Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Almost New Year

Well, I keep forgetting that tomorrow is the last day of the year. Time for some New Year's resolutions. I always keep these private but LET IT BE KNOWN...they are made. Tomorrow I will remember to take my new calendar to work with me. I already have numerous things to mark on it. The spring months are filling up FAST.

If my sweet Sarah is reading this blog, please go check out Emily's blog - she has a really cute post about YOU.

I have to start doing some HARD-CORE reading tomorrow night. Do or die. It's time to kick into speed reading gear because the current speed isn't going to get me there in time.

Friday, December 19, 2008

26 Candles

Happy birthday to my babies - they were 13 years old yesterday. We had a little birthday celebration. I let them select cell phones and ordered online. They should have their phones tomorrow, I think. We will give Erin's old phone to Jerry since he has the crappiest phone in the house. After the switching is done, I will be the proud owner of the crappiest phone in the house. Not fair, but I will get a new one in June...maybe.

I've got photos of Erin and Emily doing birthday rites. They had identical cakes. Dave gave me a hard time...I always buy birthday cakes from him. I walked into his shop 15 minutes before closing and told him I needed two birthday cakes. He smiled big and asked "When?" I told him, "I need them now." His smile quickly changed to frown and he said, "Mom, you didn't wait until their birthday to remember the cake, did you?" I gave a sheepish "yes" and he commanded the situation. He took a quick inventory of the showcase and produced 2 Santa Clause cakes. I said "Perfect!" and he grabbed the icing pen and wrote the girls' names on their cakes. Dave is the best. I bought 3.5 dozen cookies too to take to Molly's party and as I was walking out the door, he came carrying two packs of candles and just tossed them on top of the boxes (free of charge). He said, I bet you forgot the candles too. I smiled and thanked him. Forget the candles? You know that's the thing I've liked most about birthdays my whole life - the candles. I use to steal the birthday cake candles out of the garbage can. Let no candle go unburned!!

You might have noticed the Gingerbread house in Erin's pictures. That is Emily's creation. She loves to make gingerbread houses. Someday I will make a gingerbread house....yes, that will be a good aspiration. I want mine to have spree and smarties...and crushed peppermint on the roof.
Well, tonight I played the role of suck up. My prof is encouraging participation during "reading weeks". So far, I haven't been getting into the reading aspect of "reading week". But with the challenge posted, I made an effort. Many of the required articles I've surveyed thus far are L-O-N-G and dreary. I found the two shortest articles assigned for the first 4 weeks and picked the two shortest. I read them and wrote summaries and critiques, and submitted. I got in there first, which means I'll be ridiculed because I probably only gave him 60% of what he was looking for....still, I pioneered! I took the risk and by doing so, I did the least amount of work. Excellence through laziness! Thanks be to God.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Back from Atlanta...and other news

I attended year 1 residency and boy was that some kind of trip! I worked like a dog, not sleeping more than 2 to 3 hours a night for 5 nights. I was tired but I learned a LOT!!! I met some amazing people; people who have done remarkable things and plan to do remarkable things. I found the demographics of the class to be interesting. I think it was about 2/3 black people, and almost all women. The professor was an exceptional man. He has 2 doctorates and is finishing work on his 8th master degree. He has been accepted to start work on another degree at Cambridge. I must brag a bit. I got an 'A' in the class...it was a tough piece of work getting an 'A' in there too. Our team project blew. We wrote a good piece of work but our presentation sucked. I certainly assisted the suck part of the presentation. I hate presentations of any kind.

So now, I get until next Monday night off if I wish and then I start on another 8 week class. I have completed 7 credit hours so far. I have an 'A' average, 2 A's and an A-. My next class up is like an overview of technology, I think. Sort of like a survey of all sorts of things related to computers, networks, and electronic devices. It should be.....dreary probably. Technology is fun to play with but I hate reading about it.

Emily got braces on her teeth.

She did pretty well with them at first. I kept her doped up on Motrin for the first few days, even woke her up in the night to give her Motrin. I learned from Sarah's experience. Sarah was fine the first day and then woke up the first morning after in agony when the Motrin had worn off. The dentist thinks she will have these more than 2 years...there's work to be done.

It's Christmas almost and I haven't started shopping yet. The girls want new cell phones for their birthday so that I can do without much trouble. Emily helped me put up the tree tonight and we have lights on it. Tomorrow, we'll add garland, and wait until Erin gets home tomorrow night and let them both have at decorating the thing. It's nice to have somebody else do this chore. I like Christmas but it's a lot of work. Sarah said she might come home tomorrow. I am looking forward to seeing her. She doesn't come home much...she's a busy girl.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I have been writing all night...and here I am writing again. Obviously I just can't get enough. Tonight, I wrote about aligning IT strategy with business unit strategy and how that can be accomplished with cross-functional teams. I also wrote about....ummmm...heck....something about innovation and how you look for the cause of resistance and negotiate that way rather than try to come up with a better idea. If they resist and I insist, they will resist more. That's a whole lot like negotiating with a tween and a teen.

My tweens will very soon be teens...they are growing up SO fast. Too fast in some ways, but they are blossoming. I best not list details because they both know the qualities I admire about them. My first daughter knows what I admire about her as well. She is the only one who ever reads my blog anymore I am sure.

Tonight I was AGAIN inspired about what to do my disertation on. Each time I get inspired, it's even more exciting to me. GOD, I must be turning into a total nerd......isn't this a hazard of the profession?? I got two inspirations tonight!!! I am going to learn 2 things: MC9090 handhelds and I want to learn Share Point. If I can master these two things, I have a PLAN.........well, not right this instant. I have a vision...but no plan yet. A strategy though - YES!!!

I took my strange little cup to the office today. It makes me SO HAPPY!!! My Sarah made it for my birthday. It is nice and shiney except for it's strange little teeth and it's funny little feet. OHHHH I love that phrase...funny little feet. Double letters in each word :-) What I like most of all about it (besides the fact that it was fruition of Sarah's creative spirit) is the tail sort of handle on it. It reminds me of a rat's tail. If she had put big rat ears on it -it would be a perfect rat. I don't like rats much. They are nervous creatures. I will need to take a photo of my earless rat cup. I will have my friend Terry take the photo with his extra special newest lens. From what he says, with this new lens he could take a photo of my mug in the moonlight. Coo-L! I put treasures in my cup today - I went for a walk at lunch. I found some beautiful litte Japanese maple leaves - scarlet, and I got some twigs of yellow hickory leaves. I also found some pink ginkgo...but I can't find the tree! Everytime I walk through that section I look for it....every fall it's leaves are in the same place...but I can't find the tree. Illusive tree...with the cloak of invisibility. I picked up some persimmon seeds and beechnut seeds. So in my cup right now, I have that plus a couple of tiny oak leaves. They only have 3 fingers or prongs or whatever you call those extensions on a leaf. I have a couple of little feathers in it too. Happy stuff in my happy cup.

I am going to practice karate! I am in the mood for that. I need to review some stuff and work on my new form...I can't spell it but it sounds like this...Pin Yon Show Don. And all the Pin Yon forms are FORMAL. You have to ask for permission to try: Attention, Announce te form and say "Permission to begin!", Bow. You get permission..you attention, June Be (not spelled right), then announce the form name ...then begin. I am now an orange belt, working toward a blue I think. Oddly enough, I can see value in this stuff. I was in Findlay with Cheryl on a business trip. Long story short, one morning when Cheryl was driving she started to turn just as a pedestrian stepped into the street. She hit the brake and told the guy she was sorry - I didn't see him either, we were both watching oncoming traffic while she was trying to make a left turn across 3 lanes. Anyway, the irate guy chased us down two blocks into the parking lot and ran up behind Cheryl. I saw him first and I immediately/instinctively put down what I hand in my hands and got almost in a fighting position. I thought he might hit her - he got up within a foot behind her. I immediately said "Uh oh! Cheryl!!" She turned and the guy was immediately in her face, "What's the matter with you! You blind? Sorry isn't good enough!!!", etc. As soon as I advanced he backed off. He was very rude, but stalked off pretty quickly.

WELL...enough of that. I am practicing karate and then playing some piano, and then....going to bed. I need to write a post tomorrow and work EXTENSIVELY on my team paper. I would love to complete that by Sunday afternoon if at all possible. I'm going to Morehead tomorrow night to listen to my almost teens play in a concert. Erin on the viola and Emily on the cello...and Sarah on the fiddle somewhere not where I am.
I could have taken him...I think.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm back in

I wanted to blog last night but I couldn't remember my login ID or password, so I gave up. I remember now...but I have not much to say. Sarah called me and was full of happy news. I am glad she is happy.

I have been hard at work on work for my class. I'm pretty disappointed in at least one of my team-mates. I am hoping he pulls through for us tonight..if not, me and the other lady will have to cough up another 500 words each. Plus, I haven't run the thing through the plagiarism checker yet..that sometimes yields interesting results. The thing is due tomorrow night and I am always BUSY BUSY on Mondays.

I have another idea for my dissertation. I had thought about something to do with info systems used in the orchard industry...but Now....I'm thinking about IT's influence on reducing carbon footprint....I stumbled across some articles last night that were quite intrigueing.

We are going to Hawaii...believe it or not. I have to make another payment this month. The payments are not fun, but I intend to have fun in Hawaii when I go...a few days in paradise. The girls are going there for orchestra and the old man and I will go along to chaperone our kids and "what not".

Two more weeks of this class then it's time to get serious about cleaning, painting, and fixing up some stuff. I need to call and get some estimates. Never a free moment these days.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Where have I been?

I have not posted in forever!! I do have a picture to post. I played with composition a bit. HECK, I'll just post both.

All those peppers came from our garden. We limed this year and our green peppers are HUGE. I think those are red hot chilis in the front. I love their look! Those suckers are hot! I made a huge pot of goulash with a couple of them and it was almost too hot to eat.

Our apple trees are prolific this year and the apples big and red. They are usually knobby and green with little stripes of red until they rot on the tree with a million worm holes in each one. I think I will have an orchard one day. So what if the necterines will bear 1 in 13 years statistically. Maybe I'll get lucky. I believe I would plant some chestnut trees, and apple, pear, and plum trees. Blueberries, pumpkins, Indian Corn, and sunflowers for sure. Oops...I breached the orchard boundaries.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Summer Day

Today is a beautiful summer day - sunny and mid 80's. I have a lot to do today but I am taking some time this morning to blog. First of all, the cherries are ripe and I picked a bunch the other night. I got inspired to pick cherries about 20 minutes before dark - these are what I picked.

Molly was checking out the cherries, probably seeing if she wanted to eat them. The cat will eat anything that's not nailed down pretty much.

Yesterday, Jerry and I ran did a 5K - Run by the River in Russell. The race has been run over 30 years so it was very well organized. Rain was predicted and it was very cloudy and breezy, but no rain and a great day for running. My goal is always to finish in under 30 minutes, but I was hoping to beat 27:45. Sadly, I did not. The time keeper at the one mile mark called out 9:02 as I past him. At the 2 mile mark, I heard 9:14 after I past him. The last quarter mile about did me in. I was heaving and cold. My hands were cold and numb and I thought I might not make it to the finish line...which is really disheartening when you can SEE the finish line and worry that you won't get there. I did finish though and the guy who tore off my number had concerns that I was going to puke on him. After a minute or two after finishing I was fine though. My time was 29:30 something. I was disappointed with that. I thought I would have at least been 28 something. I did take the first place trophy in my category - women 50-54. Jerry got third place in his category, and he ran an excellent race - 23 minutes and some seconds. I guess I just need to run more and get into better shape. Maybe I need to lose another 2o pounds or so and that would help my time.

The deer ate nearly all the impatiens I planted around the mailbox. A whole flat of flowers gone in a single night. I love deer but I wish they'd eat somebody else's flowers. We are going to work on the fence around our garden today. My flower seeds are up and I am excited. I can see zinnias and cosmos because I know what the leaves look like. The poppies, I don't know. I see some little seedlings but I can't tell if they are poppies or weeds.

We went swimming at Grayson Lake last week. The girls each invited a friend. They had fun but were paranoid about the dead cicadas in the water. We only went for a few hours but they insisted on packing a picnic lunch for themselves. That was fine because they did all the work. I thought it was odd that they made a thermos of hot soup to enjoy in the 98 degree sun that day. Here are shots from the day. The picture in the water, they are either looking at the little bluegills or dead cicadas...I don't remember.

Monday, May 26, 2008

End of May

The month of May FLEW by!! Less than one week left and it will be filled with Emily's dance recital. She no longer needs me at all back stage which is kind of sad and nice at the same time. I miss watching what goes on behind stage but I like getting to watch the whole show. Emily will be dancing on pointe for the first time in this ballet, unfortunately on very new pointe shoes. I'm sure she will be lovely.

I ran a race in Ironton this morning. Gosh it was a perfectly beautiful morning - a little foggy but the sun was out in full and it was very humid and nearly 60 degrees at 7 AM. It was a 5K through Ironton and the big, old cemetary, which reminded me very much of the old cemetary in Portsmouth. The course was pretty flat, the main hill being an overpass over Rt 52. I struggled to breath through the first mile, but I thought I was going to get to the first mile mark in like 8:45, but the timekeeper called out 9:02. I didn't find a comfortable stride until well after the half-way point. I was disappointed in my time, I wanted to finish under 28, but the sad reality was that my time was more like 29:20...I think, I hope it was no more than that. Anyway, it was a great race - well organized and the route was easy (other than I prefer not to run on concrete and brick is especially tiring...doesn't matter so much for a 5K but I'd hate that for a 10K). I finished 3rd in my age group (female 50-54). The woman who won my age group finished in like 2+ minutes faster than me, and she was 3 years older than me. I have to be inspired. The next race is Run By the River, in Russell in 2 weeks. I have run the course before. It has some gentle hills and one minor hill. It is a very pleasant route through the old part of Russell on the riverfront and then the road that connects Russell to Raceland (along the river).
The late frost spared the cherry trees. Look at these lovelies!

This is a picture of our little sour cherry tree. For some reason, the deer don't eat it. It must be a bumper year because our poor sweet cherry tree even has 6 cherries on it. The deer have mangled the sweet cherry since we planted it and now it's sort of a giraffe tree - a tall skinny twig shaped like a palm tree. The deer eat all they can reach. It looks to me like they even get up on their hind legs to reach what they can. I would cut it down but we need it as a cross pollinator and I'd feel guilty. I think trees have soles...so I hate when they are cut down before they die of natural causes. Especially some of these trees that are like 400+ years old, it makes me sad when they are taken. Slaughtered!
I miss Sarah. She is coming home in June, but I know she has much to do when she gets back.

Here are a couple of old pictures of the girls..these are a couple I like.

The time is late and I have much to do tonight. I will write more later.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

About Ireland

I had a great time visiting Sarah and seeing some of the country. It was quite interesting seeing how people live in another country. I loved the countryside and the small towns. The music was awesome! Sarah has improved her playing skills (on both banjo and fiddle) tremendously. I tried the Guiness and you know what? It's just gross. That dark beer is not for me. I liked Jameson until the first hangover, then nevermore. I'm a Kentucky bourbon woman and that's what I drank.

Here's what impressed me about the country-side. All the pasture land and the rock walls - beautiful. The yellow bushes (called Gorse) was blooming and very colorful this time of year. There were all sorts of lovely wildflowers, also most houses had tulip beds that were in bloom. Just about any house that has any sort of grass field (sometimes even very small fields), there would be some sort of livestock in it - horses, sheep, or cattle. The sheep looked pretty normal, but the horses and cattle are huge over there. Something else I noticed, many times you see animals laying in the field just flat like they are dead. If I saw a horse or cow laying like that in a field, I'd assume it was dead.

Sarah's apartment is on the Corrib river and I enjoyed watching the rowing teams practice. Across the river on the other side is a huge pasture with horses. There's a trail that follows the river that people use to run on, walk dogs, and travel back to soccer/football/rugby fields. I didn't count how many fields - like at least 8 of them I think. I ran on the path the mornings we were in Galway, running around the fields and through the wooded trails between them. I saw all sorts of unusual birds - my favorites being the wood pigeons and the magpies. Down toward the last ballfield, across the river is an old castle ruin. I only have one picture of it but it's not git to post. First picture here is a view of some wildflowers growing among some trees along the trail (college building in the background):

The university is big and has lots of international students. There were lots of people vacationing there from other countries as well - I heard all sorts of different languages on the streets. People aren't allowed to smoke in any buildings anywhere in Ireland. Also, not on buses or trains. Here's a no smoking sign:

Some shots of the main university building which was a very impressive place:

Our first adventure outside of Galway was a trip to the Dingle peninsula, and the little town of Dingle. It was a long bus ride, aborted when we got to Tralee because Sarah got a call from her friend Breannan (I doubt I spelled his name correctly) who invited her to meet him in Kilarney for a session. There was no good way to get back to Kilarney by bus so he drove to Tralee and picked us up. Kilarney is a decent sized town (maybe as big as Ashland) and we got there in time for the session. Sarah played with Breannan, who played guitar, and two other musicians, a young couple who later insisted we all spend the night with them. I was so tired that night to begin with and I'd had too much to drink at the pub, I can barely remember anything. We got to their house around 1:30 in the morning I think. They had a lovely little house in Kilarney, and a beautiful dog (a blonde lab) they called Buddie. I kept having trouble remembering their names because they are unusual to me - Emir and Tige - I'm sure those aren't spelled correctly. I kept thinging Lemur and Tiger to help me remember. Emir is an excellent fiddle player, who studied violin in college but was unable to get a jo with the only real orchestra in Ireland. She performs with her husband and is also a music teacher at a primary boy's school. Tige plays a concertina and is quite good. They sounded great together.

The next morning, Emir got up at God knows what time (I wouldn't know, I was dead to the world) and fixed a proper Irish breakfast. Unfortunately, I was much to hung over to even enjoy looking at it. She served 3 kinds of sausage, rashers (bacon), beans, coffee, tee, several kinds of juice, and two kinds of toast (with jelly and butter). She also set out cereal and apologized for not making potatoes as well. She asked how we liked our eggs and I assured her there was no need to make eggs for Sarah and I. Breannan didn't get up for breakfast but ate later when he finally emerged (around noon). We left there after good-byes and visited a national park which was beautiful. I saw the most gigantic rhododendruns I've ever seen in my life, most not yet in bloom but they will be beautiful when they do. I could have spent days there but we only stayed an hour or so, walking parts of a few trails and then making our way through the mountains toward Dingle.

We stopped in a little town called Middletown to see what was happening at a horse show, or perhaps it was just a little festival where farmers were selling livestock and people were selling produce and crafts. Breannan called his son's mother to see if she wanted ducks. She did so he bought 3 adults and 2 babies. He would have bought all babies but the farmer nor his wife knew how to tell the sex of a baby duck. We saw all sorts of horses, ponies, puppies, sheep, and goats for sale, as well as chickens, ducks, and some exotic birds I'm not sure what they were - perhaps pheasants or something like that.

After much twisting and winding mountainous roads, we arrived in Dingle. Breannan dropped us at a bed and breakfast place that he thought would be good. It was a great place to stay. A pleasant room overlooking the bay, plenty of hot water in the shower, and "free" breakfast. The B&B man gave us a decent rate, 35 Euros per person per night. That's one thing I really appreciated about Ireland, the price is the price - no tax or charges added on. The free breakfast was unbelievable. We walked in and there was all sorts of bread, cereal, and fruit spread out on the counter. Then, the inn keeper came in and asked us if we wanted tea and how we wanted our eggs and if we wanted bacon. He made fried eggs, bacon, and toast for us and served us. We spent an extra day in Dingle, Sarah played a session that night with Breannan, his father, Brannan, and his younger brother, Cormick. That turned out to be a very late night, we stayed in the pub after it closed, playing more music and drinking, and then went on to Breannan's apartment for more. Sarah stayed on and I walked back to the B&B..I think I got back around 3:30 in the morning and Sarah came in sometime after that. We got up the next day and explored town a bit more until time to catch the bus to head back to Galway.

The town of Dingle has a lovely harbor and old ruins on top of the hill across the bay (you might be able to make out the tower in the picture of Sarah sitting in the window knitting. She was working on a new pair of socks, a gift for one of her friends. The buildings look a lot alike but they paint the doors every color you can imagine.

This post is getting too long and I need to do other things. I will post this one and do another later on. We visited the Cliffs of Moher and our tour guide was awesome! He gave us some great history about one of the castles and about Ireland in general. He was very entertaining and certainly an unexpected and delightful enhancement to the tour. We had perfect weather for visiting the cliffs. I was more interested in the Burren, the region we went through before we got to the cliffs. I will write more about it later.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I'm Back

I'm Back from Ireland. It's still hard to imagine that I was 1000 miles away just this morning. I have SOOOO much to blog about...and pictures! Just a bit about the trip home...it was L-O-N-G but oh SOOOO much to remember. Some details will have to come later...I keep planning to go upstairs and take a LONG HOT BATH but I keep getting sidetracked. It's 11:40 PM which would be 4:30 AM yesterday. I should be tired but I feel energetic to say the least. Could be this GOOD bourbon. I will say that I wish I'd had a few more days over there, but it's great to be home. Yes, the countryside is beautiful over there, but I prefer my hills to be covered with trees. I'm a river rat - we like the cover. The vacation was incredible - I had a total vacation from work...something I haven't done since I was like 23 years old. More later.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Spring At Last

I think it's finally here to stay - SPRING. I love it. My lilac bush i s blooming and smells like heaven. I'm going to miss our May bush this year, but we had to get rid of it before it ruined the foundation of the house and now I have a fairly large sunny patch of land to play with.

Today, I played my first 9 holes for 2008. I would have preferred to spend the evening at a driving range, but none around was open so the old man and I headed for Sandy Creek. The place wasn't too crowded at all. I teed off with limited confidence but smacked my best drive of the day out to to 150 yard marker in the middle of the fairway. From there, it went ugly. I did make 3 pars today - #2 (par 3), #4 (par 4), and #8 (par 3). I'd say I hit at least one decent shot on every hole, but I lost 3 balls in 9 holes, and visited a few rough knolls and bunkers. I got opportunities to practice uphill, downhill, and sidehill lies. I got to practice the knock down shot under trees. Gee - it was a learning day for me. This year, I'm getting a new putter. It's time.

I will be landing in Ireland in less than a week and I am excited about that. Worried too about how everything will go here at home and work with me away. I still have a ton of loose ends to wrap up before I can hit the road. I've been making lots of lists lately. I am very much looking forward to seeing Sarah in person again. We tried Skyping a few times at first but it was just too frustrating - Sarah's internet connection sucks - and the connection kept dropping every time.

Erin is now a UFAF 2nd degree black belt. We are planning to take a vacation to Vegas and attend the convention so Erin can meet Mr. Norris and have a photo made with him. I was in Vegas when I was18 - it seemed like a strange place to locate a city - out in the middle of nowhere. I imagine land was very cheap in the beginning.

That is all for awhile. The next time I blog, it'll be after I get back.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Whats new?

I haven't taken time for bloggin' lately, too much going on these days. The dance competitions are over and Governor's Cup is over. These were all good experiences but also it's always nice to get those over with for the year. I had nice weekends in Lexington and Louisville with my girls.

Before those, I went to Garyville, Louisiana for work. That turned out to be a great experience for me. I got to meet people in person that I've talked to on the phone every week for the last 5 years. I got to see a plantation house, which was totally awesome. The refinery has a small graveyard within its boundaries and it made me sad. The graves are like two hundred plus years old and what's really neat down there, people are buried above ground, and the little concrete buildings (vaults? crypts? whatever you call them) are elaborate - statues of angels, birds, fancy crosses, etc. Maybe they are even marble and not concrete...I'm not sure. And all around this little cemetary is an old iron fence...but then around the iron fence is a huge chain link fence, and gigantic 500,000 tanks, a giant cracking tower, and an isom unit and noise so loud you can barely hear yourself think. If my loved one was buried there, I'd have to move them. Nobody is resting in peace there. It makes me think that I'd as soon be cremated and have my ashes dumped in the river. Then nobody could build such an abomination on my grave.

I had an unforgetable trip to the French Quarter. Our host, aka "the controller", which was quite an appropriate label in more ways than one, made sure nobody left there without a hangover the next day. He generously bought drinks at every bar we entered, selecting the drink and ordering in huge quantity. I would have never ordered or drank any of the drinks he ordered for us - exotic, fruity, mixes of God knows what. After the first two, I didn't care...they all tasted the same. We took 3 cars down there and I left with the "sane" group, although 3 of us in that group paid hell the next day. I was sick the next morning, in the airport, on the plane of the first hop, in the next airport, and finally in the last airport before I got home. It took me nearly 48 hours to recover. USAir lost my luggage and I didn't get it until 2 days later. I'm happy they lost it coming home rather than going down. Dan sent me some of his photos from the evening - mementos.

Soon I must get on line and look for my ticket to Ireland. The hardest part is committing to a time. It's so hard to get away without missing anything. I have tickets to Evita and I hate to miss it, but I might have to just miss and let the girls or Jerry invite somebody to use my ticket. Also, I don't want to miss Erin's test (for 2nd degree UFAF black belt). I'm pretty sure I'll be missing the spring orchestra recital..but I will survive it. My favorite part of that is seeing the kids all spiffied up in suits and dresses, more so than the music they produce. I miss Sarah though, and I'll be happy to see her even if it's only for a few days. We will spend a night in an enchanted (or perhaps haunted) castle, look for mermaids, ride bikes, sip tea in the afternoon, explore, and I hope I'll hear my sweet songbird sing. I suppose I'll take my crappy little camera and trust Sarah to take the good pictures and send them to me. Maybe I'll buy a memory card for her camera as a bribe.

That's all I can think of for now.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lots of Stuff

Lots of stuff going on these days. Emily is trying for the first time for a title - Junior Miss Dance of the Bluegrass - this coming weekend. Break a leg, Emily! She is doing a really cute tap dance to a number from Hairspray (Welcome to the Sixties). Her costume is really cute - a hot pink sequin mini-dress with a matching hot pink hairband. Sorry, no picture. Erin Smith did a fabulous job with the choreography, I am pleased.

was doing dishes the other night, and cleaned some pots and then noticed they looked like something....very commercial.

I shouldn't have to tell ANYONE what this looks like. Don't you just love shiney metal? I do. My girls pretty much eat all the time and it seems like by the end of the day, any knife in the house is dirty.

Chewy is my night-time running buddy. We make one or two laps, sprinting, jogging, and walking. We have so much fun! There is a big black lab in the neighborhood that "gets" to run loose at night sometimes. He is scary! There is also a mutt that is part pit-bull that is still running loose at times. That dog scares everyone. Fortunately, tonight, we saw no other dogs loose at all and there were no cats or other critters.

Sarah has forsaken her blog and she rarely emails me, but from what I've heard so far, she is having the time of her life. I'm looking forward to visiting her and actually seeing another country (besides Canada and Mexico). I hope she is happy, but not so happy that she never comes home. I miss her SO MUCH!!

March will be a busy month. I get to spend a weekend in Lexington with Emily for a dance competition, and a weekend in Lousville with Erin for Governor's Cup. I am looking forward to Louisville - we will stay at the Galt House and we'll get to visit Akiko and Ron and hopefully Miki and her family. Erin and I had a very nice time last year. Erin is studying debt in developing countries for the competition.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

pre-mid January news

Molly has been helping me with the laundry today. Actually, we keep the catfood in a cabinet right beside this cabinet she is sitting in. She jumped into this cabinet because she thought she might find a way to get to the food. She isn't the brightest crayon in the box.

The holidays aren't officially over for me until I get all the Christmas stuff packed up and carried down to the basement and stowed away. I took my Sarah to the airport last Tuesday. It was hard to say good-bye, but it's a once in-a-life chance for her. And now!!! I'm planning my trip over to go visit her. I should have my passport within a few more weeks, and I've been looking at places I want to go see while I'm there.
Jerry and I tested for our advanced yellow belts this morning. Eight other people tested with us today, and we all passed. I'm kind of liking karate now, but starting February, the class schedule is changing, so I'm going to have to hire a driver if I'm ever going to make it to a class. I need to do that anyway since I have some business trips coming up.

I sure hope my Sarah blogs soon so I can read details about her adventures over on the Emerald Isle. I hope she has found some red-headed musicians to make music with. This picture below is interesting. The picture uses lots of pictures of rocks. The background is a flourite crystal. The face and neck are slices of polished rock (I can't remember if it's agate or onyx, or a slice of a huge geode). The mouth is a geode. The hair looks like amathyst or rose quartz crystals. The dress or shoulders - I can't tell what that is. The rose is a piece of sandstone, a formation called a sand rose...I think. Sarah made this picture...I think she either made this in highschool or perhaps a college art class of some sort.

Friday, January 4, 2008


The start of another year and this is going to be a busy one...and expensive. Lots of travel plans coming up for this year. I am going to make a trip to Ireland to visit Sarah in the late spring sometime. We are taken Erin to Vegas in July, and I hope to combine that with a trip to the Grand Canyon. We will no doubt do the annual Henderson Myrtle Beach pilgrimage. I'd love to take the girls somewhere they've never been for spring break or fall break this year, or maybe back to Washington. They were 6 the last time we took them to Washington. Emily doesn't remember anything about being there and Erin says all she remembers is eating a hotdog on the street. We should go back. I'd like to take them to Williamsburg this year, if we don't go to Washington.

Sarah is leaving soon and I will miss her tremendously. She bought a beautiful new banjo with an awesome sound. It sounds tinny like her dad's banjo, but with a strangely hollow sound that I really like. Maybe it's the skin head on it. The workmanship on it is impressive. A man in Ironton made it.

It's Friday and my van is getting new tires today. My front tires are bald and the rear tires aren't much better. With this last snow storm, I can't ignore the lack of traction any more. I'm hoping it's ready to pick up by noon so I can find somebody to give me a ride over to the garage. It's only a couple of miles to walk, but it's COLD today, and I'm a puss about the cold.

A week from tomorrow is karate testing. I will test for my advanced yellow. I am pretty confident I will pass. The hard part will be reciting the code of ethics because my memory sucks. It won't be too bad - there are 7 people testing in my group and it's a 45 minute test. I've had all my tips for several weeks now.

I haven't been running much thanks to the ice and snow. I've been trying to stay in shape at the gym, but I miss my early morning runs. It's supposed to warm back up Sunday so I will defintely be getting out there again.