Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I hope you have a great day, and many more to come! Are you doing anything special today? I hope so! I am sure you enjoyed the lovely tea with Becky the other day, the photos are great! Do you think I could possibly use more exclamation points?

You all can see that I have a helper today. She loves to come and sit on the computer desk, usually standing, so I can't see the screen (unless you count bits of screen seen above and around a kitty as seeing the screen!). Once in a while, she will condescend to lie down, and then the screen is once more visible. An added bonus in these photos, you can see my blog, and the photo of Brian and Our Baby!

Anne threatens to show me the correct way to put the photos in, so they don't do this diagonal arrangement. She evidently forgot, as did I!

I didn't have any new flower photos, and decided that since it is your birthday, Jo, I really should go outside and take photos. The pickings are slim, as I knew they would be. Joel and his guys were here yesterday and trimmed everything. A lot of the blooms are now gone, but not for long, of course. I guess that is an added bonus to having him do our yard---I think it would be hard for me to trim plants and in doing so, remove flowers!

The magnolia is winding down a bit. There are still buds, but not as many. Here is one that is just getting ready to open up. You can see part of the house in the background!

Here it is from the other side, you can see one petal starting to drop down.

Most of the flowers on the new pink hibiscus were trimmed off, but here is a really nice one. Do they do more than double blooms? The ones on this bush always look like they are triple or quadruple blooms. (I guess it will always be the "new" one, right? It is the one put in after the hurricanes the first year.)

And finally, a trio of flowers on the red hibiscus. This is the one whose dead blooms Anne is using to make red dye.

No photos from the gardenia. The only flowers on it are done, all brown and icky. I hope you enjoyed the ones I brought up to VA for you, Jo? I'm afraid they probably didn't last very long, after all the time they spent crated up.

Not much going on around here, we pretty well muddle along as usual. I hear that Brian and Christine's closing date on the house has been moved up a day, and they are very happy about that! Meanwhile, they will head off on Saturday (!!) to see the Grands in Lufkin. Hurrah! I know they will have a great visit.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Sunny and Warm....

With afternoon thunderstorms. That is soon to be our usual forecast. We are fast approaching the summer rainy season and hurricane season. Our drought (we are a good 7.5 inches below normal now) should soon come to an end, I guess that is the good news! The bad news, of course....... rain, thunderstorms, and the risk of hurricanes. They seem to be predicting fewer hurricanes than last year, though, and we only had one even come close last summer, so things are looking okay!

We had clouds yesterday--the scattered variety---which increased and decreased during the course of the day. A nice change, in some ways! I think we had a few drops of the wet stuff land on the windshield while out running errands, but that was about all she wrote as far as rain was concerned. Typical!

Anne had her appt with the hematologist yesterday. It went well. The doctor is Dr. Pichardo--pronounce the ch like the ch in cheese. She is a wonder! She is thorough. She is interested. All good things in a specialist. She actually said, that once a patient walks through her door, she is obligated to do everything she can to find the problem. Or something to that effect. Such an difference from the last specialist, who was pretty useless.

Anyway, Dr. Pichardo asked lots of questions and gave Anne a good going over. She agrees the spleen is enlarged, but not grossly so. That is good! She has ordered a CT scan, and more bloodwork. They took the blood there, and the girl who jabbed Anne was good, just the one jab and that did it. I get the impression the doc is checking all kinds of things. They scheduled the CT, that will be done on 6 June. Anne will see Dr. Pichardo again on 20 June for the results of everything. We will keep you posted.......

Anne has "got it" with the spinning, once again. She spun two bobbins, actually, with the rovings she showed on her knitting blog. Really does look pretty. I think the yarn on each bobbin looks different, because of the way the rovings were prepared for spinning. I think she has a plan for plying it all, and it should look really awesome. The singles look really great!

Sorry for departing from protocol, and doing medical and crafty info on this blog! Needless to say, anyone not interested is welcome to skip the bits they don't care about!

I talked to Brian very briefly the other day, they are all fine. I know they are anxious to get into their house. It won't be too much longer now! I know they are looking forward to their trip to see the Walters. I am almost jealous that they will get to see Michelle before we will, but I am philosophical about it--we will get our turn!! I am just glad they will get to see her, and Brian and Christine. It has been so long since they saw Brian and Christine last. I am sure it will be a great visit.

Take care all, you are in my thoughts!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My Car, She is Fixed....

Except that my car was named Baby Al by Brian, eons ago. Anyway, he was fixed yesterday. Oh dear, that sounds bad!

To explain.....on Saturday we went out for dinner, as usual. All was fine on the drive there, no problems at all. We got in the car to come home, and something was wrong! A horrible noise. Mike thought it sounded like a wind-type noise. I thought it sounded more like a scraping noise, almost like the sound brakes make if they are getting close to the gravelly noise when they are way too worn down. Except that it made the noise all the time. It was loud enough and scary enough, that I quickly pulled into another parking space and we looked for flat tires, etc. We couldn't see anything, so carried on. When we got home, Anne took a quick look under the car and saw that something was hanging down, and had been dragging on the ground. Mike took a good look, and it was some undercarriage cover thing along the front bottom of the car. He tried to hook it back up, but the connections seemed to be broken.

I called a local Honda place on Monday morning. I am not sure the gal at the service department truly understood what the problem was, but she was able to give me an appt for 2 p.m. that afternoon, so I was happy! Anne went with me and we took surface roads, as I didn't know if Mike's pushing it back up would hold on the freeway. It did hold for the drive to the Honda place, so all was good. The guy who got my car signed in got a good look at it, when I took him out so he could see what the problem was. He was rather impressed--at the amount of damage, I am guessing. The most impressive thing was that my car was fixed and we were on the road just over an hour after arriving there! And it didn't cost an arm and a leg to fix, either. I figured at the very least they would have to order a part to fix it, but no, they had everything they needed. Hurrah!

They also gave Baby Al a nice bath, which he was once again in need of. All this dry weather, and the silly birds in the oak tree, really do a number on my little car.

We have had a goodly number of clouds today, well, mostly in the form of an overall overcast. We had rain drops spit on us while we were out running an errand today, but no real rain. I don't think there was even supposed to be a chance of rain today, so I guess we got lucky? Maybe there really is hope for some rain this week?

The magnolia continues to bloom, and look pretty. I haven't checked all the plants around the house in a while. I really should go out and do that. I am sure the baby grapefruit are much larger by now. The last time I checked, they varied in size up to extra large olive size.

Meanwhile, in the house, I am thinking I might have to toss my hoya. I hate to do it before necessary, but I think it is just a matter of time. It has been dying. I do water, now and then. Not too often, not too infrequently. It doesn't seem to make a difference. I cut back lots of dead and dying leaves a couple of weeks ago, and new dead and dying leaves have taken their places. It hasn't bloomed in years, not since it had that huge rash of blooming and bloomed for what seemed like months and months. I think it wore itself out? Anyway, part of me says that with Anne and me suffering so much from allergies, and mold being one of them, it might be just as well. I don't know that there is any mold in the plant's pot or soil. But it seems likely. Maybe we are safer all around to eliminate all live plant matter? A shame, but then again...... Anything that can improve our surroundings, allergy wise, has to be a good thing! Maybe I should just try planting it outside and let it take its chances??? I know there are a lot of places they can live outside, and perhaps it is warm enough here that it can live????? Yep, I think that is what I will do! I just hope it doesn't have some kind of nasty rot or something, that might spread to other plants. Comments or suggestions are welcome!

Take care all, you are in our thoughts!

Sunday, May 21, 2006


My first memory of seeing a sassafras tree and actually knowing what it was, came as a result of Girl Scouts. Not as a scout, but as a leader. I am sure it must have been during day camp at Camp Keck, or something like that. The camp had huge trees, and the sassafras has an easy identifying trait--three kinds of leaves on the same tree. I never saw one in bloom and didn't even know that they did bloom.

Until we moved to Florida. At the apartment complex we lived at in Palm Bay, little sassafras trees were planted all over, and were very decorative, with RED flowers on them. So pretty! I was amazed, but couldn't argue with the leaves. Three kinds, on the same tree--all the right shapes. I always meant to take photos of them, procrastinated, and then when we came back from Alabama after Hurricane Frances, the flowers had all been blown off. We moved into our house long before anything else happened with the little trees.

I did think about them now and then, but never saw another one, till last weekend when Anne wanted to go to the zoo. We were walking along, and all of the sudden I spotted a sassafras tree, in bloom. With red flowers. I got Mike to take a photo. Here it is!!!!

Now for the mystery, of sorts. I guess this must be a hybrid variety or something, along with all the others I have seen here? Mike looked up the sassafras tree online, and all the photos, etc, showed yellow flowers. Hummmmm. I just did a quick check on the AOL research links. According to the World Book Online Reference Center, the sassafras is found mostly in the eastern US (how did they get to Illinois????), can be found as shrubs along roads, and have small, pale yellow flowers. No mention of red.

I have to say, I really like the red flowers, and I haven't yet seen one with yellow flowers. Go figure.

Not much else going on around here. It is to get to 90 today here, and the mid 90's further inland. Hot and sunny and low humidity, great weather for more fires. I am glad our area is so open and has so little to burn. It makes it rather unlikely that we would have fires any too close to us.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Finally a Bit of Good News

Thank goodness! It is about time we had something go the right way.

We kept mum about this one, so as not to worry people unnecessarily. One of the reasons Anne was so overloaded on Tuesday of last week was that we had a call from Dr. Dhruv's office, and they asked if we could pick up a lab slip. Dr. Dhruv had commented at Anne's last appt, on 1 May, that her blood sugar was high. I guess she kept thinking about it and decided to play it safe. The lab slip was for a 3-hour glucose tolerance test, which tests for diabetes, and hypoglycemia too. Needless to say, we have been a bit worried about this, as that is the last thing Anne needs on top of everything else. We finally got the results today and they came out in the normal range! Hurrah! What a relief!

There isn't much else going on. We ran some errands today, partly in the quest to get out of the house and help keep Anne active. It was a nice time out, but good to get home. I could quite happily stay home a lot more than we do. There is always so much to do, and if I don't want to work on the house, there is always knitting, reading, spinning, etc.

Speaking of spinning, Anne has been working on it again, but the drive belt needed to be tightened. I did that just a bit ago, and it is working out better. The thing is, it is just string, and it starts to stretch out a bit. Add to that, there are three different whorls it can go around, which affects how fast the flyer goes, and hence how fast yarn is wound onto the bobbin. Oh well, it is still fun, sorting out all the ins and outs of it all.

It is really nice outside today, only to get to 84, which I think it has done. A cool couple of days before we hit the 90's again.

Well, anyway, wanted to let you know the good news, even if you didn't know there was potential for bad news along that line. Take care and more later!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Temperate Weather....

For now, anyway. It is 6.20 or so in the evening, and 74/76 degrees, depending on whether you prefer the Weather Channel temp or AOL's. I guess it doesn't much matter, does it? We did get into the low 80's as predicted. It was sunny and that was a nice change from the clouds and rain we had yesterday. We had high hopes for lots of rain, and people to the north of us got a good amount. We got the short end of the stick, however. Our rain gauge gathered a whole half inch of rain. Oh well. Everything does look a bit greener, even with that little bit of rain. The rest of the week will be sunny and hotter, with mostly highs in the low 90's to look forward to.

Not much going on around here. Anne and I stayed at home yesterday with the rain threat. Oh well! We got out and about today. Stopped off first for Anne's latest round of blood work. Karen at the lab couldn't believe we were back already, as we were just there last Thursday. At least she is really good at jabbing, and always gets Anne on the first try. It sure makes it easier to deal with. We ran a couple of errands and then came back home.

I read in the neighborhood newsletter update that we have 6 baby swans in our area. How cool! I think they must be doing a really good job of hiding and a good thing, as the newsletter also said that we have lost 3 adult swans now to bobcat activity. Only the first one made the newspapers, as far as I can tell. Still, a real shame to lose them.

I talked to Brian on Saturday. They are able to stay in TLQ till they close on the house. They did have to change units though, so had to move out and wait till check-in time to get into the new one. Oh well. They all sound great, and the baby is doing well. It sounds like she is growing up fast. Anne got to hear her say Dadadada! We can hardly wait to see them all! I know they can hardly wait to get into their house.

I haven't made any more progress on the books, after all the work I did last week/weekend. The bookcases are getting fuller than I like already, and I am not sure how many book boxes there are left to get unpacked. I did go ahead and unpack some of Anne's books and put them in the computer room bookcase for now, just to get them out of the way. I really have to get those two unfinished bookcases from Illinois finished and both into her room. That will help a lot!!!! I think I am getting closer and closer to having to do more major dejunking. I can't believe we still have so much stuff that we don't need. I got rid of so much in Ohio, it is amazing to think there is still so much more. I really want to try to avoid filling up "over the garage storage" with stuff we will never use though. So, we will see.

Random photo from the sheep and wool festival....

What have they done to me? Parts sheared and parts not! Interesting spots, eh?

Take care all, and have a good week! I can't believe it is Wednesday and the day is mostly over already.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


This is the photo of the single frangi pani flower in the grass, the one I mentioned the other day! They are so pretty! No wonder the Hawaiians use them so much for leis!

I hope all the Moms have a great day! I wish we could be with all of you at the same time, and that all the kids could be with us too!

As you will have seen from Mike's blog, we made a quick trip to the zoo yesterday. Mike led us to parts that we hadn't seen before, so we saw the jaguar, and the monkeys, and the wallabies, and all kinds of cute critters! We also made it into the free flying bird area. They have all the extra doors, etc, to help keep the birds from getting away. They have some very interesting birds in there, and Mike took lots of photos. As we were getting close to the far side of the enclosure, we noticed a bird on the door, and people trying to get out without letting the bird out. The bird did get out, and an intern went and managed to retrieve it. He came back in with the bird, took a look at Anne, and put the bird on her head! She had a great time, and Mike took lots of photos. Then, with very little fan fare, the bird did what birds do. It was so quick and unobtrusive, I wasn't really sure at first that it really happened. But it did. Fortunately, it was a small amount. The silly bird did manage to get her hat, her shirt and her shorts. Triple whammy, eh? We were about done anyway, so headed home not long after that!

One funny story from our time at the zoo. At one point Anne was hot and thirsty, and we got her a drink. Anne and I sat at a bench near the ponds with the flamingos, scarlet ibis, etc. Mike was over taking pictures of the birds. He overheard some women telling her kid/s that the scarlet ibis are baby flamingos! I guess she hadn't looked at the identification plaques that identify all the birds! Oh dear.

I hope all of you Moms (!!) have a great day! Love to you all!

Friday, May 12, 2006


Yep, today is Dad Walters' birthday. Hard to believe that another year has come and gone since the last one, eh?? I hope you all have a nice dinner out, and a great meal!

Not much going on here. Of course, it is still pretty early, so not much time yet.

Some fun news yesterday! I was wondering how the frangi pani was doing, as you might remember there were buds on it? Mike let me know that it was in bloom! I had a look out the window yesterday, it is really pretty. There are three clusters of blooms this time, and they are just as gorgeous as last year! I went out just now and took some pictures. I was afraid none of them would come out, as the flowers mostly face in such a way that I was afraid I would get too much sun and the pictures wouldn't come out. I got lucky! This is a photo of the lowest cluster...

Aren't they beautiful?

I smelled the gardenias right away when I went out. I stood a good distance from the bush, to the one side, and I was able to count at least 15 flowers on it. Some are already fading, some are just opening, and some are fully open. The magnolia has a lot of flowers on it too, we noticed it immediately when we got home on Monday. Really is pretty.

Today I will oil the wheel, and we can do some spinning. I will probably go ahead and let Anne play with the wheel, and I will work on unpacking books! There will be plenty of time for me to spin later, and she needs the comfort and relaxation that spinning can bring.

Well, I guess that will do for now. Once again, Happy Birthday, Dad Walters, and many more!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Activity.....

Here is the box!

I decided the computer room was as good a place as any to assemble the wheel, so I gathered Anne and the box and got set up.

We opened the box to find this!

The directions were right on the top. Handy that. NOTE TO SELF--When assembling items, be sure to check all the directions first. Navigator (Anne) is extremely competent, but she doesn't always check those things out.

We unwrapped and laid out all the parts and pieces, except that we didn't put all the screws, etc. out, for fear of losing them to kitties! Here is what it looked like!

You will see that Mickey played spinning wheel inspector and supervisor!

I won't bore you all with all the photos that we took. I have a lot, although we didn't take photos of all the stages. If anyone is interested, I will work out a slide show or something that you can see.

The point at which more direction would have been of benefit came up quickly, although I didn't realize it. After all was done and assembled, and the wheel had been moved into the family room, I took the folder out there too. I was looking at the directions, and saw that among the things needed for assembly were the screw driver and hammer I already knew about, the scissors--ditto, AND candle wax and oil. They recommended putting candle wax on the screws, etc, to make them easier to get screwed into the wood. The pilot holes were quite small, and the wood was pretty hard. It was hard getting those screws in. Two of them, I had to get Mike to finish for me, they were so hard to get in. Oh well! The very hardest part was getting the bolt thing that holds the wheel installed. You might have guessed by now, they recommended candle wax for it too! I swear it took me 15 minutes to get it in.

In our defense, we knew from the guy who sold it to us, that they had picture directions, and since Anne didn't look all through them first, we didn't know that there were also written directions in the back. That is where the benefits of candle wax were made abundantly clear--that wasn't made clear in the picture directions. We will know if there is ever another time, and others can benefit from our experience, in any case!!!!

I got sewing machine oil at the base today, and we will give the wheel a good oiling. There are a number of places that should be oiled, and it should be oiled before it is used. Anne didn't use it very long last evening before we found that note, and the wheel has been left to sit and be pretty till it has been oiled. No harm done.

Pictures????? Of course!

----I'll supervise from here now!

What do you think, Mickey, does it look okay?------

And finally it is complete!

------You see, it isn't very big....

Anne spinning -------

So, the wheel is complete, and I think I will oil it tomorrow, when there isn't much to do.

Anne had lab work this morning, and it took a while. We went to the base after that, and got the oil for the wheel---I guess I should introduce you, Anne suggested we name it "Kate". (lots of people name their wheels, I am not sure why, but the car and laptop have names, so I guess it makes sense!) We did a good shop at the commissary and got stocked up a bit on things, after having been away.

We had some rain on the way home and the sky was really black. By the time we got home it was already slowing down, it had almost stopped by the time Mike and I were getting the groceries into the house and the sidewalks were already drying out. Not much help from that, eh?

All is well here, will keep you posted on things.....

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Our Trip, Revisited....

I don't know how many times that will be the case, as it seems like there is so much to tell and the balance will be telling enough to satisfy friends and family without boring everyone to tears.

The trip to Jo and Eric's was great, as I think I have reported. The weather was good, the traffic wasn't bad, etc. I really enjoyed the drive through Richmond. Call me a nut, it was the beginning of rush hour, the traffic had really picked up--but hadn't slowed down yet, there was the usual stuff with cars getting on and getting off, and lots to watch. I wouldn't like to deal with it every day, but it is fun to drive it once in a while--rather invigorating! I attribute it to learning to drive in So. Cal!

We got to the house before 5, and it was really easy to find--great directions! Eric is really nice and we were really glad to finally meet him! The house is really beautiful, and tastefully decorated. Shells are present in most rooms, and Jo and Eric have a lovely variety of shells collected in their travels. So beautiful! We finally met Silly Cat, too. She took to us pretty well. She didn't hide away when we came in. We were suitably honored!

Here is Silly Cat, having a nap on one of her kitty platforms!

Okay, I'm awake!

Anne must have taken this----Jo, Eric and me, all computing on our laptops. This is the living room. You can see some of the shells in their display cocktail table! The area to the right is their sun room, which is really lovely and has a fantastic view from the windows.

Mike and I spent Friday night at Becky's. We finally got to meet Tom, and see Becky and Tom's adorable children! Too cute!

We left Saturday morning for the festival. We didn't get as early a start as I thought we would. Anne had a hard time getting up, and I decided it was just as well to let her sleep, as we were only going to be able to handle just so many hours at the festival that day anyway. Despite earlier predictions forecasting rain and chilly temperatures, Saturday was lovely! Sunny skies, warm temperatures, but not hot. We couldn't have asked for better weather!

Just a few comments though, about the trip up. I-95 in Northern Virginia is practically unrecognizable. We saw the exit for our old place, etc, but everything has changed greatly, with high flying ramps and cloverleaves, and much wider roads, etc. It did seem to be much easier to make the "change" from 95, to 95/495, so that was nice. We had to go over the drawbridge, which is much as I remember it. However, it looks like its days are numbered, as they are building a new drawbridge right next to it. It is a good bit higher, and looks like it will be nice when it is all done. The rest of the trip was fine. Thanks to AAA and then to Yahoo maps, we had no trouble finding the fairgrounds.

For more about this, and our first day at the festival, etc, see my Quilts and Blankies blog. Tomorrow, as I don't have time to post that today!

Monday, May 08, 2006

We Are Home!

Check back tomorrow, as there is absolutely no time to tell it all, or even much of it.

We had a great trip, and a great trip back home. Some little blips along the way, but nothing major, nothing that held us up too much, etc.

It was wonderful seeing Jo again and finally meeting Eric! And seeing their lovely home. It is really gorgeous! We all really like Eric a lot---!!!!!!! It was a wonderful visit, just wish it could have been longer! Thank you so much for putting up with us!

It was also great meeting Jo's friend Mayellen! I hope you have a good trip back to Lufkin!

It was super to see Becky again, after an unbelievable 11 years gap. We will have to make sure that doesn't happen again! It was great to finally meet her husband Tom (very nice!!!!) and see their two children, Zack and Maddie (so cute and sweet!)! Thanks again for putting us up Friday night! How did the t-ball go?

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival was totally awesome! I will write more about it later, probably mostly in the other blog, but I will mention it here when I have done it!

We had a good trip home. All is well. No disasters. The house is still here. The girl across the street took on the job of feeding and watering the kitties, and collecting the mail and newspapers. She did a great job! The kitties are well and seem to be happy to see us. Mickey was here just a minute ago, licking my arm!

Anne was totally worn out by the festival, as I figured she would be. She was a real trouper there, and we managed to see a lot. I figured she was running on adrenalin and I think that was really the case. She slept almost all the way home. On the plus side, her appetite has been better on Sunday and Monday than it has been in ages. Keep your fingers crossed!

We are home, will have to get Mike's car tomorrow, so I will have to take him to work in the morning and pick him up and take him to the car place after work. Just as well since Anne has a morning appt tomorrow, I will be up earlier than usual and can maybe blog a bit!

Take care, check back later for more!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Old Virginie

We have arrived! Well, we did that yesterday. The trip was good. We left Wednesday afternoon. Things did not go quite as expected on Wednesday.

I got everything packed and arranged, and got the car loaded. Anne and I figured we would stop at Wendy's and get a quick lunch before her pt. Well, we pulled out of the driveway and started down the street. Anne shrieked STOP!!! Said she saw the guy next door fall flat on his face. I turned around and pulled into his driveway. This is Helen's house. The pink one next to us. Helen has gone into a nursing home--she has Alzheimers and is too bad for home care now. The family has all been at the house, selling off some of the things, and the house is on the market now. All have left, except for the brother-in-law who was staying with her. Anne and I dashed out of the car and he was still face down in the side yard. He had been working in the yard, watering, etc. It seems he tripped over the hose, and was a bit stunned. He absolutely could not get up. He is a big man, quite tall and I bet he is 250-300 pounds. He was red as a beet and soaked with sweat. He asked us to help him get up. After about 10 minutes of struggling, we got him onto his knees and upright. That was about as far as we could get him. Although several cars passed, no one stopped till a nurse-type went by, and stopped and asked if we needed help. YES!!!!! She wouldn't help with lifting, as she said she had bulging disks. Oh well. She did have the bright idea of looking for a chair. I found one in the garage, although it didn't help a lot, as we couldn't give him enough assistance---just Anne and me---to get him into it. We had asked if he wanted us to call anyone or call 911 and he had said no. The nurse kept saying he should be checked (although she made no effort to call) and he kept saying no. We couldn't get him in the chair, and Anne went and got my cell out of the car and called 911. They are just down the street on Murrell, so it didn't take them long to get there at all. I was glad she called---I couldn't see getting him in a chair even, and just leaving him. I imagine he would have been okay, but we just couldn't do it. Especially since we couldn't even get him in the chair. Once he knew Anne as calling, he managed to go on his knees to the bottlebrush tree--just a couple of feet away, and managed to pull himself up. He still wasn't really ready to walk, mostly held on to it, then used the chair as a walker and headed for the garage. He was right there at the front of the garage when the EMT's arrived. They got his to sit down, andchecked him all out. He is about 77, has diabetes, some heart trouble and bad knees. His vitals were all fine, he declined to go to the hospital. They got him into the house and gave him water, and left just before we did. Anne went across the street and got Joanne, and she came over while the EMT's were there, so there is someone nearby to check on him as needed. By the time we left, it was too late for lunch.

Off we went to pt, which took the full hour this time. We stopped and got some food to go after that, and then went on up to get Mike at the car place. Even with all that, we were less than 15 minutes late getting him.

We had a good trip on Wednesday once we were on the road. We drove for about 4 hours, and got to Damien, GA. Spent the night there at a Hampton Inn. It was really nice.

We got a good early start Thursday morning, were on the road by 8.15, after filling the gas tank. We made good time, had good driving conditions the whole way. We saw two accidents on the way. They had already happened, but fortunately traffic wasn't backed up in our lanes. The first was a semi on its side in the median. The southbound traffic was all backed up and there were police and emergency vehicles there already. The other accident was on our side. It was a van off the road, down into a gully type thing off the shoulder. Just the one vehicle. Anne and I think that the guy had a tire blow violently---she saw some gouges in the road. There were a number of semi's and other vehicles that had stopped, no police yet. It looked like there was more than enough help, so we went on.

We got to Jo and Eric's just before 5 p.m. Their house is really nice! Very pretty, comfortable, etc!!!! It was great to see Jo again and to meet Eric! We are having a good time visiting, etc. Mike and Jo are out right now, examining all the plants, etc. I think Mike has his camera, looking for photo ops!

Becky and the kids will be over before too long. It will be good to see Becky--haven't seen her since we lived in Virginia. And we haven't seen the kids yet at all. Wow.

We will head out for Maryland and the sheep and wool festival tomorrow morning. Hurrah, although it will be sad to leave Jo and Eric. We are having such a good visit with them, just wish it could be longer.

Take care and more later! No photos till we get home, didn't bring the cord for downloading onto the computer.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


They are so pretty, they deserved their very own title!

I was out early today, took the car for an oil change first thing this morning. Before coffee, even, although I took coffee with me. Well, actually, I did quickly look at email, and read and answered two before leaving. But, hadn't had coffee--hahah.

It was a good trip, they changed the oil, changed the air filter, which was really crappy/dirty looking, and declogged the nozzle for the washer fluid on the passenger side. It has not been working quite right, it mostly has been squirting the fluid in a solid stream, over the car. Just a bit manages to hit the window! It is much better now!

As I pulled into the driveway, I noticed flowers open on the magnolia, so came in and got the camera, then was back out to take photos!

The first photo shows a good bit of the tree, and you can see the two open blooms lower down and the one just starting to open near the top. The second photo is a close up of the lowest open bloom. I couldn't get closer than that, as I am not tall enough!

After taking these photos, I went around to the back to see how the gardenia is doing. You wouldn't believe the smell---I know you would love it, Mom.

You will see from the first photo that there are several flowers on the gardenia! No wonder you can really smell it back there! The second photo is the best (how pathetic is that, it is the best and still very blurry) of the close-ups I took of two of the flowers. It was windy, but not nearly as windy as in the front yard, where I managed to get a decent shot of the magnolia. Go figure. At least the smaller version doesn't look too bad.

More later, take care all!

Monday, May 01, 2006

A New Week

The week got off to a good start yesterday, with a chat with Brian! He called sometime mid-afternoon and we had a good chat, then I talked to Christine, then Brian talked to Anne till he had to go, partly to change a diaper, partly because they had to go do something. Oh well!

They are all doing fine, although going a little bit stir crazy already, being in the small temporary quarters. They are lucky that Michelle isn't older, it would be even harder! I speak from experience, of course!

Our baby is doing well. Brian says her eyes are the same color as they have been, a blue-gray color. Maybe they really will stay that way! Anne had been examining some photos of Michelle the other day and mentioned to me that she thought she saw a hint of dimples. Brian, when asked, confirmed that she really does have them! So cute!

Christine has been busy making arrangements for housing for when their time in the TLF ends. Which is not that far off, a couple more weeks. It is hard to believe they have been back that long. Brian said the house inspection went well, that the inspector was impressed by what good shape the house is in. Always a good thing! Not much else going on along that line.

Brian says they haven't done much on the computer, as it has been rough dealing with dial-up again, and it takes forever to get online, do anything, etc. It will be better once they are settled in and on "fast" access again! Brian says he sees lots of wild life at the base. He saw a coyote on base the other day! And a turkey! Wow.

Not much else going on here. I smelled smoke from the nearby (about 15 miles away) fire that has been burning since Thursday afternoon. They are pretty sure it is arson. Biting tongue---what I would do to arsonists. Anyway, the high winds and dryness have kept the firefighters from being able to get it totally put out. This morning was the first time I smelled the smoke, although Mike has noticed it several times. By the time we left for Anne's appt, the smell was gone. I guess the wind had picked up enough and the early morning dampness was gone???

Anne's appts were fine, by the way. Her pt is going well and they may re-evaluate on Wednesday when she goes back. Her appt with Dr. Dhruv was fine too. Just a regular check, making sure the thyroid levels are okay, etc. All is well with that, even if not with other things.

Take care, more photos another time!