Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Aunt and that New Fangled Internet

Her voice evokes memories of my mother. That New England accent over the phone could be my mom talking. Her laughter too is much like my mother's laugh. She is mom's baby sister and though I haven't seen her for many years, a telephone conversation exists that leaves no time gap in our fun.
This Aunt is a very positive person and my spirits are lifted when we talk. Families, at best, can be difficult at times and she is familiar with the machinations that sometimes develops between family members. We discuss current events, society changes  in morals and conduct, skipping from one subject to the next, a bare break for a deep breath. Often she is stunned by what she finds on the Internet and how it is used.  Occasionally she will voice her concerns for me; I reassure her that I am fine and she admonishes me to stay above the fray and to not "sink" to the levels to which she observes on Facebook. This classy Aunt is absolutely horrified at people and their dirty laundry on Facebook and the Internet. Another era produced this kind and gentle person; a time when people didn't have a Facebook page to air dirty laundry and personal information best left to living rooms and whispers.
The perfect mother lives on Facebook. Her posts are about her love for her children and only the neighbors know the real story on the care she provides.  The perfect wife and perfect couple resides there too. Kind words filled their home, loving and caring for each other throughout their relationship appears on their web pages. No hint of the degrading of each other, the miserable existence they shared, living separate in one house. Who's to know? Only those that spend some real time with these people would ever suspect the truth. The Internet gives them an opportunity to rewrite their life's and display it in grand flourishes for your viewing pleasure.  It takes but a keyboard and a little typing skill to allow those whose lives are only something they have imagined to suddenly obtain the attention and sympathy they desire. Neither she nor I are  fooled by what is projected on the Internet. These things sometimes discussed between us which causes much giggling and laughter and shaking of heads neither of us can see.
I've encouraged this Aunt to get a web cam. We will hopefully be able to Skype soon. I'll be able to not only hear her laughter but see her face as well! I'm looking forward to this.
I only wish we lived a little closer. Skype will help!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, Water, Snow and Cold

We are stumbling through our last days of this cold front. It's been about 4 days since I've seen my bright red toenails splayed against my flip flops. The one pair of socks I own and have been wearing our getting a bit stiff and crusted. Every two days I slip out of these leggings and sweatshirt to run them through the washing machine. Next cold spell, I plan on having two pair of socks to make it through the whole thing.
While I'm staggering along here in the deep south, the big storm has hit the East coast. Beach front property in New Jersey are total losses, engulfed in either sand or water. More damage broad casted from Narragansett, R.I. As I view these pictures, my mind reels backward to the time we spent in R.I. and the visits to Narragansett. My mother's people live in R.I. and I've been calling regularly to Aunt Ev to check on her safety. She, Uncle Tony and their son Scott are weathering this storm in their home. Recent reports from her are of very little effects from this storm.
Hurricane Sandy is now dumping all that water transformed into snow over Pa, Va., WV. and Kentucky. Winds have dropped down to 65mph so it is reeking it's havoc as a tropical storm. No matter what the meterologists call it, it's still a storm that will continue to cause much damage as it moves along.
I timidily make this statement. "I'm glad it didn't come our direction!"   I lost my excitement for watching hurricanes come into the Gulf and head our way. I watch now with dread, knowing the damage they cause, the clean up required and the worst is the lost of electricity and having to live in the heat and humidity.
It's time to warm up the car and drive the one mile to Carrie's house to collect her and then drive her the 1000 ft to her bus stop where we sit and chat until the bus comes. Sometimes she doesn't want converation but just to be held closely and quietly. I adjust to what she wants. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ice and Me

Oh's cold here. How did I ever survive winters in the north? I'm dreadfully spoiled and though I complain about the hot humid summers here, I'm afraid that moving some place north is totally out of the question. I still have nightmares of frozen pipes and frozen fingers, iced automobiles and weak batteries that sighed softly when hitting the starter on those cars. Slips, slides and falls and one knew winter was about. I don't miss shoveling snow and scraping windshields!

Carrie stayed the night here. It was almost 2100 hrs when she got here and about an hour later she was found sitting at the desk, her head resting on the desk top sound asleep. Thankfully I had put her into pajamas when she first arrived. I urged her to her feet and escorted her into her bed. She was back to sleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.

She spent most of the day here and escaped to her home to make cookies with her mom. I may get a call from her later this evening to spend the night. It will be a cold morning for her to stand at the bus stop tomorrow morning.
I'm going to watch the Saints and the Denver Broncos game. It's being played in the mile high city, Denver, and it looks as though it might be warmer there then it is here in Louisiana.
It will be time for the little goblins to be roaming the streets. Usually it's much to hot for them to be wearing their costumes. This year they will be wearing coats and mittens.
It's time for a hot shower and my bed. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012


For the past 5 years the sound of that door not closing was still an irritation. That door leads from the hallway into the sink area of the small bathroom that is the communal break room. Another door leads into the water closet. A water closet is a nice way of saying "the toilet area. The door to this room operates quite nicely. Anyone needing to wash their hands at the sink will have to do so without the hall door clicking into place.
For 5 years I've listened to guests attempting to shut that door. After about 4 attempts, they give up. My OCD has never allowed me to accept this door defect.
Last night I picked up the cordless drill and marched into that room and removed the screws from the latch plate. A mere 1/4 inch movement of this plate cured what has annoyed me all these years.
I'm  on a roll. Today I put that cordless drill to use again and installed the curtain rod holders in the master bedroom. Those curtains were taken down and draped across the bed in the guest room about 3 months ago when new windows were placed in each bedroom. This is not a favorite task to do but I was determined. Measuring tape, screws, drywall anchors and cordless drill juggled while standing on a "two step stool" two hours later I was hanging the curtains on the rods.
I took the remainder of the afternoon off.
It was a brisk 60 degrees here and for us that's a temperature that inspires gumbo's and blankets and time spent indoors. Had I not been so busy inside, I would have put on some long pants and spent some hours in the breezy outdoors. This is my kind of weather. The hot humid days are behind us now and I have the next 9 months before that heat and humidity returns.
A hot shower, a pair of flannel pajamas and I'm ready to slip into my bed with the television and my laptop. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Sky was wearing it's night jacket

The sun has not invaded the night's space. From where I sat on the sofa, one of two sofas'  in my living room, I had a dead on view of the long floor to ceiling windows facing the front of the house. Through the sheer curtains, the night remained fully in control. The television was burping out news of murderous nannies in Manhattan, Colin Powell's announcement that he was supporting a democratic candidate for President while John Sununu was making racist comments accusing Powell of supporting the Presidential candidate based on his color.
"Teachers union launches tour against Mitt Romney" is on a crawl on the bottom of the television screen. About a week and half and the election will be history. The selection made will affect our history as every election furroughs it's own path forward leaving the debris  of it's passing.
I'm a liberal in a bright red state. I'm not a liberal because I chose to be. I came from a long line of conservatives from a state that wasn't known for it's tolerance of others that were "different" or "ideas that were contrary to their own beliefs". Thankfully I left this closeted environment and went exploring across the United States.
Living among  people with different outlooks, views and opinions  helped shape who I became. Tolerance and acceptance of differences in languages and lifestyles, lessons faced from each state  and their residents was something I have always been grateful for. It's who I am today.
I sit among my siblings and listen to their conversations, some of which are an embarrassing testament to their choice of friends and surroundings. I feel a chasm separating us. Had I stayed in one small secluded area, would I be more comfortable listening to their rhetoric and spouting the same collected from watching Fox News? Comfortable and smug in their digestion of this very biased GOP based outlet, their conversation drips with the voice clips they have just heard. Tomorrow they will get a fresh new list of items to ingest, digest and regurgitate. Oh, they profess to checking out other news stations but it's evident by their conversation this is not truth based.
Fact check is shooed aside. Who's interested in facts.
This has been a strange election, many times focused not on policies but on attacks and insults.
It will be interesting watching the outcome of the people's choice. Let's hope we don't have another "Bush Administration". Now that was embarrassing! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Pain in The Butt

This year has been one of expense after expense. Ted's truck  1200.00, April's Jeep 300.00 and now my car for almost 899.00 and that's been in the past two months!

The a/c unit and the new roof this summer also put a big dent in my bank account. Now if  all that isn't aggravating enough, my blue tooth gave up on me yesterday.

I have blue tooth options on my iPhone. I'm very familiar with pairing it with my blue tooth ear piece so yesterday when it wouldn't connect, I went into my settings and reset them to no avail. Today I opened up the spare blue tooth ear piece, charged it up and paired it with my iPhone. Nix on that too so now I'm assuming my iPhone has the problem. I rebooted it and tried again and again faced failure. My last option was to do a "reset" on the iPhone and there remains my big error.

I am now without a phone....i or otherwise (iPhone). I've had to plug my phone up to the mother ship and jump through all the hoops, sign in  to iTunes and hope everything comes back onto my cell. I have a SIM card but that doesn't mean all my 150 phone numbers will be saved. With luck I might salvage a few but the SIM card has a limit on how many numbers it can contain. I still don't know if this will fix the blue tooth on it. I'm impatiently waiting and watching my iPhone and it's  little graphic that is slowly creeping toward the 'full" mark.

My husband scolds me for not syncing with my computer weekly for updates on my iPhone. I'm not really interested in all the options offered by owning a smart phone. He questions my need for a phone that is capable of all that an iPhone offers. I want to use a phone as it was intended. I dislike very much surfing the net on a screen that even with reading glasses, it's a pain in the butt to see. I seldom turn on the 3G feature. I leave the WiFi live, never check my email on it preferring to use my iPad for surfing and mail. I detest texting. Finding the letters on that touch screen is another pain in the butt.

I've just checked in on the iPhone's syching and it has finally finished. Amazingly all my contacts but three were saved through iCloud. My blue tooth earpiece works! The blue tooth problem is what instigated all this misery today so I'm very grateful that after all this drama, it's now functioning again. Should this happen again, I'll stop by the AT&T store and have them fix it.

I'm not even going to mention the hemorrhoid issue...just another pain in the butt. :-(

I can get whiffs of the steak cooking on the grill. I'm ready for a good thick steak and a baked potato. The black Russian I'm sipping on is almost finished; time to mix another!  I deserve a treat today!

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's cold?

I slipped into her bedroom this morning and as is our usual routine, I nuzzled her neck, rubbed her back and whispered in her ear "It's time to get up Boogie."
Slowly she switched position and rolled over onto her side while struggling to get her eyes open. Gradually she came up from the deep sleep she was enjoying, a little smile crossing her lips. The hug was returned. I didn't rush her to get up and going. I know she will not tarry. She sat up in bed, then moved to the edge as she held my hand and slipped down to the cold floor. I escorted her to the bathroom door and leaving her there headed for the kitchen to get her school lunch packed.
There is no rush to our mornings. I have everything timed and we both know the limits. She has now climbed up onto the sofa and found the soft plaid lap blanket that I use so often. Her head boroughs into the feather pillow and I turn on the TV so she can watch a few minutes of cartoons while I finish my kitchen activities. I'm giving her a few more minutes to get alert and then she will slip into her school uniform, the tall black boots she got for her birthday and join me in the kitchen for the dollar size pancake smothered in butter and syrup.
Her milk is poured and waiting in the tall wine glass. Immediately after breakfast, she takes herself down the hallway to greet her Poppy who is still asleep.
At 0715 we are out the door and into the car, book bag and lunch bag in hand. 30 minutes have passed since she was awaken. The bus will be at her stop at 0730. Five minute drive to the bus station and a few minutes to wait on the bus and Carrie's day has started. Standing in line, Carrie wraps her arms around me. I am enjoying the affection when she whispers "Nana, it's cold and this keeps me warm." I thought she wanted some lovin..silly me.
Children love routine. With little control over their environment, a routine gives them a sense of security. I strive to maintain this routine. Carrie's cloths are laid on the coffee table the night before. Her lunch bag contents have been discussed and readied and her book bag sits by the door. We are stress free on our daily duties to get ready for school and we both like it this way.
Now to address my automobile's problem. I've left her at the tire place. It appears that the ball joints have worn out and she needs both front and rear shocks. It's the least I could do for the old lady. She'll have some lift in her front and rear from the new shocks and the ball joints will assure that my high speed driving is done safely. I've mentioned before that I'm just not ready to send her to the bone yard.
She is running smoothly today. I don't know if the HEET or the Lucas fuel injector cleaner was the reason. Maybe just having the gas tank cap on correctly helped. I've just learned that the mechanics highly recommend using that fuel injector cleaner as most of the gas we buy now has 10 per cent ethanol and it gums up the fuel injectors. It's no wonder that every time I fill up at the Walmart pumps, that prerecorded voice booms out at me from the pump about buying the fuel additive which in the past I ignored. I had no idea we should be adding that stuff. I bought enough of the Lucas additive to put some in Ted's truck and my car. I'm going to check the mileage for better performance.
and..that's my day so far...and it's barely noon!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Waxed and Bright

Oh my. My car, usually known as "the big car", has not been feeling quite up to par. I've noticed a slight, very slight hesitation. Wait. Not really a hesitation but more like she is running a slight bit choppy. I don't want to wait until it gets worse. The "check engine" light popped on yesterday so today I took it and had it hooked up to a a monitor. As happened the last time this light came on, I got a problem code referencing the 02 sensor so I tightened the gas tank cap. Apparently when the gas cap is replaced after  a fill up and it's replaced sloppily, the check engine light comes on and gives me the 02 sensor error. I put a bottle of "HEET" in the tank and some cleaner for the fuel injectors and hopefully she will be all better soon. If these things don't cure her problem, it might be time for a tune up.
 I take this car for granted as I've had her for 12 years now. I forget she is aging along with everybody else I know. I washed and waxed her today; the weather was perfect for this job. I don't want to purchase another car. I still have the Solstice which I really can't count as anything but a toy. Two seats a car it does not make. It's my "spare" car.
I've noticed a creak in the front of the big car now and I'll be taking her to a garage tomorrow to have her struts checked. This will be her first check up since she was driven off the car lot 12 years ago. I know I shouldn't complain BUT I'm going to do just that. My little Toyota that is now 22 years old is still being driven by my granddaughter and it runs as good as it did the day I bought it. I knew it would outlast the Grand Marquis. It has almost twice the miles of the big car (Grand Marquis) and a few sets of brakes and frequent oil changes was all it ever needed.
I tend to keep my cars for a long time. Can you tell?
Carrie made an appearance here this afternoon. We played "hang the man' which was a new game for her. She loved it. I'm very happy that she can read now. When her Poppy asked if she liked school, her response was "I love it!" She has been out of school for the past week because of fall break. By the time Friday rolls around this week she will be more then ready to have the weekend off. I've noticed that she starts to tire of school as the week wears on. I remember feeling the same way when I was part of the work force.
It's time to find my pajamas and my bed. Carrie's wake up call comes early. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Football Saturday

I seem to have lost all interest in football this year. I haven't watched an entire Saint's game nor an LSU game.
Tonight we ordered a pizza and collected a six pack of beer and bellied up to the coffee table to watch WVU take on Kansas State. The pummel was downright embarrassing for WVU. The gold and blue are right now into the third quarter, bruised and battered. The only touch down was a run back from a punt to WVU. The score is somewhere around 45/7 favoring Kansas State.
The crowd in the stadium of this home game is dampened down by the trouncing WVU is taking. A sad night for their fans.
I've spent most of this day lounging. I've moved from one sofa to the other never giving up possession of the remote control. Napping and gorging on television has been my day. I haven't been a productive sort all day and I'm not embarrassed by my laziness.
Carrie will be returning tomorrow from her weekend visit with her dad. I'm expecting her to spend the night with me and I'm ready for her to be here. She as been out of school for the past week for fall break and has spent most of her time at her house. I miss her company.
It's almost Ambien time. The score just racked up 57/7...WVU should just sneak out of the stadium. I don't think anyone would miss em..
I'm done as well. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

You are Not Hidden

Sometimes a little of Facebook goes a long way. I watch as the devout proclaiming their love of their higher power, praise that entity and then crash to the ground from those lofty proclamations by posts that drip with poison contradict and expose their clay feet. 
Nothing posted on Facebook is private but then I suppose the vile posters, bible in one hand, poison pen in the other either ignore or are intentional in exposing their unhappiness translated into ugliness to others. Years of anger, guilt and rage ooze out and color the pages; their friends offer their support of this behavior which only instills some justification to their comments.
Do they ever note who is encouraging this behavior or better yet..the ones that do not touch the "Like" icon? Are they so caught up in their bitter life that it never occurs to them what those that ignore the comment section must be thinking?
I'll never believe that Facebook is the place to air grievances, personal information or public whippings. It's a public forum and the key word here is "public". Much like liquids, flowing along the ground, a public forum seeks it's own level which is usually the lowest point on the trail. Watching Facebook activity is a social study in human behavior. 

The limbic system controls and filters our response and reactions. Watching some of the posters on Facebook, one has to wonder if their filter has been damaged or do they need constant affirmation on their opinions. I  seldom post and usually it is on mundane topics concerning family activities especially my time spend with my granddaughter who is always providing positive upbeat stories to entertain.

I'm amazed at the number of posters that use "Karma" as a tool of retribution. Some even use it as a noun. I doubt that these people have actually been to a dictionary and looked up the meaning of Karma. Karma is never evil or vindictive. I shake my head and roll my eyes and I'm grateful my face is not broadcast as I scan over these Facebook posts. It's scary to think of how many posters out there that are waiting on the evil Karma to do their bidding. Karma is now the new catch word, exposing their lack of understanding of th word. I grin as I move my mouse to the upper right of my screen and tap on the white "X" in the red square.
The screen collapses in on itself and I'm done with Facebook and I'm grateful that it's just that easy to move on.    


I should have a basket over my arm, gathering supplies for the winter that is approaching.  I envision myself the typical Hollywood movie type of female Indian. A buckskin dress, fringed at the hem and a pair of moccasins worn on my feet, I live in a teepee beside a steam. My long dark hair is combed smooth and has a glossiness that is only attainable through daily washings. Where does Hollywood get these visions of how the American Indian lived? I'm sure baths weren't a daily occurrence nor was their hair coiffed and glossy but that's the vision I get since I'm a child of the Hollywood movie information center.
Why do I get that Indian squaw feeling each year when the temperatures dip into the 50's at night. The leafs from the tall Maple tree on the front lawn cover the ground in a thin blanket. This blanket will become deeper as more cold nights push into the south.
I find myself wrapped in my soft plaid lap blanket while stretched out on the sofa, TV remote in hand. My thoughts drift to baking something with apples and cinnamon, the smells adding to the eminent encroaching fall season.
My house is very quiet; it's early AM. I can hear the tap tap tap of my fingernails on this keyboard and the occasional swishing sound of a car passing by on the street outside my window. I like this time of day when the television hasn't been switched on and the news of murder and mayhem are held at bay by the simple decision to withhold pressing the power switch on that remote control. Soon enough my curiosity will overcome my desire for quiet and I'll plunge back into the world of news.
In closing, I'm grateful I'm not dressed in a buckskin dress and a pair of moccasins. I hate to camp out and I like my hair washed everyday and living away from a nicely decorated bathroom is just not my thing.
Now for the news. Where IS that remote?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tones and Talk

I was past due on having my nails done. Filled. That's what it's called as they are acrylic nails and as they grow, the bright red polish moves forward leaving half moons of the real nail exposed. I was a quarter of an inch of real nail past due so I took myself off to the nail salon.
For years and years my one treat to myself were these acrylic nails that made my hands look long and elegant. I have long fingers but the nails are stubby; they split and break off and some of the work I do does not lend itself to having nice hands.
I've been without acrylics for over 5 years now and one day I decided it was time to have nice looking hands once again. The downside of this is I have to commit to having them filled once a month and today was that day.
The nail tech motioned me to a chair as soon as I walked in the door. Seated beside me was a young lady who might have been in her early 20's. She had her hand wrapped around her pink encased phone so as to be able to catch the incoming calls quickly. I noted a flicker and she moved the phone to her ear. A short conversation, the tone impatient, the voice she used was one that spoke of her disdain for the caller. Ending the call by abruptly hitting the "End Call" on the touch screen, she neglected to be courteous with a "goodbye" to her caller. Just as she terminated her call, I noted the caller on her screen.
"Your mom?" I said. She nodded. My next question was a "Do you have any children?" and another negative answer was given. I nodded, smiled and turned away.
The observation I was making was this. Why do one's children use this tone on their parent; the one person in this world that champions them. This young lady didn't exhibit any anger in her short quick conversation with her mother. Impatience. She wasn't busy and being interrupted by her mother. She was sitting having her nails filed. 
 I know I was guilty of this at times too with my mother and for that I'm sorry. I can't apologize to her. She is gone and I live with my regrets.
  Is this disrespect common among the young with their parents? I mentally scanned the couples I know who have children to try and list those that weren't treated similarly.
My neighbor has three children and if they talk to her in "that tone" I've never heard it.
I am now paying particular attention to offspring's conversational tones with their parents. I want to survey this behavior. Hopefully I'll find it's an anomaly and not a consistent behavior. I'll note the person and him/her's responses and if they have children, do they allow this behavior.
After uttering those two questions to  that young lady, I wondered later if she put them together and attached them to her conversation with her mother that I had just listened to. I doubt it. I  do believe Karma will visit one day in her future and she will be on the receiving end of a conversation very much like they one she engaged in today. "Monkey see, Monkey do".

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 13th, Party Time!

October 8th, 2005, Carrie Lane Elisabeth Boudreaux made her arrival into this world. I was at the bedside along with Ted, her brother and Elise, her sister, her father and his mother. It was a very emotional time for one and all. The tears poured as the doctor handed her over to two NICU nurses that were waiting to suction and do an APGAR on her. Marconi was in the fluids surrounding her in the womb and she had to be examined for the possibility of inhaling it into her lungs. Thankfully, Carrie was a healthy breathing pink and white skinned wonder. No blue tinge marred her body to raise an alarm of low oxygen.
A few days later Carrie and her mother came home. She rode in her baby carrier on the back seat of my car, watched over by her mother from the front seat.
This child has been a joy to be around. Her time has been divided between her house and mine. She spends many hours here with us and watching her grow up has been both a treat and bittersweet. The cuddly baby has now grown to an independent seven year old and today we will celebrate with a water slide, food and friends.
Two tables arranged in a "T" formation and covered in green tropical print table cloths support a   pile of colorful Leis which will be Carrie's welcome to her guest. She will place one around their necks as they arrive. Colorful banners pronouncing the birthday are tacked onto the tables, cold drinks fill the refrigerator on the patio and a Pinata waits to be destroyed by a small pink metal baseball bat.
April baked her cakes here yesterday and today she will be around to decorate them. A Volcano cake will be  belching smoke situated in a field of green grass and tropical flowers done to compliment the theme of a Laue; dry ice and pvc piping embedded below the bundt cake provides the steam. One of us will have to dash to the ice house for the dry ice before the party guests arrive. The hot dog sauce has been simmered for hours; the hot dogs will be cooked in a small amount of vegetable oil, some with crisp browned skin, my favorite. Shish Ka Bobs of fresh pineapple, kiwi, strawberries and grapes  will be skewered  and offered to the guests.  We have it all planned. Let's hope it all goes to plan! 
The children will be in bathing suits for the water slide, Carrie in her pink grass skirt over her suit will be the Hula Birthday girl.
This event was scheduled a month ago. The temperatures dipped into the 50's at night and the days were cool and windy and we worried. As that cold swept through this state, we breathed a sigh of relief to have the temperatures forecast for a sunny high 80's for this day. The children will be able to enjoy the inflatable water slide.
There is still much to do. It's early and I'm telling myself that we have plenty of time to finish up the preparations. Stress will always creep in no matter how well prepared we think we are.
I have things to do. I'll get started early. That will help won't it?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I should be so easily excited...

She didn't want to go to school today and I couldn't help but wonder if it was because she wanted to stay home and spend time on her trampoline.
We stood together at the corner with the other little children waiting on the school bus to round the corner and creep to  her first stop on this street. Soon Carrie was climbing aboard the bus and moving to the third row of seats where she shoulders her book bag onto the seat and slides into her space. It is 0730 and she is gone for the day. This will repeat in reverse at 1513 this afternoon and she will rush home to get her homework. She knows a few friends will be around to play on the trampoline as soon as they finish their homework.
I wanted to watch so the daughter placed a few chairs around the trampoline and with our iced tea in hand we watched the little girls bouncing and listened to their happy giggles and shrieks. I love to listen to them laugh. Little children should be care free. Soon enough the pressures of life will encroach and the giggles won't be as free nor as long and loud.
Carrie is spending the night and right now she is in the bathtub with her swim goggles on and her toys floating around her. I'll let her stay as long as she wants though I know she is exhausted. The trampoline is the best purchase I have made for a while. It gets her out of the house and moving. Her friends have something to do when they visit that doesn't involve a it TV or computer. I"ll make sure she always has one in her yard.
I'm off to do some dishes and get Carrie out of the tub and dressed for bed. I shall return. 

A Bounce In Your Life

Carrie, the caboose in the line of grandchildren is now seven years old. To be precise, she is seven years and two days old. Her party will be this weekend on my back lawn. We have rented a "water slide" that is inflated and hooked up to water to make the slide slicker. Family and a few friends are expected to attend and the daughter is watching the weather very closely, after all, it's October here in southwest Louisiana. The temperatures are supposed to be in the mid 80's. We have been wearing sweaters and long pants this past week. Our temperatures have been dipping down into the impossibly intolerant 50's during the night and the natives are not happy. I, for one, am enjoying the brisk weather. I'm not a big fan of sweating.
October o8th, just two days ago was Carrie's birthday and we her immediate family gifted her on that day. Roller skates, dolls, boots and clothes and...and..and...a TRAMPOLINE!
Ted, April and I gathered around that 14ft metal frame that was erected and proceeded to stretch the mat to the holes encircling the metal frame. Had it not been for Ted and his strength, we might never had succeeded in getting the mat on. With much groaning and complaining, we moved on to placing the part that protects one from bouncing into the springs that hold the mat, then it was on to putting up the net that prevents the little bouncers from catapulting out onto the ground below. Falling off the trampoline is not the dangerous part but bouncing off after springing 5 feet into the air is where the hurt would come into effect.
A banner screaming out "Happy Birthday" was attached to the top of the netting and the setup was finished, an hour to spare before Carrie was to arrive to her bus stop.
We collected her and while her mother detained her long enough for me to get into position with my camera, we watched for her reaction. This was "Carrie's Big Surprise Gift" and it was a hit. She walked around the corner and stood stock still but only for a moment. The hopping up and down accompanied her squeals and then she was off. Both mom and daughter squealed and laughed and bounced and bounced. After a few minutes as typical of Carrie, she crawled over to the edge where I stood watching and whispered "Nana, who got this for me?"  "Me and Poppy." I whispered. She whispered back "Tell Poppy "thank you" and I love it!" and back to bouncing she went.
Carrie was aware that her older sister and brother had enjoyed a trampoline years ago and had mentioned wistfully her wishes to have been around when they were using theirs. Now she gets to enjoy this with them; Ted was the first one to get his bounce on as soon as it was set up. I'm sure Elise will be the next one grabbing some air time on it.
Before and after the trampoline being set up, the daughter and I continued our little project of "fix up and repair". I don't think this is my daughter's favorite activity. The bathroom has progressed far enough along now to require paint and this is the part of the project that excites me. I only "fix" because it has to be done, but selecting paint and wall decor is the carrot on the stick that keeps me motivated. I have towel racks, pretty towels and a soft muted gold/tan wall. I'm keeping it simple as it's a "boy" bathroom. This is the bathroom Ted uses and he is thrilled with the progress. I haven't had to tell him to pick up his clothes off the floor since this renovation started. He appreciates the changes  in "his" bathroom.
We also put up new door facings on the three doors that open from the hallway and the change was an immediate improvement. We have a lot to do. It would be easy to be overwhelmed by the work ahead so we are taking little bites at a time. This is not an overnight project and we accept that.
Right now, with Carrie's birthday party approaching, the construction is on hold. I'll paint that bathroom next week.
Today feels like a Saturday but I know it must be Wednesday as Carrie had her dance class yesterday afternoon. Immediately after that class, she was into her homework and then onto the trampoline with a little girl that lives next door. The daughter said she declined a snack and was anxious to get outdoors and onto her new toy. This will be a great form of exercise for Carrie and a good reason to get away from the television and the computer. I might give it a try some day when no one is around....maybe not.
I'm assuming being really flexible helps with all that bouncing and having some "balance" another plus.
The husband just made it back home yesterday afternoon after a 10 hr. drive. He spent 5 days in Texas waiting on the rig to be ready for him only to find out that the job was cancelled so he billed them 110,000.00 for his time and the equipment that sat on that rig and never used. Trucks were summoned to pick up the tools, his bill was submitted and signed and he was on his way home. I could have done this job. I'm excellent at hanging out in a motel room. Being called to the rig to perform would be where my lack of skills would be noted.
I'm off there to get some laundry in the washer and make a quick trip to the store for some bacon and eggs.
The husband might request breakfast.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sink Happiness

It sits there quietly emitting a glow. That shine is a reflection of the sunlight finding it's way through the small window situated high in the wall above the bathtub. The glow is from the white porcelain sink and shiny chrome faucets that sit on the sink vanity in this elongated bathroom at the daughter's house. Yessiree folks! the plastic peeling stained sink was ceremoniously tossed into the trash heap yesterday and the new one sits proudly surveying her new domain.
All this rave about a sink you say? Well yes! It does make me this happy. I'm a "fixer-upper" and I can't tolerate stained, soiled or broken which this sink was all of these. New water shut off valves were also installed which satisfies the daughter's request for this bathroom and we are very grateful to Shane for accomplishing this for us.
Shane is not a tiny fellow and seeing him laying flat out on that tiny bathroom floor with the rest of his body beneath the sink, I had to feel for how uncomfortable he must have been.
Renovating this little bathroom is coming along nicely. I layered some more spackling on the holes that had to be repaired and today I should be able to sand them to a nice smooth finish in preparation for the painting that will be my final step.
The new door facings have been stained to a rich glossy walnut color and will be cut and put in place today. Tomorrow will be a day off. We have to do a little prep work for Carrie's birthday party on Monday.
Monday afternoon the immediate family will gather together after school and present Carrie with a small cake and few gifts. Brother, sister, mother and grandmother will be there and a 14 ft. trampoline will be sitting in the back yard with a big lavender bow on it. We have to get this set up on Monday while Carrie is in school.
She will be very surprised as she has wished for one just recently since both her siblings had the fun of having a trampoline. It's Carrie's turn now. She thinks she is getting a pair of knee high boots and she is but that's not surprising enough.
Yesterday her mother and Shane went shopping for her while she stayed at my house playing Super Mario with me on the WII. I suck at this game and had never played before so she was aware that she would be my instructor. I felt much anxiety and patience is not one of Carrie's big virtues at age 6. I heard over and over again "Nana, I told you to stay behind me" or "you were supposed to JUMP" and "now're dead!".  As soon as was prudent, I invited Carrie to the back yard to hit a few tennis balls with her hot pink metal bat. We use a tennis ball as getting hit by a softball is something I do not want to experience and occasionally she hits that tennis ball and drills it into me. I scream and shriek like a little girl. I've never wanted to play baseball and be left with the imprint of the ball threads on my forehead.
I stand two concrete cracks back (standing on a concrete pad extension from the patio). I  lob the ball underhanded to her but not before giving the chant "batter batter batter" to which she takes the bat and taps it two times on the concrete, a chime ringing out from the contact of the metal against the stone. She swiftly stands erect, elbows out and swings just as the ball crosses home plate.  Most of the times she connects and sends the ball hurtling toward me where I stand with my head tucked between my upraised arms, squealing in fear. I'm not a fan of baseball but I did play basketball. Getting hit by an air filled basket ball wasn't a painful as a hard baseball. I'm quick on picking up on what causes the most pain and decided early on to stay away from small hard baseballs. Carrie has a strong swing and when she connects with that ball it will smack into the board fence that surrounds the yard or sail high into the air and into the neighbors yard. It's her job to do "retrieval." Good exercise.
Since attention spans are short on these little humans, we were next drawing a hopscotch design on the concrete and pitching the chalk to land on one of the squares which would be jumped over on our trip across. I was just thankfull we didn;t have a jump rope session planned.
We were keeping ourselves entertained while the sink was being placed and the plumbing and shopping done at Carrie's house.
The last hopscotch scotched, the last ball pitched and hit, we packed up our stuff and went back to the daughter's house where we found the final steps in finishing the sink placement. It's amazing what a difference it made and I was satisfied with the progress on this room.
While we were gone, the daughter and Shane did some birthday shopping for the birthday girl. The wrapped packages sat on the kichen table enticing a 6 almost 7 year old to pick each one up individually and carry it to my chair on the deck where I was sitting enjoying the view and the time out. She shook them, each one; we laid our ear on them and very seriously I said "I don't hear a ticking." Her puzzled look relaxed into a grin when I finished by saying "I don't think it's a bomb."  "Ah Nanny, you are so silly." she said as she disappeared back into the house to bring out another package for our inspection. Isn't it wonderful to see the excitement of a 6 almost 7 year old at birthdays and Christmases. It would be great if we could feel that excitement on approaching birthdays througout our lifetimes.  
As we near the finish line on the bathroom project, I can't help but start a mental list of what I will need for the next project. Have I mentioned that  I'm a bit OCD? And on that note, I must get to the store and pick up some wrapping paper and some tape and a trampoline and a very large lavendar bow!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I See Progress

Again the day started with a little shopping for supplies but not before unlatching the large gate to the back yard to load the trunk of my car with the chop saw and a jig saw.

The daughter is busy sanding and staining the wood trim that will be placed around each door for facings. Three coats of stain with a bit of sanding between each coat leave me with time to do a few other things and there is plenty to do. I patched rough places in that bathroom wall we are working on. I'll have to wait until that coat of spackling dries before I place another coat. I scrubbed the whole room down with warm bleach water and then moved on to pull the old trim off the doors. We are on a mission to bring this home up to  the standards when first built. Hopefully the new sink and faucets will be placed this weekend. I'm anxious to finish up this room and move on to the living room. Working on the common areas is my first concern. 

Carrie's room just needs to have some trim finish work done while Ted's room needs a bit more attention. Ceilings to be painted and chair rail around the living room should finish up the work there. 

The last project will be the daughter's bedroom and bathroom. A new garden tub and walls in the bathroom and some paint and new flooring in her bedroom will bring us to the finish line on the inside. I'm sure there will be a few other odds and ends like a new back door and an 8x12 back deck will be in the plans. I try to not look too far ahead as there seems to be a lot of work remaining. I need to pace myself and not expect it to be done in a short time period. I tend to want to be compulsive when I'm involved in any project while the daughter works at a much more leisurely pace.

I have been on the move since early this morning and once again I'm looking forward to some bed time. The husband made it home around 2200 hrs and was on his way to Ozonia, Texas at 0600 this morning. He will be gone another 10 days. I can only imagine how thrilled the daughter will be when she hears that I can be at her house for 10 more days of "fixin up" the place.
How bad is one's life when a new sink and faucet causes a surge of gleeful anticipation?  I might need to go job hunting?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The List

I had a list of things I wanted to get done much to the dismay of the daughter. I'm guessing sleep was on her list and the list I was intent on finishing was at her house. Most of the things got done or at least as done as I could get them. I will be making another trip tomorrow to put the finish coat on the bedroom door that today got a coat of Kilz. 
By the time 1700 hrs rolled around, Carrie and I grouped together on the sofa to watch some You Tube videos. I wanted to go to Home Depot but just didn't have the "get up and go" part in order to get it done. After I drop Carrie off at the bus stop tomorrow I'll make that trip.
As I sit hear typing this I'm listening to the first Presidential debate. It's much like all the postings on Facebook (a social network in the event this is read 20 yrs from now). I'm a bit burnt on this election that seems to have started 2 yrs ago. I hear each side make the same comments and my brain wanders. I think I'm too tired right now to even concentrate so I'm going to slap down the lid on this laptop and take myself off to bed. As sleepy as I am right now I know I'll have to swallow an Ambien before I put on that nasal mask and turn on that CPAP.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I Sat down and now I can't Move

Things were going along swimmingly until I stopped moving. I'm exhausted. It has been a non stop day.
The little lawn mower was left at April's house a few days ago before the rains started. I forgot about it so today I made a trip there to encourage the daughter to mow her yard so I could load the little mower up and return it to it's home in my shed. The daughter was feeling under the weather so I started mowing. Things were going well until I mowed over a heavy piece of metal. The little lawn mower died. She just laid down and died on me but not before she burped up a huge amount of oil. The oil poured over the body and dripped onto the ground. When I pulled on the started cord, black smoke belched forth and she remained quiet. I left her to cool off and headed to my home to get a quart of oil. By the time I returned she had cooled off. I added some oil and pulled the starter cord again. She roared to life belching black smoke again. After the air cleared, the little lawn mower was once again healthy and ready to perform.
A few minutes pass and the granddaughter calls to tell me she had locked her keys in her car and wanted to know if I would drive over and bring my spare.  I dropped the top on the roadster and decided to enjoy the drive.
The remainder of the day was spent on home repairs; the daughters. I have a list of things I want to get done and I work on this list when the husband is out of town. Mirrors to be hung, doors to be Kilzed and painted, a door knob to replace and a window blind to be hung and my list for this week will be completed.
My daughter accuses me of being OCD. I beg to differ. I can't stand seeing anything broke or not working correctly. It doesn't bother the daughter though. I drive her around the bend with my compulsion to "fix" things.
I'm exhausted and hungry. I'm more exhausted then hungry so I'm headed for the bed. I can schedule a breakfast tomorrow morning.

Thankfully it's not mine

My friend Pat who lives down the block and around the corner started a project and this has kept me busy. 2 acres of undeveloped property lies but a mear 1/2 mile from our houses; Pat bought both acres. Then she bought an 18X80 mobile home to put on this acreage with the intent of moving her son out of his apartment and into this house with axles. Sounded really easy to her but little did she realize what had to happen to realize this goal. She had to clear the property of old trailors, cars and debris. A well needed to be drilled and a septic tank installed. Unfortunately the spot where she wanted to install this home was already occupied by a huge oak tree. The tree had to go. The tree was felled, the stump ground up and removed. Rain and a few other obstacles prevented the movement of the mobile home from it's rental lot to it's new home on the 2 acres. Stress mounted with all the problems that had to be dealt with and money was leaving her bank account  faster then a speeding train. I was along for the ride.
A dirt pad was finally ready and the rain stopped.  The trailor was moved barely in time to miss having to pay another months lot rental. 30 days from the time this home was moved onto it's new location, it was ready for her son to move into today. The water well was drilled, the septic was in and the electric line was run.
One thing remained that needed to be done right away; a deck had to be built and she hired a carpenter. After watching this man work for two days, she came to realize that measuring and cutting wood accurately was not his forte.  The deck was a mess, slivers of wood bit into one's hand from the railing, patched wood areas where miscalculations in measuring, a cobbled mess stood on concrete piers that leaned crookely on unleveled ground. She was appalled. I was along for the ride but now it was evident that someone needed to step in and take control of this disaster.
The daughter and I had just finished a 10 X 12 deck; a deck that was a great learning project for both of us.
We had him remove the  railings  and redo them. The hand rails and the posts on the deck were also removed. I showed the carpenter ( I use that word loosely) where to set the posts and where to attach the rails going down the steps. A level would have been a tool that one would take for granted being used. Apparently this man didn't feel the need to use one.
At the end, the little 6X6 deck cost roughly 1700.00 with all the lumber wasted and the rental of a generator for 2 1/2 days. This does not include labor.
 I should go into the deck building business. This man won't be doing the bigger deck that will span the front of this home. If you don't look too closely, this little deck serves the purpose but will never win any prizes for skill or beauty or even being level.
I'm spending my day at home tomorrow. I have some of my own "home" work to attend. Right now, I'm off to my king size bed. Carrie is spending the night at her house and the husband is out of town so I have the big bed all to myself. A treat!