Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ernesto Demoted to Tropical Depression

That is always good news to hear, right? Sure better than being promoted to a hurricane again!

I did some quick prep work yesterday morning--cleared Anne's scoured wool off the patio table, and got it into the house. I also got the cushions off the patio chairs and got them (cushions and chairs) put away in the storage shed. I didn't bother with the table, since it sounded like the chance of high winds kept being reduced. I made a trip to the base to fill my gas tank and pick up a few things.

Mike didn't get home till about 3.30, as they didn't seem to be in any rush to send the guys home. Mike and I agreed that it didn't look like there was any need to mess with the hurricane shutters for this storm, and I am really glad of that! It would really have been a waste of time and effort.

We had some thunder and rain early this morning. I went out to get the paper at 9 a.m.---there was just a bit of a sprinkle left by then. The rain gauge had 9/10 of an inch in it. I went ahead and dumped it, to reduce the risk of it overflowing later--haha. It has been dry for quite a while, we just finally had some more rain about 20 minutes ago. It hasn't been bad at all, no wind to speak of either. The storm is still a ways off, but continues to spread and weaken. We don't expect any problems from it.

So, all is fine here, and there really isn't any news to speak of. I am going to go now, and might write again later if there is anything interesting--haha. Take care all.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

I hope you have a great day! I know you don't pay attention to birthdays any longer, but wanted to let you know we are thinking of you! Here is a little blast from the past:


I think I was trying out the digital camera. This was in the motel in San Antonio, when we were there for Brian's graduation from Air Force Basic Training. What a time, eh?

Well, despite the threat of hurricane/tropical storm Ernesto, it is lovely outside. It was yesterday too. Yesterday is the first afternoon in ages that we had nice blue skies into the late afternoon (and later) and no thunderstorms. What a nice change! It sounds like the path that Ernesto will take is still uncertain, which is to be expected, as these things don't like to do the expected, do they? It does look like, as expected, the storm lost a good bit of its oomph going over Cuba, which is good for us. Sadly, it might regain some power going over the gulf, of course. The water is so warm --- in the 80's. I have never been clear as to if that is the temperature of the water or the air over the water. In any case, it doesn't look like we will be hit hard in any way, which is nice.

Joel and the guys were over yesterday, to do some trimming. In view of the news of the hurricane, they trimmed things back further than usual. I would guess that if we were to get really high winds, this will help protect the bushes, etc. The palm trees had already been done recently, and so were already in good shape. It is nice not to have to worry about all this ourselves.

I am not sure if the base is going to go ahead and close down, playing it safe, or not. I guess I won't be surprised either way.

Well, not much else new to write about, and I have some things to do in advance of the arrival of tropical storm Ernesto (who we will all hope remains a tropical storm and foregoes becoming a hurricane again!). Take care and I will keep you all posted.

And, once again, Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Interesting Times

I guess I haven't paid enough attention to the news. Until last night, I thought that the launch was still scheduled for this afternoon. Not so. For some reason, which I have not heard, it was moved to Tuesday. Although they did say last night, that the shuttle had been thoroughly checked already, there was no damage to it from that lightning strike, and it could have gone off on Sunday as originally planned. Oh well. Now, of course, there is the question of just what Ernesto is doing and where he is going to go. Last night on the news they said that if the shuttle wasn't launched on Tuesday, they were considering a rollback--taking it back to the Assembly Building. The shuttle while on the launching pad can withstand hurricane strength winds, but not a direct hit, I believe they said?

I saw on the little crawling news dealie, during a hurricane press conference with the governor, that they are scrubbing Tuesday's launch, and are still deciding if they are going to move the shuttle or not. I guess they will wait till there is a bit more info, but they can't wait too long, as it takes a good while to get the shuttle moved, and it is very vulnerable while sitting on the transporter.

It looks like the projected path of Ernesto changes constantly, and of course, all the models are projecting different paths. The path shown on the news conference was probably the one least favorable (for the state). It showed Ernesto entering Florida near the southern tip, traveling up through a good bit of the state, and returning to the Atlantic somewhere north of us. Most of the ones I could find online showed Ernesto hitting near the Miami area, doing a short course on land, then heading to the Atlantic south of us. Time will tell. There is still a chance that it will weaken significantly while going over Cuba---an early death of the storm there would be just fine, right?

There isn't really anything new going on here. Anne continues her organizing quest, a little bit at a time. I believe she was sort of bit by the FlyLady bug, and she is putting that to good use--haha! A little bit at a time works out just fine, and doesn't tire her too much. I washed two loads of clothes from her room yesterday, and that was a good start too! I filed some more papers in the file drawer of the desk yesterday, and I am feeling more and more organized. Not that there isn't still plenty to do, but it is getting there!

The butterfly garden is growing like mad. I took a look at it yesterday, and moved some of the passion vine growth back to the arch--some of the little tendrils like to go attach themselves to some of the other plants. It looks like there are a number of buds on the passion vine again. I saw a pretty orange butterfly and one of the white peacock butterflies.

I guess it is a good thing that there isn't more to write about, eh? I will hope to at least have something interesting to write next time!

Sunday, August 27, 2006


I tried to post the other day, but the ether wasn't buying it, so there you go....

Not much going on, of course! We had some quite loud and sparkly thunderstorms yesterday afternoon. Nothing new, we have had a good thunderstorm most of the afternoons this past week. But the one yesterday was especially nice and boomy. We got 1.2 inches of rain out of it too!

Because of Friday's thunderstorm, the launch scheduled for today has been delayed till tomorrow. It seems there was a lightning strike rather close to the shuttle---from the photo on the tv, it looked like it actually hit the antenna type thing that sticks out the top of all the works, but I don't know if that is actually the case or not. In any case, they need more time to check everything out and make sure there was no damage. Sounds like a good plan to me! The weather today was forecast to include rain, so it is just as well. Tomorrow should be a better day--we hope so!

Anne has blogged, be sure to stop by and visit her blogs! We are waiting to see what Nexflix brings next. The German movie was good, rather strange. I think it was a pretty accurate portrayal of the communist mind-set, as seen in the general public. It was definitely worth having seen it.

I mentioned a book by Ben Bova I was starting to read. I ended up skimming the whole book and will not bother actually reading it. There was too much irritating stuff early on, and I didn't want to go through it all--haha. I think I actually got most all of the highlights, and have now moved on to Agatha Christie's The Patriotic Murders, which I have almost finished now.

I talked to Christine the other day. They are doing well. Brian is back to days--not sure what the deal was with some shift work, just a temporary thing, it sounds like. Well, I just lost the connection to blogger, so I will save this and try to get it all going again and get it posted. Take care all and more later.

Friday, August 25, 2006

This Funny Wet Stuff Fell Out of the Sky

Yep, we have had rain! We had a skimpy half inch on Wednesday, and I carefully emptied the rain gauge that evening. A good thing! Anne and I left the house to run errands yesterday afternoon---accompanied by the sounds of thunder. It was far enough off, not a worry. By the time we came out of the BX, it was pouring down rain. We stopped at the food court and waited for the worst of it to pass. I dashed through moderate rain to get the car, and picked up Anne. We had more thunder on the way home, and some really nice lightning too. Fortunately, there was a break in the rain when we got home--just a sprinkle left. This gave me a chance to look at the rain gauge--which was totally full---a bit over the 3 inch mark. I dumped it out and left it to collect more. I think there was another half inch in when I put the garbage out later. That is the biggest rainfall we have had in ages. The official rainfall for the day was 0.56 inches---just goes to show how variable and scattered it all is.

Well, it would be nice if I had something interesting or exciting to tell you about. Unfortunately that isn't the case. Oh, there are the two tropical depressions in the Atlantic. It doesn't look like either of them are going to bother us any. I guess it is too early to tell if rain from either of them will interfere with the launch scheduled for Sunday. Debby is doing what I love to see tropical depressions/storms/hurricanes do--head up into the Atlantic and fizzle. Hurrah! I hope she stays on course!

I guess Pluto is in the news, having been demoted from planet status and designated a dwarf planet. Which in my book still makes it a planet. There are many subclassifications for suns, right? I am guessing that the powers that be didn't want to have to include Ceres, UB-313, and Charon as planets. Go figure. I guess school kids will be happy not to have 12 planet names to remember, instead of the former 9?

On the reading front, I have finished Eon by Greg Bear, and have tentatively started Moonwars by Ben Bova. I am just barely into it and might stop and read something else, only because it is the second book in a series. I hate to start in the middle, if you know what I mean? So, we will see.

Well, I think I will go remove wall paper border backing, or sort some things. Always something to do at Casa Walters, eh? Take care all and have a good day, and Kathleen--we are sending good thoughts your way.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

If It's Wednesday, It Must Be.....

Jon's birthday! Happy Birthday, Jon! I hope it's a good one, and that you have many more!

So, if you have checked out the Brain Blog, you know that late next month we will head for Jacksonville for Anne's appointments at the Mayo Clinic there. I always sort of thought that kind of thing was a big deal, but I guess not. In a really weird twist of fate, there was an envelope on the table of semi-junkmail appearance, from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. What could it be? I open it to find a nice letter inviting Mike to make an appointment, if he has any medical problems he would like answered! No referrals are necessary, unless his insurance requires it. Summer-time is usually a slack time for the clinic, and appointments are easy to obtain! Please feel free to call this phone number, and give this code, and we will be happy to make an appointment for you. Wow. It does rather make a trip to the Mayo Clinic seem much less like a Big Deal. Which is good, in some ways--haha! But seriously, we hope that their "group of doctors working together as a team" will be able to figure out just what is going on with Anne, and will come up with a cure for her. I think that one of the best parts of it all is the time taken and thoroughness of it all. Relief all around, thank you!

The local media is getting excited--most of the local population too?--about the upcoming shuttle launch, scheduled for this coming Sunday! Hurrah! I imagine we will repeat our procedures from the last launch, as they worked out so well! We can watch the preliminary footage on the NASA channel, watch the launch, then rush outside to see the shuttle live. It is so cool to be able to do that! It would be really neat to see it all close up and personal, at Cape Canaveral viewing spots, etc, but this works out well and avoids the crowds and traffic, so it is a good compromise.

Well, there isn't much else to report, so I will go for now. Take care, all, and once again--Happy Birthday, Jon! And Kathleen, good luck on Friday.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Feast or Famine, Sort of...

That is what it seems like sometimes. Sometimes there is plenty to blog about and sometimes not. I guess that is life in general, eh?

We finally had some rain yesterday. It didn't stick around long, which was nice--sunny day before, rain, sunny day after. I was really surprised to check the rain gauge yesterday evening and find that there was 8/10 inch of rain in it. It didn't seem like it had rained that much. Our weather continues really nice, with highs generally in the 87-90 degree range. Sure can't complain about that!

Mike counted at least 6 of the white peacock butterflies in the garden on Saturday, and I was out later that day and saw 2 of them, and one of the tiny skipper butterflies. I also saw a huge grasshopper on the passion vine. Not sure if I should have tried to scare him away or not--I left him in peace, since I wasn't sure.

I continue to get bits and pieces of sorting done. Slow but steady, right? Sometimes I wouldn't mind being able to twitch my nose and get it all done. I guess that would take a lot of the fun out of life in general though, wouldn't it? No challenges.

We are seeing the swans in the lakes again, now and then. They are so pretty. There is some bird that likes to sit at the top of our chimney and sing--- a very strange sounding bird. I haven't figured out what it might be. It is seasonal though--it definitely is not here all year round.

I guess I am about out of news after all. I will go ahead and close and write more another time. I am enjoying all the other blogs--keep up the good work!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Howdy, Y'all!

Here we are, another week, another day, and not much new at all. Oh well, it's like that sometimes, eh?

We are back to more normal temps for our area. We hit 90 degrees yesterday, and the weather was nice. It truly doesn't feel nearly as hot here as it is, nor as hot as it used to feel in the summer in Beavercreek. I know we had high humidity there, but we have the same thing here too. Maybe it was just even higher there? No rain yesterday, even though they were saying we might get some. That dry air continues to "eat up" the incoming moist air, and kills the chance of rain. Mike, I am sure it doesn't really eat up the moisture, or does it? I guess it sort of dilutes it? Please feel free to comment and explain!!!!

Christine has blogged, so go check it out! I won't spill any of the beans. The Walters' have blogged too!!! We really have hit the jackpot today, with family blogging. Jo has blogged with lovely photos of yarn she has spun, and it is really gorgeous!

I saw an interesting video yesterday, on conspiracy theories. It was enough to make one's head spin around and around. Absolutely unbelievable stuff. I am not putting in a link only because I don't feel like going and getting it--and shoving it in here. If anyone wants, I will send it to you.

I made a tiny bit of progress in the sun room yesterday! Any progress is good, right? One day it all shall be done--don't hold your breath though--it will take a while--haha. When I finish this I will go do some more--do you think I am getting over my procrastination problems?

Sunday night Anne and I watched her latest Netflix offerings. Two episodes of Hetty Wainthrop Investigates. I won't spoil Anne's review (which I am sure she will write soon!) but will say I enjoyed it. So fun to see Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings, LOST), as a very young man. I had remembered he was in them---I think Mom reminded me, as we had seen some episodes before--when visiting in CA??????

Well, enough for now--oh, I am taking a spin over to science fiction again, am currently reading Legacy by Greg Bear. I had a chance to go see him at a book signing in OH and didn't go--conflict with the day/time? I wish I could have gone. Oh well........

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Don't Faint, I'm Back Again!

Hi All----Well, we hit 96 degrees again yesterday. We weren't as close to the record, as the old record high for the day was 98. Amazing. We were just as warm as Orlando, which doesn't seem to happen too often in the summertime. No rain yet, but there is to be a better chance today. The weather reporters keep showing this huge mass of dry air, that is "protecting" us from rain -- but it also seems to wreck havoc on tropical storms, so that is okay--haha.

We had our weekly dinner out and enjoyed it very much. Later in the evening we made a trip to the zoo. In July and August, on Saturday only, they are open in the evening till 9 p.m. It was still pretty warm, but not as bad as it would have been earlier in the day. We had a nice time. They had some animals out for petting and such--there was a cute pony that Anne fell for, a huge parrot (??--it was a parrot, is that right, Mike?), a couple of snakes, and later we saw an iguana. They had face painting for kids, and displays out too--emu eggs, and skulls of various critters, etc. It was interesting, in any case.

There isn't much else going on, but I thought I would go ahead and give a little update--haha. I think my Uncle Harold and Aunt Jolene are at my folks by now for a visit, and I hope they are all having a good time!

Take care all, and more next time!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I'm Back?

I guess it has been a while, hasn't it? I have been puttering, procrastinating, sorting things and reading. I actually did a little bit of knitting--I should go post on the other blog! Life seems to be dribbling along, at high speed. Very contradictary, isn't it?

Mike got me a bookstore gift card for our anniversary--always a greatly appreciated gift! So far I have bought two hardcover books and a paperback,and I still have some money left on the card. Hurrah! I am almost done with the third book. They were all good, as usual! The one I am reading now is the latest Kathy Reich book. The one before that is the newest Monica Ferris book. She writes mysteries that have to do with crafts--knitting, needlepoint, etc, etc. The paperback was by an author new to me, Susan McBride, and it was good too. My other reading has all consisted of reading books that are on my shelves, that I hadn't read yet, or re-reading some of the ones I especially love and was ready to re-read!

Anne continues much as usual. She definitely doesn't seem to be getting any better, but is mostly holding her own. We are still trying to work out a visit with another infectious diseases doc for a second opinion. I think that is just about sorted out and we should have an appt set up soon.

Not much news from Brian and Christine. I am sure they are keeping really busy.

Oh, our big weather news! We actually got up to 96 yesterday!!!!! It sure didn't feel like it though. Anne and I were out running errands in the afternoon, and had no idea that it was so hot outside. Melbourne almost hit the record high for the day, which was 97. It is to be pretty warm again today. No rain in a good while now, but it doesn't look like the lakes' water levels are going down again yet.

All the central Florida kids are back in school. The last county to start back started on Thursday. Brevard County (our county) started back on Wednesday. Most of the other counties started the week before. They start early here, but they get out early in May, so I guess it works out.

The butterfly garden is doing well, with plenty of flowers and butterflies, too!

Well, I am out of news, so will go rather than blither on. Take care all and best wishes to you all!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Merrily We Roll Along...

Sort of? As mentioned briefly in the Brain Blog, Anne had her echo yesterday. No info from the tech, as is usual. If not sooner, we will get the results when she sees Dr. Venero on the 18th.

I got some more sorting done yesterday, and fortunately came across paperwork from Verizon--the greedy pigs! We had to start a new contract in OH in April or May, whenever it was that we added a phone for Mike, before he came down here to Florida. Once we were all permanently here, Mike changed the phone numbers to Florida numbers. I hadn't really thought about it at the time, but they did a new two year contract--again!---at that time. I was going to cancel the service later this month, as we can save a lot of money now by doing the prepaid cell phone deal. I am so glad I came across that letter yesterday, as we would have been stuck with a $175 penalty for canceling early. What a rip-off. Anyway, I will definitely be canceling it in September--after that pesky contract expires!

An interesting occurrence earlier this week and it is the second time this has happened in the two years (almost) that we have lived here. Some woman stopped by to ask if we knew the name of the paint color on our house. She loves the color. The same thing happened last year. This time, I was able to help, as I still had the can with the "code" or "color recipe" on it right there near the front of the garage. I personally like some of the other yellows in the area better, but I am glad our yellow is popular--haha!

The butterfly garden continues the thrive. The passion vine has lots of new buds on it, and perhaps more of them will get to open this time? We are not yet sure of the times and seasons for caterpillars. Does it go on off and on all year, or only at certain times? I am sure climate probably has an effect. I guess we will learn with time.

Time to go, plenty to do and I have to get at it. Take care all and best wishes to you all.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Good Morning!

Well, except it is afternoon already. Where has the time gone? I have almost finished a load of laundry, thank goodness, because so much of the rest of the morning went to email and doing some research online. I love the internet. It doesn't always help as much as I would like, and sometimes it is like looking for that needle in the haystack, trying to find what I want, but it sure beats hours in a library, usually with worse results!

We had a massive thunderstorm last night. This was later in the evening. I think I mentioned in my last post that we had rain right after Mike got home. Which we did. I finished on the computer and looked outside, to find that the sun was shining once again, etc. The weather is nothing if not variable! Later came the thunderstorm. It was a very active one---on the 11 o'clock news they said our area had over 5000 lightning strikes during the storm. I can well believe it. Not all of them were close enough to hear the thunder, but there was a lot of "light" visible out the sun room windows. I checked the gauge this morning and found only 3/10 inch of rain in it. Our storm was more flash and fury than water, I guess! I found a bird's nest in the front yard, I guess it got blown out of a tree? Nothing inside it, thank goodness.

Not much else going on. We are keeping busy with all the usual things. My current nighttime reading is Agatha Christie. I was inspired to go find her on the bookshelves, after seeing the newest dramatization of her Murder in the Vicarage. I was sure that they had really changed the story a lot, but it had been so long since I had read it...... Yep, they did change it a lot, but it was okay, and I am getting used to the new Miss Marple, although I still think that Joan Hickman was the perfect Miss Marple and is hard to beat.

Anyway, the book I read it from is one I got at the bookstore ages ago on special price, it has 5 books all in one. I am currently reading the second book, which is Dead Man's Folly with Hercule Poirot. It is fun to go back and re-read books!

Well, I had best go for now, take care all and more later.....we will keep you all in our thoughts!