting enough air time and Mitt Romney is touchy feelie clasping Perry on the shoulder thereby breaching the code of conduct of a debate. I'm dizzy.

I watch em and for the life of me, I can't understand how this huge country can offer up the Michelle Bachman's, the Cains and the Palins as the brightest of the brights. We just lost Steve Jobs. I know this country has better offerings for seeking the job of running this place. Though Jobs may not have the qualifications for the presidency, he was brilliant in what he did. Where are those WITH the qualifications?

I don't think I'm as intelligent and informed as the ones running by a long shot. I do know that Libya is on the continent of Africa and that Africa IS a continent, much unlike Ms. Bachman who didn't know. I expect my candidates to be more intelligent, better informed, and better educated then me. Is that asking too much? Impress me, please. I don't know whether it's better that I just put them on "ignore" and wait to see who gets the nomination or stay tuned in to watch the circus. Entertainment. I may just classify it as entertaining and follow up by watching the comedians on late night enjoy the material they provide.

On the upside of my life, I'm enjoying immensely the wonderful weather. A balmy 45 degrees at night followed by a sunny 77 degrees during the day. I left the house this morning to get a battery for my watch. I drove the Marquis and as the morning wore on, the convertibles were roaring around town, the tops down and I was wishing I was in the roadster instead of the Marquis.

My watch is dead. Not only did the battery need replaced, but the stem that sets the time needs repaired. I'm junking it and going shopping tomorrow for something new. Since I was at the jewelry store, I had a ring cut off to be resized and the prongs repaired on it and another ring I was wearing.  It was time for maintenance of the jewelry kind.

I'm not really doing much around here. The husband leaves again tomorrow for another job in Texas. We are both grateful, in this economy that he is staying busy. I debate about going back into the job market. A fleeting few minutes and it's over. I remember all the rules, the stress, the holidays worked and I'm done with thinking about going back to a job.

I've thought about joining a gym, about taking a class at the university or volunteering. I should have done any of the above during those nasty hot summer months. I need direction. I'm beginning to feel like my brain is atrophying. I do find it interesting watching Carrie learn. The process of learning to read which we all did but don't remember, is something I'm watching as she goes through the steps. Her report card states she is above the average in her reading and language skills. Her behavior is spotless. She gets along well with her classmates and instructor. Not too shabby huh?

I was so worried about her skills as she didn't attend any Pre K classes. Her teaching was done here on her alphabet and her math. We were into phonics before she started kindergarten. Ms. Verret is impressed with her knowledge and we are relieved. I do regret being so busy with a job and supporting my daughter that I didn't  observe and be as involved as I am with Carrie.

The daughter is very good about the time she spends with her on her homework. Homework for kindergarteners you might ask?  Yes, she has homework. Kindergarten is no longer for games. They must be able to read and do math problems before the first grade. Times have certainly changed since my school years and even since my daughter's school years.
The schools here are very strict on their students and it starts with teaching the kindergarteners all about rules. They make this as important as the classroom studies. Some may complain about the stunting of creativity by structuring them with all these rules but life is always about rules. One might as well learn early.

I'm off to watch the WVU/Syracuse football game. It has not been a boring game but it doesn't look so good for WVU right now.
I'm gone for the evening.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Elevated Time

About 20 miles from here, we exited the four lane highway onto the road to Lydia. Cruisin through this stop light less town, we eased to a stop at it's one stop sign. A few more miles down the road, another turn was made and we entered the land of tall trailers.

20 feet in the air, the rectangular boxes line up row upon row. The steel legs pierce the ground supporting these suspended homes. Motorcycles, boats, lawn mowers and cars crowd the space beneath, sheltered from the elements unless the element is water.

The view is eerie. I stared at these homes and tried to imagine water rising close to the 20 feet height where these trailers now hover. It is akin to living in a tree house but without the trees. I watched the movie Pandora where the hanging cities were floating in the air and felt the same gut sinking, stopped time feeling. Waiting for the storm. Hanging high in the air,  these homes are waiting for the next big storm surge. I wondered about the high winds that always accompany our hurricanes. Would these huge boxes be picked up from their shelves and go flipping like matchboxes through the air?

I couldn't live here. My imagination supplies vivid pictures of dark windy nights and swaying homes.

The area has been declared a flood zone and the only way homes can be situated here is to boost them skyward. Rita destroyed many of the homes when she struck shortly after Katrina devastated New Orleans.

The storm surges from Rita changed the landscape of this small town and many of the other towns in this area. A few days after the storm, we drove through this area to see the entire contents of the houses piled up beside the road. Signs warned people away from hauling any of it away. FEMA had to inspect these homes while insurance companies were overloaded with claims and backed up on their inspections.

I left this field of elevated homes and drove around town which appears desserted. Most human life forms are not visible around these homes as the decks are too high to catch a glimpse of anyone having a cook out or relaxing on their decks. Strange. A whole world exists now in the air.

Crane companies  must have made a fortune restructuring this town.
I left town alone. Carrie was spending the night here. I was back again the next afternoon to collect her and return back to terra firma and a more inland location. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Little Adjustment here And There

If only I had known about those popcorn words. Well, I coulda used them. That's what!

We drew the letters on the blackboard with chalk, on paper with pen, on cardboard with crayon and on the moisture on the car windows with our fingers. We practiced that alphabet on any surface available. Numbers followed and then shapes. We held play school times and practiced being quiet, raising our hands to speak and request permission to go to the bathroom. If only we had known about those pesky popcorn words, we could have connected every thing up and been reading.

Carrie brings home a list of words. They call them popcorn words; we called them verbs and prepositions, nouns and pronouns. They are the little words that connect the more substantial words thereby forming a sentence. It's all the "to, he, her, she, it, him, the, at, can  and "and" that keep those sentences together. Flash cards are created and each night we recite these words then force them into simple sentences and look for them in the bedtime stories.

Carrie can read. Yes'm, she can. She knows her popcorn words and phonetically she sounds out the bigger words. A big smile crosses her face as the words make sense; I see her looking at the picture on the page to match it with what she has just read. That look is one of discovery and she glows. 

We worried about her first year in school. Carrie didn't attend any pre K  so this Kindergarten year is her first exposure. Was she going to be behind academically? I spoke with her teacher a few days ago. 

She had nothing but praise for Carrie. She is ahead of most of her class academically. Her behavior in class in stellar. 

I'm not only relieved but I'm very proud of this little girl. 

Each morning when she dresses for school or anytime we refer to school, I never say "you have to go to school. ". It's always "You GET to go to school today." I want to keep this a positive experience for her. We, her mother and I, listen closely to her recounting her day.

I didn't expect Carrie to be so serious about this part of her life and I was alert to her conversations, expecting to detect any reports of bullying. It's exhaustion. She gets up so early and by the time she gets home, she is tired. As the evening progresses, homework done and a bath taken, she is looking through droopy eyelids that signals an early bedtime. 

I remember those days. They continued through my school years and right up until I retired. 

Carrie is fine. I'm alert but I'm not worried too much about her. She is adjusting fine to this change in her life. I'm working on myself now. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday/Wednesday and Thursday

Every now and again, I become totally wasteful. Usually I'm quite the thrifty person so jumping ship and becoming lassize fare about wasting money or not being frugal does a body good.

It's gasoline I'm referring to. I cruised around wasting gasoline a few days ago. I made rights and lefts until I was thoroughly lost. Being lost is not a bad thing if you don't have a schedule to adhere to or an appointment pending. I try to select a road that has little traffic. The old neighborhoods here are an interesting drive. Old mature trees create tunnels of patch worked sunlight to drive beneath. The weather is heading into fall and the temperature has skittered down the mercury to around 85 degrees. This makes for perfect weather to have the top down in the roadster and wind through the back streets of the city.

This is my favorite time of year. The heat of summer is behind us now and the winters here are mild and enjoyable. Spring is a lead in to the heat of summer so though I enjoy the spring, I know what follows and it's a long hot summer until fall returns.

Carrie and her mother just left here to go home. When Carrie was but an infant, she had her ears pierced. After a bout of infection/soreness in her ear lobes, the earrings were removed and since she was 8 months old there hasn't been any earrings worn by her. Today the daughter wanted to attempt to reenter those pieced ears. We planned on numbing them down with some ice. I seated Carrie on the counter and explained to her what was about to happen. We were both a bit nervous. Before icing her earlobes, I took the earrings and gently inserted the posts into the openings. Guiding the posts with my fingers while feeling the backs of her lobes, I managed to get the ear rings all the way through the lobes.

Carrie, April and I were both relieved that this was a pain free experience. Stainless steel posts were placed and will be worn for the next couple of months before we attempt to place other jewelry. She is excited to wear the new earrings she received for her birthday a few days ago.

This post was started days ago and left in draft. I'm getting slower and slower getting this done. It's now Wednesday. The daughter and I went shopping yesterday, then to the Olive Garden for lunch and afterwards cruised some of the residentual areas. The temperature were again too nice to want to stay indoors. It's our time of the year to burst out of the cocoons of our houses and flitter around in the cooler temperatures with the sunshine that isn't hotterNhell and humidity that could put a curl in rod straight hair. 

It's time for a shower and time to flitter and flutter....

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Carrie

and the party was on. Family and friends drifted in, chairs were filled as the children mingled in the yard. The temperatures clipped into the high 80's with a soft breeze puffing enough air to make it comfortable and to stir the lavender pom poms decorating the shrubs and the ceiling on the patio.

Balloons, helium filled and standing upright while tethered to a white ribbon ringed the lawn. Occasionally the pop of a balloon would startle and cause laughter.

The line to the snow cone machine refilled itself over and over. Each child was allowed to grind their own ice and select their flavorings from the six bottles arranged on the tray that held the snow cone machine and cups.

Hillbilly hot dogs and the jambalaya was served up, drinks served and spilled and I was grateful this was an outdoor event. Just kick that ice cube to the side, no need to mop.

Everyone took their turns at the pinata. Breaking it was not an easy task. When it did come apart, candy and toys rained down and the children rushed in with their treasure bags to scoop up the treats. I stood to the side with my camera to get these shots.

The party ended with Carrie opening her gifts and then moving into the kitchen where the lights were doused and the candles glowed on her cake. Everyone ringed around and sang "Happy Birthday" to her, the candles were taken down in one big huff and the cake was served.

As soon as most of the guests had departed, the cleanup was on. Tables disassembled, trash picked up, canvas chairs folded and stored and the yard decorations were plucked off the bushes and the fence. I was exhausted.

I slapped the "ON" button on the dishwasher, stumbled to the bathroom and stood beneath a hot shower for a few minutes. Soon it was into pajamas and snuggled down beneath the sheets with the TV remote in hand. I slept.

You might be feelin your age if a child's birthday party is all it takes to exhaust you. I'm thinking I'm past the "if" on this and I'm in the "I AM" part of my life.

Carrie had a good time, was the center of attention on her day and enjoyed her party so it was worth it.

Until next year, we're sooooooooooooo done!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Butcher, The Baker and the Candle Stick Maker

and none of the above do I aspire to be! The daughter likes to bake and today was a bake day.

Bags of supplies were hefted up on the granite counter top, the huge mixer plugged in  and the mixing paddle in place. She started early this morning and by 1400 hrs she had finished the first day in the three day cake making process.

The cakes were baked, and sliced in layers. The butter cream frosting had to be mixed and as I passed through the kitchen following the various chores I was immersed in, I took note of what was going on. I'm grateful I was on the cleaning crew and not on the baking crew.

The butter cream was slathered  on. Done? No. This was only the first step and the cakes now have to go into the refrigerator to be chilled. Tomorrow the second layer of butter cream will be added and then the fondant will have to be mixed and applied to each layer. The decorative touches will be started tomorrow too. I have birthday cake layers stored in two refrigerators now.  This three tier cake is to be served at Carrie's birthday party on Saturday. I will be posting pics!

I've been watching the weather reports and with relief note that Saturday should be a pleasant and dry 85 degrees. Perfect weather for an outdoor birthday party.

Continued: Thursday

While the daughter worked on her cake, I painted woodwork. After getting a close up view of the wall above the baseboards I was painting, it appears as though I  will be using ammonia and a scrub brush to clean the walls. Maybe I shouldn't have got such a close up view of those walls.

I grated a huge head of cabbage and some carrots, and mixed up the dressing for the Cole slaw. The hot dog sauce was cooked and refrigerated. I'm ready with my contribution of food. Hillbilly hot dogs will be served.

Balloons. It was time to inflate those balloons. It could have been a worse job had we not had that little orange pump that inflates them. Granted, it was a hand pump that was used but still much better then the old way of "mouth to balloon" and cheeks and ears that would hurt for hours after.

We twisted up balloon flowers and balloon swords along with two balloon pedestals. The hours whizzed by and soon it was time to shut down and head for the bus stop to collect Carrie. The balloon stuff was stored in the office, the door pulled shut. Thankfully there is a room to store them in  until tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be another busy day. We will start early. The patio needs to be set up with the tables, the purple table cloths and the balloons and pom poms. Shane will be making the jambalaya in my kitchen. I still have to make a trip to pick up sodas and ice.

The cameras still needed charged. I need some sleep.
It's ALMOST party time!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's A Party!

It had to be done. Shopping. The birthday party for Carrie celebrating her 6th birthday is fast approaching. She requested a party this year. I knew we shouldn't have let her attend all those parties for her friends. She has discovered what she has been missing these past 5 years. Usually her mother would ask her  where she wanted to go on her birthday and her reply was  "to see the rat" so off to Chuckie Cheese she would go to eat pizza with her siblings and play some of the games there. It worked well for the family. She had her special day and her mother bypassed the stress of party planning. It's time to pay our dues this year. We have been exposed as the slackers we have been for 5 years. There was no visiting the rat this year.

April is making a three tiered special cake for Carrie and will be spending the next three days working on just that cake. Cups, bowls, food and drink have been planned. A Pinata has been stuffed with candy and toys. Balloons are ready to be inflated while pom poms from purple crepe paper will decorate the shrubbery in the yard. Columns made of balloons to decorate the tables are ready to be constructed.

 Tables borrowed from the neighbors, chairs collected and arranged on the patio and in the  yard for the adults, we have been busy. We are not renting a Fun Jump. April is in charge of entertainment and she will be directing the games the children will play in the yard. I'm in charge of snow cones that the children will be allowed to do themselves. I'm also in charge of the cameras, both video and digital still. I'll be busy.

All I think about is the three hours allotted for this party and the cleanup to follow so my life can get back to normal.

It's time to get back to "it"; the "it" being housework and more list checking on party supplies.

I'm looking forward to Sunday. The party is on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Might Need a Haitus?

I thought fall had arrived but it appears to have reversed itself right back into summer. I've been waiting on cooler temperatures before cleaning out the little house. Today I visited the little house along with the daughter and after opening the door and peeking inside, I stepped back outside and pulled the door shut. This seems to be my normal reaction to what's in that building.

I had all intentions of taking pictures of the furniture in there and posting them to Craig's List but instead I've decided to donate all the furniture to a family of five. I need to keep the water bed that is now over 30 yrs old?  Rugs, chest of drawers and miscellaneous pieces that will never get used again and all of it will be loaded out this weekend to a new location. I'm ready to let go of everything; cathartic to purge. I like cleared spaces. Too much clutter has never been something  I endure well. I want to shake it off and move away from too much "stuff".

A few days have passed since I started this post. I'm moving in a series of stops and starts with mostly stops which prevent me from completing much of anything. The shed/house got cleared out, cleaned and organized.

We did more shopping for the upcoming birthday party for Carrie. The dollars are racking up. Pinatas, balloons, plates, snacks, food along with helium pump to inflate the balloons, and all the supplies to make the three tier cake has been gathered and stored here until the decorating and baking time arrives.

Carrie is excited about her party. She has delivered invitations with RSVP requests. We haven't received a phone call yet to confirm. Maybe we should have put a definition on those cards as to what RSVP means?

I have a gallon of white semi gloss enamel paint that has been riding around in the trunk of my car since last Saturday. All intentions of painting woodwork when it was purchased but another of those procrastinated projects that haven't been started. Time is running out. Carrie is having her birthday party in my yard in a week or so and as it needs the planning committee (April) has assigned projects for me to do.

And here it is..a full three days since I started this posting and procrastinated on finishing it and the temperatures are fall like again. I think I heard rain during the night and the welcomed 60's temperatures have given the a/c unit a break for now. Strange to not have the background noise of the a/c humming and sputtering.

I'm posting this tonight. Senseless and pointless as it might be, I'm done with it. I've opened this post numerous times to finish it and I now realize it isn't going to get much better then what it is now. Goodnight.