Camera Critters #43

Camera Critters

The thing about Elvis is
he likes to sleep all spread out!
No curled up kitten here!


I Tried

Wednesday,our school had a blood drive for the two year old grandson of one of our district principals.

Initially, I did not sign up for it. The one & only time I have given blood, I got incredibly ill. Any other time after that, I was too anemic.

But, one day, my children may need the kindness of strangers to live. How can I ask for their help if I don't do what I can to help someone else's child? So what if I'm able to give and get sick? I guarantee my little sick to the tummy feeling is nothing compared to what this baby is going through.

So I signed up. And worried. Not about the needle. That doesn't bother me. But what if I get really sick? What if they find something horrible in my blood?

By the time my appointment came, I knew I had worked myself into a state of probable high blood pressure. Which is just my hypochondria surfacing because I've always had low blood pressure.

I was asked a couple of questions, had my temperature taken (96°, I was COLD), and then finger pricked. Luckily, before we went any further, the technician waited for my results. You have to have an iron content of 38 to give.

Mine was 35. I thought I'd feel enormous relief since I'd worked myself into a state. I felt sad.

And then got fussed at by everyone for not taking any iron supplements.


Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - Ballerina Edition

What? Don't all ballerinas wear socks with sandals?

This picture fascinates me. My dad sent it to me along with some other pictures. I have never seen this picture before. Also, I have no memory of the outfit. I never knew I played ballerina! Looking at my form, I can see why I was never a real one.


My Problem with American Idol

American Idol is one of my favorite t.v. shows. However, the audition shows are very tedious to me. Tonight was a prime example.

A girl, I'm sorry I can't remember her name, auditioned. None of the judges thought she should make it through. And, while I'm certainly not a judge, I agreed with them. She sounded flat.

But, then they changed their minds for whatever reason that wasn't because she wowed them with a different song. Ok. That's fine. But let's be realistic. She's not going to make it past Hollywood. And she has to pay for her own way there.

So, basically, for "good" t.v., they are wasting this poor girl's time. And worse, wasting her money.


Bring on Hollywood week and the REAL competition!


Huh. So That's It Then?

Coastie Brother & I had a childhood that was better than some and worse than others. The people our parents married after their divorce made our lives problematic. No matter which house, egg shells were walked on.

We were talking one day. Both of us have a couple of pleasant memories of our dad's 2nd wife. Neither of us could come up with one for our mom's 2nd husband.

Then I realized one. He would leave. For months at a time. That month or months were peaceful to me. I'm sure my mom hated them. But my brother & I? Ah. We could breath.

Once my brother graduated (he is two years younger), that man left for good. I never saw him again. Of course, my mom still had contact with him because they share a son. I won't get into specifics of that because it's not my story.

However, during those brief contacts, that man would casually mention something about my life or my brother's. Creeped me out. I never lived in a state of fear, but, every now & again, a niggling would hit me.

For years now, he's been dying from one thing or another. When he would feel the end is near, he'd give my mom a call. The last phone call was in August of 2006.

A week ago, my mom found out that he passed away almost two years ago.

That part of my life is officially over.


Camera Critters #42

I must have Memphis on my mind. This is the second Memphis shot this week.

These are the Peabody Ducks from the famous Peabody Hotel in Memphis. They march twice a day from their rooftop home to the lobby. It's such a neat sight to see them march out of the elevator to the fountain. They then play in the fountain for a bit.


Horrible, Horrible Confession

So, yeah, this is embarrassing, especially since one of Bear's old teachers is a dear friend of mine and a reader to boot. But this is too wild NOT to share.

Lamb has done four Science Fair projects and has always entered them in the actual fair.

Bless her heart. She has never won a ribbon. And she's had some very interesting projects!

This is Bear's second year to do a Science Fair Project. Knowing that he & I are great, big, giant procrastinators, Big D suggested that Bear recreate one of Lamb's old projects. One that is totally up his alley. One that is easy. One that doesn't take a lot of time.

Now, he did research it. He journaled it. He did his own board. But the project? Totally his sister's idea. We knew how it would turn out. Yes, yes, I know everything you are thinking. I even understand it. That's not the point of this post. Consider it a test to see how accurate Lamb's results were years ago.

Remember how Lamb has never won a ribbon? Well, today, I was touring the Science Fair projects when my friend came running up to me. He was soooo excited.

It seems that "Bear's" project won 5th place in Physical Science.

It's hard to be Bear's sister sometimes.


Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - Walking in Memphis Edition

Memphis is our city. It's where we met, where we fell in love, where we spent the early years of our marriage, where our babies were born, and where our baby was lost. It's filled with lots of good times and a few sad times. It's our city.

A couple of years ago, we visited family in the area. I wanted to take pics of all the places with meaning to us. My absolute favorite street in Memphis is Riverside Drive. Big D found a perfect spot for a picture that included the street AND the bridge. Another important part of the city to us.

We decided to also take a pic of us with the bridge as a background. All was well and good except that I forgot to take off my superhero sunglasses. One doesn't realize how big they are until one sees a picture of herself wearing them.

Ruined a perfectly good shot. Sigh.


A Day With Bear

The day started as any other. I woke up. I got myself & Bear to school. I worked with kids. Then, shortly after lunch, Bear, who was at recess, hunts me down in the Science Lab. "Here, Mama, I have a note you have to sign."

I decided to ignore the fact that it's written on the wrong side and focus on the words. I love the fact that it's his teacher who thought it was a dumb thing and not Bear. Typical boy, no? Actually, I was more worried about the shoes than the pants. I don't need another cause for stinky feet.

A little later, his co-teacher comes to me to share a story. Seems that when they were "inducting" their Social Studies folder, Bear added that he vowed to make his "sexy". Lovely. Afraid that I'd get phone calls from parents, she assured me that only his friend heard him. She did not hear him, only read his lips. And it made her day.

After school, I got another earful. What on earth could he have done now? I was told that during Math class, he was tutoring a little group. "Where is this going?" I wondered. It seems that he is sweet, encouraging, and patient. He did not belittle his classmates. He did not make them feel stupid for struggling. He came up with different ways to show them. He cheered them on when they "got" it. He helped.

I tell him all the time I just don't think I can handle him another minute. He tells me that I have to. God gave him to me because He knew I was the only one who could handle him.

It's definitely a roller coaster ride with this boy.


Camera Critters #41

It's hard to be a hedgehog in our house. Poor Charlie never gets any peace when she's out & about.
She has to be subjected to weekly baths.
Still no peace.
What'a girl to do but curl up into a ball and think that tomorrow will be another day.

Posted by Picasa


Job Interview Update

Dear Bear,
I must admit that I wasn't very impressed with the way you came to our interview. Tucking in your shirt is very important when applying for any job! You rebounded, however, and showed confidence when you spoke. Your answers convinced me that you would make a great Human Resources employee. You will be paid $50.oo each week and share the job with one other person.

Any breech in confidentiality will result in immediate termination.

Your job begins on Monday, January 19, 2009.
Spoke with confidence? My Bear? My heart swells. He has come such a long way. I can't wait to hear about his job each day on our way home from school. As long as he doesn't break any confidences, of course.


Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - My Silly Son Edition

So today Bear had a job interview. Yes, you read that right. Ten year old Bear went on a job interview. His teacher has decided to charge her students "rent" for the things they use.

I tell you what, I'll let her tell you about it:

There will also be a Talking Tax. The majority of the class looked at Bear when that was announced. Hmmmm.....

Bear filled out his application, listed three references (who did not live in our house). Today, he dressed professionally (the top pic was NOT taken today) and had his interview. He had to have his shirt tucked in, shake her hand properly, & truly answer her questions. He feels fairly confident that he got the job. Right now, he's writing a thank you note to thank his teacher for taking the time to interview him.

I'll keep you posted!


We Just Might Be Too Bored

One of the things we love about the Wii is looking to see who's in the audience or participating with us. However, it gets a little boring seeing the four of us + my youngest brother. So, we made (not created, they came from a website) Miis to liven up our games.

Let me introduce:

Marilyn Monroe
Chuck Norris
Johnny Cash
Cinderella! You Blinked!
Let's try again.
Much better!
And for The Office fans:
And for Bubba's Sis:
Uncle A
We could have made dozens more, but some of them didn't resemble the people/characters at all. Or some Big D nixed.

I know all of you are thrilled that I shared! ;)


A Little Bit More About Little Ole Me

I have seen this floating around on various blogs. I nabbed this one from Marky.

Here's what you do: Copy and paste to your blog then boldface the things you've done. I also italicized because bold is hard to see on my blog.

1. Started your own blog *

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band (Jr. High Band counts in my book ;) )*

4. Visited Hawaii (I have no memory of it tho)*

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity I crossed this out because I feel it's private.

7. Been to Disneyland/world (both)*

8. Climbed a mountain*

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo (and it wasn't pretty!!!)*

11. Bungee jumped (I was in a cart with my cousin)*

12. Visited Paris (does Las Vegas count? )

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea*

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning*

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (darn. I've been to the Statue but you can't walk inside her anymore.)

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train*

21. Had a pillow fight*

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill*

24. Built a snow fort*

25. Held a lamb*

26. Gone skinny dipping*

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (again, does Las Vegas count?)

29 Seen a total eclipse*

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset*

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33 Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community*

36. Taught yourself a new language (does Text Language count? ;) )

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied*

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David (Vegas count? )

41 Sung karaoke*

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45 Walked on a beach by moonlight*

46. Been transported in an ambulance*

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing*

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris ( I won't mention, Paris Las Vegas again)

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (both)*

52. Kissed in the rain*

53. Played in the mud*

54. Gone to a drive-in theater*

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class (it was just a self defense martial arts class)*

59. Visited Russia (Can I count my "Amazing Race" experience? )

60 Served at a soup kitchen*

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies*

62. Gone whale watching*

63. Gotten flowers for no reason*

64 Donated blood, platelets, or plasma*

65. Gone sky diving

66 Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67 Bounced a check*

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy*

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial*

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square*

74. Toured the Everglades*

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone*

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle*

79 Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book ;) (I just did the photos, not the writing)*

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car *

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the paper*

85. Read the entire Bible.

86. Visited the White House (way too young to remember)*

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox*

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous*

92. Joined a book club*

93. Lost a loved one*

94. Had a baby*

95. Seen the Alamo in person*

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

98. Owned a cell phone*

99. Been stung by a bee*

100. Became a child of God*


Camera Critters #40

My boys
Imagining adventures.


Things I Have "Survived"

My adult life has been full of adventure. I have survived some very real and very imaginary things dealing with weather. We were reminded of some of these cleaning out the garage. You know we bought a couple of t-shirts to prove it! ;)

Lets take a look:

  • I survived the "earthquake" of 1990. Someone predicted that the Big One would hit Memphis on the New Madrid fault line. The city was in pure chaos. Should we stay or should we go? Go to work or stay at home? Big D & I decided to stay in Memphis and go to work. The earthquake never came.
  • I survived the ice storm of 1993: I was pregnant with Lamb at the time. It literally brought Memphis to a standstill. Luckily, we did not lose power; however, my mom did. So, in my little apartment, she & my brother came to stay. For days. A Burger King right by me also had a power and some food. People, including us, waited in line hours for something "yummy" to eat.
  • I survived Tropical Storm Allison: Not having grown up in the area, Big D & I weren't too sure about tropical storms or hurricanes. Even though this was only a tropical storm, it's the one thing that really scared me. Big D & I survived this separately. He was stranded on the interstate overnight due to flooding. I was at home with two young kids and a new kitten. I would not have known to worry about Big D if a coworker hadn't called to make sure he made it home ok. And, of course, we did not own cell phones at the time. At the time, it was the longest night of my life, worrying & waiting. Finally, the next morning around 9am, he called. A man offered to let him use his cell phone. A large truck drove through the water enabling all the cars to follow in its wake. Big D finally made it home safe & sound around 11am. After that, we got cell phones. And the kids (not mine since they weren't in school yet) got a Rain Day! Little did I know then that my kids would get Hurrications.
  • I survived the Hurricane-that-Wasn't-for-Houston Rita: It was too traumatic. I won't bore you with the details again. If you want, you can read them here or here.
  • I survived Hurricane Ike: Again, I won't bore you with the details since it happened almost 4 months ago. You can read about it here, when things were still exciting, and here, when things suddenly weren't fun anymore. We are still dealing with the aftermath, but things aren't as depressing as they once were. Ty's Christmas present was a complete back fence. It was a Christmas present to us to just let him out back to do his business. Our roofer is still in talks with our insurance but he is very optimistic. He thinks we'll have 100% of the money in a couple of weeks. We are cautiously hopeful.
Mother Nature. Hard to predict what to do when dealing with her. I have only regretted the decision to evacuate for Rita. It's the only one that hurt my family.

I'm sure I'll survive many more quirky weather trends. The only question will be if I get the t-shirt or not. ;)


The Coolness of Rock

A little note by his teacher seen on Bear's graded papers: (Melissa, you'll appreciate this!)
Diamonds (a rock) = Cool
Rock 'N Roll = Very Cool
Writing like a Rock = Not cool!

I leave you this piece of writing as an example:


Red + Sparkly = AWESOME

I love sparkly things.
I love red things.
I LOVE what I used my Christmas money on.

I have coveted admired these since I first saw them on Jenny's feet. Aren't they pretty?

Ahh...the small things make me so happy.