Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Feeling a Bit Nostalgic Today

I grew up in this house, at least the years between 10 and 18. I finished grade school here, made it thru junior high, and then high school. I left this house a month after graduation when I married tOM who was in the Army at the time. I have never looked back. On occasion, I wish I still lived closer to my family, but it just never worked out. TOM was career army and we traveled from base to base. So what do I remember most about living in this house? My dad doing sweat equity on the foundation and all the block work by himself. My mom falling down the stairs and breaking her leg. Sneaking out my bedroom window on warm summer nights. The day I hit a road sign on my way to school and smashed the windshield on my car. My dad never yelled, just asked if I was OK. A fight with my brother on Easter weekend. He threw a shoe at me and missed, but he hit the aquarium. Living within walking distance of the beach. Swimming all day, every day all summer long. A summer tan before skin cancer. Kegs parties. Riding snowmobiles in winter. Snow days.

What do you remember about the house you grew up in?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Remembering Millie

I just got back from a trip to visit my family in Minnesota. While I was there I made a stop by Millie's store, which is a couple of blocks from my parents house. This little store has been in this location for at least 40 years. This area was mostly a weekend summer place because of the nearby beach. (The beach is behind the store.) The sign says Ted's Store, but it was really Millie's. I first 'shopped' at this store when I was about 11 years old.

Millie recently passed on and there was a big memorial service right here at the store. About 400 people, who over the years stopped for 'pop', candy, and a quick gallon of milk came by. Back in the day, she even had a couple of gas pumps. Millie was a nice lady and she never forgot a face.

I moved away from the area years ago and had not stopped by in a long time. She was part of my childhood and a fond memory now. These tokens and notes prove that she was still loved by children and adults alike and that she will be missed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Have a Cold

I have not had a cold in three years. Why now? I have been eating right, getting enough rest, and exercising. I feel like crap.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ditch Digger for Hire

Spent most of the day doing work in the yard. We have a drainage problem in the back yard and with all the rain lately, it was a muddy mess. It was also causing a problem with our septic tank.

We had been discussing putting in french drain for a while, but had not been motivated to do it. We finally decided we needed to give it a shot. When the rain stopped yesterday, TOM got to work. Because the ground was so saturated it made it easier to dig the trench, but some spots were still very hard as we got deeper. (Maybe we should have rented a ditch witch.) We had to dig a 140' trench. That was the hardest part and luckily TOM did not make me help with that.

Needless to say, it was back-breaking work. As far as we can tell right now, it appears to be working. The water is draining off (into our neighbors yard - sorry). We had to take it under the fence to a lower elevation. When TOM is finished they won't even know it's there. He was so funny tho (the neighbor), he kept saying 'your water is in my yard.' Well, officially, it's not our water, it's natures water. And the whole neighborhood is underwater, not just us. (He appears to have a problem in his yard too.) TOM should have talked with him before he started digging under the fence, especially since it will affect him.

I need to go get the tylenol now...later.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

In the Yard

I love spring, especially in the South. I can get outside and enjoy all the blooming. I have been waiting about 8 years for this fence to be'properly weathered'.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

It's Raining Again Today ...

... but we had a beautiful day yesterday. I cleaned up the kitchen and did a load of laundry. The sun was shining and I was getting ready to go. Where? It did not matter, just out of the house in which we had been locked for so many days.

After I managed to get TOM off the couch, we got dressed and hit the road. We headed to Pasaquan. Located near the Georgia town of Buena Vista, Pasaquan is one man's vision of what life should be like. It really is an amazing place. All created by this eccentric character, Eddie Martin, at his family farm.

I had a great time wandering around the grounds and snapping the 'vision'. The colors are vibrant, though faded. There is not a single space on any of the structures that are free of decoration. There is not admission; however there is a $5donation per person, children are free.

Here are a few of my favorite snaps of the day:

Pasaquanian Headdress
A door
The back door
The garage
The unfinished grotto
Unpainted pathway and walls
Entrance to the Bead Room
The Bead House
Addition to the main farm house
The [Propane] Tank Room

Friday, April 03, 2009

Has My Head Exploded Yet?

And that is not just a rhetorical question. I have to say that I have had the worst day in my recent history. It actually started yesterday as I was leaving my place of employment. I am a writer. Sounds glamorous, right? Not really. I don't get to write the fun stuff. I save that for this blog. Anyhoo, I began working a project at the end of 2007. Yes, that's right, about 15 months ago. After research, meetings, programming changes, etc. I had the pleasure of writing a technical document that could be used by our clients to learn how to use the product. That took about 6 months and several false starts. Also, not the only thing I was working on. Finally, in October I hand this document over to 'the platform manager' for an edit. Now having to suffer the suggestions and corrections to a document is part of the job. It's not personal and it doesn't bother me. But this document was different. I put so much effort into this book it was like a child and I was quite proud of it. He took 6 months, almost to the day, to complete his edit. Unacceptable. Then he has the nerve to tell as I am walking out the door yesterday, that it needs some structural changes...what the f---!!! that means a lot more time invested and I thought I was almost finished!!! See somewhere in the middle of his edit we moved from one document format to another which is a pretty big deal. (His edit was supposed to be completed before the big change.) So now I have to make the changes. So, what really pisses me off is this: 1. Why didn't I just incorporate the new format (for the most part I am good to go) but I am missing one essential piece. My bad. 2. How come our managers can get away with crap like this? If I sat on an edit for 6 months I would be in the dog house, no pay raise, no promotion, yada, yada, yada. 3. I feel that his inaction showed a total disrespect for my work. I know he is a manager. He supervises several people and has to edit their work as well, but all he had to do was READ ONE F---N CHAPTER DAY DAY AND HE WOULD HAVE BEEN FINISHED IN A MONTH. And I wouldn't be sitting here feeling like crap right now. And on a Friday too! And then to top things off I live in a small community and for the LAST YEAR they have been working on a street scape project. Traffic has become progressively worse throughout the project and today was the worst. They are finally paving the intersection most affected by all the work. This is a major throughfare from my little city to the city where I (and thousands of others) work and as I come over the bridge today, after having a the most crappy day, I see everyone taking a sharp turn to the right. That is three lanes of traffic trying to turn right. No cop, nothing. Well, I'm smart. I decide to go up an extra block before I try to cross over, but I guess I am not the only smart one in the bunch. Lot of smart folks out here. Anyway, traffic is BACKED UP EVERYWHERE. ALMOST AT A STANDSTILL. You would think the cops would be out directing traffic during RUSH HOUR!. But no, I guess they are all at the local coffee shop eating donuts and getting fat. I have to admit (and I am ashamed of myself) that I laid on the horn when some idiot was trying to go straight across which held us up even longer. What an idiot. Take a right to get traffic moving and then take the next left to get where you need to go. I actually left work half an hour early but got home at the same time. Anyhoo, I have used it all up and I have to stop now.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Pizza Anyone?

I love pizza. I ate so much pizza when I was pregnant with my youngest son he won't eat pizza. I really don't know if that has anything to do with it, but it seems to make sense. Anyhoo, pizza has a lot of calories and I have come up with a very viable option (with a little help from WW). You will need whole wheat tortillas (I tried multi-grain tortillas, but they did not make a crispy crust), fresh oregano, fat free mozzarella, canned spaghetti sauce (I like Ragu), and your favorite pizza toppings.
Place your tortilla on a cookie sheet coated with olive oil cooking spray.
Spread about 2 tablespoons of spaghetti on the tortilla. Sprinkle with fresh chopped oregano.
Cover with your favorite toppings. In my example, I have onions, canadian bacon, and portabella mushrooms.
Cover with fat free mozarella cheese. The more the better I say. Drizzel with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
Bake for about 10 minutes at 425.
Eat. Enjoy.