Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Birthday to me

So I had a big one this year, and I survived. It was worth it though, I got some good gifts. Sarah gave me an unusual mug which she made herself - it has kitty cats of all sizes on it, I love it of course. Also some "other items" in the mug, which I will only "mention", and not comment on. I was rather shocked to receive such a gift, but it's coming from Sarah, and I have learned over the years that my Sarah is an unusually thoughtful person.

I am the proud owner of an 80 gig iPod now. I haven't even connected it to a PC yet, so it is still a virgin iPod. I haven't decided what to name it yet, or what I want to do exactly with it. My little 4 gig nano who is nearly max'd out, I just love it and I will keep near and dear to run with me and carry to the gym. My running playlist is only like 160 songs though, and the nano has about 750 songs total. I sync it to two playlists. I think I'll build a new playlist that is a merged version of the other two, and sync the 80 gig to the big new playlist. Perhaps I'll change Nano to be just my absolute most favorite songs in the whole world, and use the 80 gig for everything I love and everything I like.

Another gift I got was a food processor. It looks pretty capable but I haven't been able to get it to work at all. A food processor should not be rocket science and it seems pretty simplistic, so I've almost decided to pack it up and return it for another one. Maybe the thing has a short, or maybe I'm just too impatient to read the owner's manual thoroughly enough. It's supposed to save me time, not make me read a 600 page owner's guide.

Erin wants to learn guitar, electric guitar specifically. I taught her to play C and Am (two easy chords) over the weekend. She is learning on Sarah's old silver guitar. Erin has been loving it lately, and playing it "dead", I still haven't found a cable and maybe that's because the cable went with the other amp when it was loaned out (or given away...whichever). I suppose I'll have to make a trip to the music store and buy a cable and some resin for those crappy bows. Erin thinks the silver guitar is cool, as did Sarah when she first got it. She is talking about wanting to take lessons so if she still wants lessons in another month or two, I'll get her lined up with somebody. She would be happier not learning anything from me, I'm sure!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving, moon, oak leaves, etc.

A miscellaneous mish-mash of stuff here. Today is Thanksgiving, a 4-day holiday, I am thankful for. The old man and I ran the Russell Turkey Trot this morning. It's sort of an untimed free-for-all type race, you can run or walk, 5K or 10K or whatever, entry fee is food. I'm guessing 50 people showed up. I intended to run 10K but the wind got the best of me. It was warm and I didn't wear a hat or anything, after the first two miles, I had a killer headache from the wind and decided to just do the 5K. It was a lovely route though, all along the river, lots of pretty view (other than the sewage treatment facility in Worthington..or maybe that was Russell...I'm not really sure where Russell ends and Worthington begins).

I was driving south on 23 tonight (back from South Portsmouth) and the moon was lovely. There were patchy clouds but this thick bank of clouds which finally covered the moon completely. Here's what doesn't make much sense to me. If I'm on the Ohio side of the river, the highway that follows the river is 52 East/West. If I'm on the KY side of the river, it's called 23 North/South. It must be the overall direction the highway goes from start point to end point, but when I'm driving from South Portsmouth to Flatwoods, I feel more like I'm heading East than I'm heading South. I guess it's good I have a road to follow so I don't get lost.

About oak leaves, OK, I was taking a walk Friday and the oak leaves were raining down all around me. It must have been oak leaf drop day. Jerry's dad has an oak tree in his yard that has the most gigantic oak leaves I've ever seen in my life - like 15 to 18 inches long. He had a book on trees and we were comparing to pictures and descriptions in the book. We think we have the right acorns from that tree (but it's hard to say because there are so many oak trees there together), but we think it's a black oak with unusually large leaves.

Not much else to blog about. I have no pictures to post right now. Tomorrow, I'm cooking a turkey, I promised Someone I'd bake him a pecan pie, and maybe Sarah and I will go ride horses. I have a bit of a headcold so I'm not sure I want to be out all day. I don't want to go shopping but I realized today that Emily needs special panties to wear with her Arabian costume Sunday - I have no choice but to shop at least by Saturday. Fortunately, it doesn't look like they've planned a dress rehearsal. I hate shopping this time of the year. Emily is dancing at the Festival of Trees Sunday, so we'll be attending Sunday (to look at the beautiful trees and the beautiful dancers). The Arabian is the dance from the Nutcracker, which is one of my most favorite Tchaikovsky pieces of music. Hmmm...maybe I should buy an oboe some day.

Monday, November 5, 2007


I meant to post a picture of our jackolanterns, so I'm just now getting around to it. Sorry for the poor quality, the picture was taken with my cell phone. The tall skinny one is Erin's, the little round one is Emily's.
The kids don't have school tomorrow since it's election day and the people vote in the school. They are already planning a day of what - nothing - stay up late, sleep until noon, invite friends over to play. Actually, the friends over might not work out because some parents don't let their kids hang out where there are no adults. The only thing I dread is the mess - it's for sure that when the kids are home alone, the house is going to get trashed (worse than it already is). Oh well, I'll clean it up one of these days - like when they move out.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Day in Morehead

A lovely day today, and I had such fun! Erin and Emily attended a music festival in Morehead - they played in a trio with a pal, Brittany. Erin and Brittany played their violas and Emily played her ratty cello....I really need to find her a decent cello. I listened to them play and I thought they sounded...well...just like they always sound - rather painfully out of tune. They were playing the hell out of those instruments, let me tell you. There was only one judge, an older man, nicely dressed in a suit. Apparently, he heard something I didn't because he rated them a 2, which pleasantly suprised me. Even so, I'm proud that my girls went the extra mile and worked to prepare for the event.

I called Sarah when I got into town and she reprimanded me for calling her at the unGodly hour of 8:50 AM. She said she couldn't possibly roll out in time to hear her sisters perform. The performance lasted all of 1 minute max, so maybe the extra ZZZZ's were worth more to her. After they were finished, I escorted the 3 girls and two 6th grade boys as well, to Wendy's for lunch. It was quite an experience for me to observe these boys. I am not so familiar with boys, and I found one (Max) quite entertaining and the other (Trevor) just downright sweet. Still, boys will be boys, and I'm glad I have girls to deal with. Sarah met us at Wendy's for lunch.

Next up, we trekked back to the music hall just in time to hear the drum corps practicing out front. Morehead has one of the finest drumline's in the country. They are totally awesome, even when practicing. I can't even imagine how awesome they must be when they are actually performing. I stood there just spellbound watching. It makes me want to go ahead and get a drum set (which would be nothing like these talented young men and women were doing). Even so, I've often thought about buying drums - a little something to annoy Jerry and the neighbors. If I had lots of money, I'd buy drums, a french horn, a trumpet, a bass, and a Clavinova. I'll be a jack of all trades, a master of none.

The girls were preparing to board the bus and Sarah took me back to her dorm to see the pottery pieces she has made this semester. Such a talented girl! I totally sucked at ceramics, I attempted a class once, thinking it'd be an easy humanities elective. I have no talent for it whatsoever. The pottery wheel definitely humiliated me. Next, we drove out to her friends' farm so I could sort of meet Omie and Mary. I also saw Rain, but none of these equines were wanting to be messed with. They walked off when we got near. The dogs and people were much more friendly out there.

Next, we looked at property that might be for sale. I told Sarah that even though both pieces of property would suffice for me, the location was objectionable. Either piece of land was really not as close to Flatwoods as I would want. The one piece does border Daniel Boone National Forest. It's on a ridge and there's a huge pasture, that would be perfect for an orchard. I think I need to be looking in Greenup, Carter, or Boyd counties...maybe I'd consider Lewis county. I was thinking no more than 45 minutes away. These properties were more like 75 to 85 minutes away. Still, the valley property is almost exactly what I thought I was wanting. Some open pasture surrounded by woods, and a nice creek. The ridge has no pond or creek...but then flooding shouldn't be an issue either.

Sarah showed me her business plan. All I can say is, it looks very well thought out but a bit optimistic to me. But then, I'm mostly a pessimist, especially when it comes to risking huge sums of money. And, maybe my sweet Sarah is not afraid to plunge into 250 G's of debt, but I just couldn't! Gee, when I go to the races, I have to be pretty wasted to even bet $4 on a race! She must have gotten the risk gene from her Dad, because she sure didn't get that from me! We had an "interesting" long talk today. I promised to visit her in Ireland next spring. I am going to do my best to make that work out. I wonder if I can hire a nanny for a week or two? Next year, I get another 5 days of vacation thanks to enduring 25 years of service with the company, and unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to get all my vacation in this year. Looks like I'll be carrying over at least 5 days to next year. I will have lots of vacation next year.