Thursday, July 30, 2009


We are home and safe, the trip went well despite a couple set-backs. It could have been MUCH worse. And it's Thursday and the mail has run and still no ticket from Ulcer Cop. I don't expect one now, just updating.

I have asked the kids what their favorite part of the trip was, Matt's was sitting in the water at the Ocoee River. Jake's was the river as well, Ben liked the aquarium. That child LOVES a turtle and he sure got his fill yesterday, plus, they had penguins. Chandler hated the whole thing so much, she is considering putting herself up for adoption in hopes of getting a better family.

I liked the mountains and of course playing in the river. I have always liked the aquarium and I am glad we stopped in. It was fun camping with our friends, but we were so scattered out in the campground that it lost the fun 'hanging out' feel that running back and forth between campers has. We did not sit around at night and chat or eat meals together, just the taco salad the first night and I was still too full to eat then.

Mostly, I am glad to be home, glad the critters were fine without us, glad the house is still standing and all our stuff is still inside. I am ready to be home for a while.

Here is the link to the trip log and pics:

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Day Before

Up early to, pack.
And test my camera!
Bokeh, bokeh!

The mythical and elusive FULL PAYCHECK.
I will never take base pay for granted again.

Green Day
So, I woke up with Matt-not on purpose but because he was so loud.
I decided to get some shots of the sunrise, but every time I do this, I forget that the sun rises behind a wall of pine trees and to see it before it's been up for half an hour requires putting on shoes and heading down the road a ways. So, I took pictures of other things, including my bed lights and the first full paycheck since January.
I have some vague plans to get packed today and maybe run a couple errands. Ben in particular has suffered a recent growth spurt and needs some clothes that fit. I would like a pair of shoes that magically cure the plantar fasciitis I have developed this year. I also, for the record, want a pony.
The weather for the trip is looking like sheer crap-t-storms daily after only 2 days of rain all month so far. I hope it will not affect the trip too much, I don't mind camping in the rain, but I don't like hiking to the bathhouse at 2 a.m. in the rain.
Link to the website blog about our trip! I can create pages offline and upload when I have a connection, it's easier to do en route than blogger.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Last Day

It's a Thursday.
Future source of some photo frames...

My pretty transmission.

Another barn

I have new teas.

And, she's gone, I miss her.

Play Day

Lunch And Play Day

The Moms!

The Talent!

The Kids!

One of many gatherings of friends, we are truly blessed.


We went to Cullman and stopped in at the German store to look at the clocks and the nutcrackers.
Then we went next door to the bakery and got a box of various goodies for later. : )

Then it was across the road and over to Bob's for fresh tea making supplies and some frozen hot chocolate! Jacki got a ginger ale for her tummy.
Our last stop was at Southern Accents where I looked for handles and took lots of pictures of the cool stuff they have salvaged from old buildings, I love this place.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The weekend zipped past me and yesterday is a blur! I have not taken pictures of Jacki's visit despite stern self-reminders that I NEED to get on that.

Saturday, I got yelled at by a police officer, and since then I have been dreading the promised 'ticket in the mail'. In my defense, it was just after a wreck and there was no one directing traffic. I moved the van out of the way of an on-coming truck and horse trailer that was forced into my lane because the animal control truck had just parked in her lane. I pulled onto the side of the road, following the 2 trucks in front of me that had just skirted the wreck via the area between the road and the ditch. In doing so, I attracted the attention of the officer who signaled for me to stop-from across the road and he was nearly level with the back door-Matt saw him, I never would have. He was wearing a white shirt, black pants and sunglasses, I thought he was EMT. I stopped, he disappeared, a fire truck came in and parked, I pulled on past to get out of the way, thinking that was why he wanted me to stop-to accommodate the fire truck and he got another guy to stop me, he came down and got my license number and yelled I had just rolled though his crime scene, I would get a UTC within the week. He never let me say a single word, just turned and left.

So, I did totally disobey an officer-albeit not on purpose and his signals and intent were VERY unclear. And I followed people in trucks around a wreck, which looking back on was not bright. But, if I stayed on the road, the cattle truck would have hit me. So, I guess a ticket is cheaper in the long run than a wrecked vehicle! And I imagine he would have yelled at me for sitting there and getting myself hit, so I could not have avoided it either way-he was very stressed about the wreck and it was a bad one. Plus, it's Tuesday and the ticket is not here yet...maybe he will relent, it was pretty minor in light of the rest of his day.

Needless to say, that colored Saturday evening and Sunday and yesterday-though yesterday I got the good news that the transmission is not going out, it was an oil leak from the oil filter not being seated correctly. Now, I have a deep disrespect for a certain family member who told me flat out that the transmission was too far gone to fix, it had to be replaced. And it was the OIL leaking...and this man has a shop on 6th Ave in Decatur, so just be aware. My beloved mechanic says maybe he likes women so much he just tries to screw them any way possible. I say, EW.

Today, we are going to Cullman to shop for goodies for Jacki's kids. And to get tea, my stomach is NOT a happy place at the moment. I blame the spicy burritos last night on top of the ulcer the Arab cop gave me.

I vow to take more pictures!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 2

Day Two

We went for lunch at Rumor's in Cullman

I had the turkey and provolone with cranberry honey mustard sauce and a bag of sea salt and vinegar chips!

Matt and Jacki checked e-mails...

Afterward, we drove on down to the Mulberry Fork to check out tubing conditions for later this summer. I found them to be perfect! Fast water, not too deep and very clear.

This is the point where we would get out of the river.

The arrow shows the put-in place, about 2 miles upstream. There is parking and easy river access at both points.

The last thing we did was head to the Shrine for a little while.


Last night, we went to the airport to pick up our long-time friend, Jacki. She flew in from the Cayman Islands to stay a week in July. That's love.

We are off today to have lunch and sip tea and do other fru-fru things that good southern women engage in. I am pretty sure I can fake it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Within One Mile

Jake and I drove 'around the block' today and got these within a mile of the house, on the way back from the video store.


Airplane hangar

The airport.


When I was a kid, I lived with my Daddy after the divorce and he would say, "Did you sweep the flurr?" He was capable of saying 'floor', but chore-related, it was flurr. Daddy has a dual vocabulary for many things. He is actually quite smart, he has a degree in theology and one in entomology. Bugs don't have souls.
But that is not my point, my point is, I am redoing the kitchen floor and inside my head, it is the kitchen flurr. Here are the before shots:

And here are the 'between' shots:

There is a baseboard missing, it was easier to paint with it gone.

The plan now is to seal the base layer and then have friends over to paint designs on the floor and seal those. I can't decide between a big 'quilt' and individual patterns or a tree and everyone add leaves and birds and bugs to a branch or just let everyone paint whatever they want anywhere they want. Like a big mosaic/mural. That would be best, but I can't get everyone I know in the kitchen at once to paint in tandem, it would be very chaotic and things would be stepped in and on. So maybe the squares would be easier. I would be able to seal them off as they are finished.

It's a work in progress, the only kind I seem to have. : )