Monday, March 30, 2009

Smiles . . . Priceless

My son has had a few difficult years, mostly involving his career in the restaurant business. It is a tough career choice. Those of us that just eat at restaurants really don't know what goes on behind the scenes. Long hours, low pay, little appreciation of the skill it takes to run a successful eatery. After losing a couple of jobs (I am sure he suffered a nervous breakdown) and a serious injury that kept him out of work for three months last year he has had a rough time. In any event, the bills were mounting and it would seem he and his girlfriend were never finding the way out of the tunnel into the fresh air. Over the last few months, they have been borrowing my vacuum cleaner on a regular basis. Not that I mind, but when I go to use it, it's gone. And they use it hard. Well, today we solved both our problems...we bought them a vacuum cleaner of their own. I should have had the camera. Smiling from ear to ear after receiving a household appliance. TOM and I are just glad that we can afford to help them with unexpected surprises occasionally. Smiles are the juice that keep the heart happy. According to my son, the best part is that the color is the same has his favorite college football team, UAB...the Crimson Tide...Go Bama!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Home Away from Home

You know we spend 1/3 of our lives away from our homes and families and it is important that the space you occupy for eight hours a day reflects your personality and the things you love. Fortunately, I work for a company that lets up express ourselves (to a point) we're not hanging bikes from the ceiling yet. So this is where I live when I am not at home. This is my cube window and many family photos. When sitting up properly, I have a view of the river and the train trestle. Turn to the left and I have my dual monitors, my overhead cabinets. One side with travel photos, the other with food and seasonal decorations. I also have the requisite toys that 'help me think better'. Having grown up in Minnesota I have a fondness for snowmen (forgt the political correctness) as you can see in the following shot. The cute little knit one is my current favorite and was a gift from my Secret Santa in 2008.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Taxman Commeth...Not :-)

We dodged the tax bullet. I am not really sure how, but I may have to redo my taxes just to make sure. WE DON'T OWE ANY FEDERAL INCOME TAXES this year. On the advice of our tax person, last year we increased the tax deduction from my husband's military retirement and put gobs of money into our 401(k). Although we probably lost most of that in the recent financial debacle. But WE DON'T OWE ANY FEDERAL INCOME TAXES this year. Maybe if I keep saying it, I will begin to believe it. Thank you, Shirley's Accounting. This is the first year in 10 years that WE DON'T OWE ANY FEDERAL INCOME TAXES.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Help a Complete Stranger

The reception area of my doctor's office was in chaos. People waiting for assistance, receptionists overworked...not, nothing happening like it should. Contractor's, who have been making major upgrades for the last six months, were pulling ceiling tiles and scraping something ugly from the I beams overhead. Anyway, two elderly ladies (not together) were trying to get to an office for a physician that had moved to another building in the office park. They were both late for their appointments and wanted the receptionist to call to let the doctor know that they were on their way. Remember, this is a generation that knows the value of being punctual, unlike so many people today and they really were frantic. Anyway, the receptionists were not 'receptive' and these little ladies were looking for someone to help them. So my good deed for the day was to give them directins to the new location and the phone number so they could call from their cell phones. Not much, but I think it made them feel better about the whole mess. Speaking of which, this is the mess in the reception area . . .

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Here Comes the Sun . . .

Do-do-do-do . . . During the recent heavy rains and snowfall I had to have in 'indoor' project to work on. The plan was to use the stamps I had been saving and gluing them on a less than attractive picture frame. I wanted to frame trip maps. This is the result. I had all the supplies with the exception of the frame. Luckily, a few weeks back when we were at the dump, we found three frames just sitting there waiting for us. This is the result of my rainy day fun.
the supplies
more supplies
the first layer
almost finished
on the wall with my map of lower Manhattan

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away . . .

. . . come again another day. Noah, where are you when we need you? We are drowning down here.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Vertigo and I'm Not Talking About the Movie

I am not superstitious but I might change my mind today. I went out for lunch (as opposed to staying in the office) and had an attack. I was eating lunch and all of a sudden the room was spinning. I just knew that I needed to get out to my car and close my eyes and sit still. It was so loud and noisy and crowded in that restaurant I wasn't sure I would make it out alive. I could hardly walk a straight line. I finally made it to my car and then spent 20 minutes trying to get hold of TOM. By the time he got there to rescue me the sensation had passed and I was able to drive home. He followed me in case I needed him. Earlier in the day I thought about taking the afternoon off. Well, I got the afternoon off, but not for the reason I thought. TGIF even if it is Friday the 13th.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Say a Little Prayer for Me

First, I have no idea how they came up with this name for a towing company. Second, this guy needs as many prayers as he can get, just after I snapped this shot he started to merge left and almost took out the car in front of me. Third, I hope he is not the only tow available if I ever need one.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Hiking in Pine Mountain

We went up to FDR State Park today. We got a late start tho and it was 11:45 by the time we got there. The sun was high and the temperature was climbing. We hiked about an hour out and back. We got back to the visitor center about 1:30 and ate lunch overlooking the valley. There was a fire burning off in the distance so it was a bit hazy.
Vine wrapped around a tree
Blue sky
Woodpecker Condos
Beautiful green moss
White flowers on the trail
Trumpet vine
Bloomin' tree
Light at the Visitor Center

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Really Tired Today

Had a vertigo attack last night right after dinner. I was just getting my jammies on so I would be ready for Lost and whoosh, the room was spinning. Luckily, I had some phenergan in the house but I 'lost' about three hours of my evening. This is the second attack I've had in the last six months. I guess I need to get an adjustment (or get TOM to do it for me). Needless to say, I stayed home from work but I didn't stay in the house all day. I finally got some clothes on around 1:00, grabbed my camera, and hit the road. I went over to Ft. Mitchell and the military cemetary. Then I headed over to Seale (where we lived when we first moved here 20 years ago. After that I headed back to town and took a stroll on the River Walk. I got a good shot of a Grey Heron stalking his prey. I didn't get the money shot tho...just missed it. The river was running high from all the rain last week. Quite a few guys were down fishing, but I don't know if they were catching anything. Just enjoying the day, like everyone else. It was a beautiful day in the valley (mid 60's) and it was good to take a walk and clear my head. We are supposed to have more of the same tomorrow. But back to the Heron.
I've got my eye on you
Shad Sushi

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Quesdilla for Dinner

Needed a quick dinner for tonight, but it had to have some nutritional value and that means black beans. I love black bean and cheese quesadillas and thought that I would share them with you today. First pull out the quesdilla maker and warm it up. Spray with Olive oil. Open a can of black beans, rinse and drain. You wlll need two whole wheat tortillas (these are multi-grain and they don't hold up so well). Place one tortilla on the maker, use 1/3 cup of beans. Today I also added portobello mushrooms. Top with about 1/2 cup of low fat mozarella cheese. Put on the top tortilla and press until cheese is melted. Cut quesadilla into triangles. Serves two. Mix some fat free yogurt with fresh cilantro as a dip. Add a tablespoon or two of salsa .
Bon Apetit

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Whirly-Gig in Alabama

We got this whirly-gig kit from my mother about 15 years ago. It has been sitting in the garage collecting dust. TOM finally decided to put the darn thing together. So here are some shots of the process. The first coats of paint: The finishing touches: Proper placement is important: "It works"