Saturday, December 31, 2005

 Posted by Picasa

Beach, remodel and Christmas pictures

Posted by Picasa I have been playing around with Picasa. They keep making it easier. No resizing, optimizing, or ftp ing to deal with.

This is Fort Mantanzes, south of St.Augustine. (Better pictures at http://www.nps.gov/foma/)
Maddy, my adorable niece, sitting in my lap, bundled in her life jacket, as we traveled on the intercoastal, looked up into my face and asked in a worried, earnest tone, " Is that where the troll lives?"

Pre K can be a confusing place. Was that Billy Goat story fact or fiction?
The Landreths on Rattlesnake Island. Aren't you glad I got a camera with a zoom for Christmas. Thanks kids. Posted by Picasa
The traditional, we have eaten way too much, must go for a walk if we are to continue breathing, Christmas Day walk in lovely Florahome. Posted by Picasa
New Bathroom . Carl still has to put up crown molding and the closet door but it was functional before everybody arrived for ChristmasPosted by Picasa We about did ourselves in making that happen though. I learned more about painting. Dark colors make me crazy. It dripped and got gooey and needs to be sanded and repainted in places. I am still a big fan of white.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Stock up on hurricane supplies. We’ve rented a condo for Labor Day weekend. Our family’s history of disastrous vacations guarantees an imminent strike on the East Coast of Florida. Oh please …oh please… vacation gods…let us play.

School has resumed and the madness is escalating at work as our department struggles to provide just adequate support for the technology that we have. If only we could soar…instead of limp along. The politics in the building are always interesting too. It amazes me that some can go so far with so little …as in so little intelligence, integrity or social graces. How do they do it?

Remodel update- wood flooring is installed in our bedroom. Carl and I can almost stand upright again. The room is painted Ralph Lauren’s Raffia – nice color, thank you very much K&B. Carl wants me to repaint the %@*! hall Raffia now. I told him the weight of another coat would probably bring the house down. That would be the fourth coat. But he’s right. It would look better. So maybe. Next weekend we finish the floors in the hall, install doors, baseboards and crown molding…if we last that long.

G’ma update- she’s at home with my brother. She was doing really well until she fell again. She didn’t break anything but bruised her ribs and I think it has injured her emotionally even more than the first fall. She really did not want to believe that she couldn’t be left alone again to resume her normal life and I think it made her realize that it’s not going to happen. My brother deserves the big reward for taking such good care of her. It ain’t easy- she’s never been easy.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

happy to be

The lost month

It’s the end of July and I have nothing to show for it…no incredible tan, no “rested” looks, no lighter circles under my eyes, no new epic novels read. I do feel lucky though to still have a mother. It was doubtful that I would. Mom fell and broke her hip on July 2. She’s 83. Her surgery on July 3 went well and she was up and walking on day two. Unfortunately by day three she started developing other problems...stemming from a C-dif (clostridium difficile) infection. Did you know that over 80 % of elderly people who get this retched infection die from it. Me neither- until I started reading. I wish I hadn’t started reading because learning about infections in hospitals isn’t comforting. Stay ignorant if you can.

Our family converged on Birmingham to rotate shifts in the hospital so that Mom wouldn’t be alone. By Saturday she was recovering and was headed to rehab on Monday. I drove back to Florida on Saturday to avoid being caught in the rains predicted from Hurricane Whatever. I spoke with Mom on Sunday and she was worried that she didn’t have make-up and a hair dryer for her move down the hall. She sounded excited- like a young girl getting ready for camp. On Sunday night her sodium levels started dropping and by Monday she was not able to stay awake long enough to finish a sentence or chew a bite of food. Her heartbeat was erratic. My sister Cherie and I drove back to Birmingham on Tuesday night. We spent most of the week wringing our hands and trying to understand the treatments that a team of doctors kept changing. By the end of the week a critical care specialist was consulted. She was a godsend. A temporary feeding tube was inserted and within 24 hours Mom was showing signs of improvement. She has had some up and downs but was able to move to the rehab wing and is scheduled for release on Tuesday. She sounds stronger each day but hasn’t asked about makeup and hair dryers yet. It’s taken its toll.

Now tough decisions have to be made. Mom will need someone with her all the time. She’s going home with my sister, Carol, for two weeks but after that we’ve got to have a plan in place. While I watched Mom sleep endless hours I reminisced and prayed. Things cannot go back to the way they were. No more driving Mom. We all knew that you shouldn’t anyway but we didn’t want to take that away from you. No more staying alone. No more life as you have known it. But the good news is your children and grandchildren will do everything in their power to help you. Wish everyone was so fortunate.

There has been some good to come out of this month of crisis. I was able to spend more time with Katie and Barrett. And my sisters and brother… And my friends from Alabama.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Summertime and the living is busy

Each summer I think I’ll have plenty of time to do the things I never have time to do. But I never do- this expectation must be left over from my days in the classroom. I’m working four, ten hour days each week and we’re remodeling – the summer is going by in a whirlwind. We’ve spent a week with Katie and Barrett in their new house in Birmingham, went to Cedar Key for my birthday celebration weekend, (Thank you kind husband…that was a way sweet surprise) and I spent a weekend in Biloxi with my girlfriends from Alabama.

The weekend with the Alabama girlfriends was a lot of fun. The agenda consisted of nonstop catching up, eating, shopping and gambling. The camaraderie, food, and shopping were wonderful. The gambling was a bust. I have a very expensive plastic glass to show for my efforts (the word stupidity may be substituted for efforts here). I think I laugh more in those three days than I do for the entire rest of the year and I’m not really a somber person. I have a lot of fun with my family and other friends but there is a unique blend of personalities in this group of high school friends. Maybe it’s because we survived our teenage years together. If we met now I doubt we would forge lasting bonds because we actually don’t have a lot in common. We can’t speak of politics…yes I fear most are…gasp…republicans- but there is a connection with these folks that is special. I miss not seeing more of them. Beth, our world traveler in the group, hosted the gathering at her summer place. She’s generous, beautiful, humorous, and intelligent- and she always makes us feel welcome. Each person brings something special to the group. Maybe one day I’ll write about us…the same sweet girls all over again… except without the cancerous ending please.

Katie’s and Barrett’s new place is great. It’s in an older hilly, green, hydrangea covered, neighborhood. The homes are brick split levels built in the sixties. K & B are busy painting and cleaning and remodeling. Carl built a wall in their basement for them while we were there. They plan to use the space for a music room. (insert cheering sounds here-they are both gifted musicians but have a hard time finding time to play) I love the view from the back of their place-it overlooks a ravine covered in kudzu. We enjoyed a concert at the Botanical Gardens too but mostly we enjoyed just getting to spend time with K&B. They are coming here for a few days next week (more cheering)

Jesse and Leaa are also busy remodeling their new place. It’s a beautiful historic home that needed a little TLC. They are painting, retiling a bathroom, carpeting one bedroom, landscaping and putting up a picket fence. I think they may be able to move in another week or so. I know they are excited about that…this has been a tough time for them but they are resilient, smart, hardworking kids. In addition to Leaa’s pregnancy and miscarriage they’ve had to deal with their house selling and then the new one not closing as planned. They completed and passed their real estate class in June and Leaa is working on her teaching certification and reading endorsement requirements. ( three classes) Jesse is playing and teaching full time too. I need a nap just thinking about it. I am proud of them.

Our youngest is teaching swim lessons and life guarding this summer. I’m proud of her too. She tells us hilarious tales of three year olds terrorizing the pool. She seems to be enjoying herself. She’s brown and tired at the end of each day. She’s also taking a class online this summer. She’s growing up so fast. Some days I forget that she’s a teenager…but then she will remind me...thank heavens. Don’t want to miss a minute of her "childhood".

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Notsobrite's-Cases- 2, 3 and 4

Over the long holiday weekend Carl and I worked around the house. When we had all the fun we could stand here we went to the store and worked. He mowed while I attempted to weed. I bet passersby thought we had purchased one of those big butt women cutouts and stuck it in our flower bed. Nope. It was me. I weeded until I couldn’t breathe and every part of me was covered with sweat but the weeds remained victorious. They had been in control far too long to capitulate. I need heavy artillery to reclaim this strip of land. Hello Mr. Rototiller! Now who’s laughing hateful weeds? I can buy more junipers.

Over the long holiday weekend I painted our hallway the wrong color twice. I have tried to tell myself that it’s really not so bad but this morning after flinching upon flipping the light switch I realized it is…here goes coat number three. And it will be (insert drum roll here) a neutral sand color. The walls are currently the color of bile. That chip should have been labeled Bile not Sage. This is all HG TV’s fault and Katie’s and Leaa’s and Cara’s who make fun of my bland walls. You girls should now hold this truth to be self-evident: The Motherload likes bland.

Over the long holiday weekend Carl was off on Friday while I worked. He took the boat out alone and got sunburned. He must have really been hurting while he labored for the rest of the weekend but he didn’t complain once because he didn’t want me to know just how notsobrite he had been. The beet coloring gave you away honey. You work so hard for us even when you are hurting. Thanks.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The Notsobrite's-Case 1

Thinking of changing our last name to Notsobrite. There is just cause.
Case 1. We are remodeling again. Have been for twenty-eight years…no lie. Carl and I removed “popcorn” from the ceiling in the hallway last weekend. We moved everything out before we began and closed all the doors leading to the bedrooms, closets, and bathroom. Carl even put plastic over the stairwell to keep the dust from floating downstairs. After trying several methods we decided the messiest looked best – of course. We used palm sanders to sand the texture off. It looks like the “knock down” effect that is on most of our walls. The dust was so thick we couldn’t see and we were both covered in drywall powder immediately. I whimped out after the first hour or so and Carl finished the job. The ceiling looks one hundred percent better. However, because we are Notsobrite, we didn’t think about our clothes closets. Our house is old and the bedroom closets are too small so we have larger closets that we use in the hall. They have bifold louvered doors on them. It really shouldn’t have come as a shock to us when we opened those doors but it did. I spent part of today vacuuming out my shoes. The washing machine has worked overtime all week. Six days later we’re almost back to normal...under construction normal anyway.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

discovering the medium

Really enjoyed reading Dooce this AM. My first visit. Thanks Kate for the recommendation. Her barrette suggestion made me think about your braided ribbon barrette phase. What a cutie pie you were...and still are. But hair accessories are no longer a daily consideration. I think we should bring them back. I laughed uncontrollably over the corn dog incident. Noles has a fondness for masking tape lint rollers. An occasional tampon rounds out her diet of the forbidden but thank heavens she stopped chewing on the furniture. I gave her a bath this morning and she is a much better smelling dog. I love her nice calm personality. We’ve never had a dog that sort of minds. Lint rollers are cheap enough.

Life is Too Short

I find myself eating like a fat kid again…this from Ms. Fitness (2003). It’s amazing how fast you gain weight back when you are overeating and being a slug. No duh. Recently I have had cause to start thinking about my own mortality again. Damn lab reports. I am actually rationalizing eating whatever I want by saying to myself…life is too short to deny yourself the good stuff. I realize this is flawed thinking…but a rather intriguing concept. The Life is Too Short Diet. I think I could sell it. The Life is Too Short Life Style Handbook could follow. And then The Life is Too Short Shoppers Guide, and the LITS Vacation Planner. Imagine life without restrictions. Then we would need the LITS to Let Excessive Behaviors Destroy You series. Opportunities abound

Thursday, April 28, 2005

newbie blogging

4-29-05
It has recently come to my attention that there is an entire dimension of communications that I'm missing out on...I can't stand missing out. I've got to try it. So here goes.

Welcome to yo muthers blog .

grand pups

My children really need to start having babies. So we can stopped obsessing over these dawgs...I'm not talking to you Cara( please no dear God) ...but your older siblings.

Frannie Posted by Hello

Aggie Posted by Hello

Nollie Posted by Hello