Thursday, November 30, 2006

November's Passing

Well, here we are on the last day of November. Time to kick it into gear and begin the process of getting ready for the holidays. I've scheduled some additional help in here on Friday to help get all the decorations out of the side room . Windows to clean and wreaths to hang. and electricial sockets to figure out - where does which light belong. Loads of work, but it can be lots of fun.

I've been really busy today getting things cleaned up. I started out by cleaning the windows inside and out so that they will be ready for the Christmas wreaths this weekend. The mood then struck to get the carpets done. So Sean & I ran out to Mom's to borrow the steam cleaner.

The girls have had a fit with the vacuum and carpet cleaner going. They aren't all that thrilled with the sound and the accompaning activity that goes with it. They both have been hiding in various parts of the house until the coast was clear to come out and venture a look at what I have been doing.

Since then I've been busily shampooing all of the downstairs carpets, with the exception of a break for a visit with Danielle.

She was dropping off a chair that they had repaired for Walter, and a little something for Sean. We had a nice visit before she headed off to her chorus groups' recording session. The Manchester Choirs are recording a CD of their Christmas program. Hopefully they will be in prior to Christmas.

Walter came by to get his chair earlier this evening. I was going to get him & Sean to do a little spelunking in the side room for the window wreaths, but the floors in the house weren't dried out yet, so I didn't want them to get messed up. Maybe they will get them tomorrow - and that will give me the opportunity to get the upstairs windows done before hanging wreaths.

Dean is off to class tonight - I think that he only has three class left and that includes tonights class and his final exam night. I believe that Dean, Walter & Ben all have their classes end by the 15th of December. Giving them just enough time for a wee break before the next semester begins in January.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Generation Gap

I've got 3 TVs, cable & a satellite dish. I have 3 phone lines in the house, a cell phone and one in the car, plus a pager.

I use 2 computers, 3 ISPs and a fax. I subscribe to two daily papers and one weekly one. I watch both the local and the network news every evening.

And my kids have the nerve to tell me I'm out of touch.

Seven Steps to a Clean Holiday Home

Follow these seven steps to a cleaner home to reduce stress, save time and make the holidays a little brighter.
  1. Starting Now: There's a long list of tasks to tackle between now and the end of the holidays — entertaining guests, buying gifts, making cookies for the office party and composing greeting cards. How do you make time for all the cleaning that needs to get done? Actually, maintaining a clean holiday home is easier than you think, especially if you approach it the right way. The first step? Begin cleaning before the seasonal rush. This will relieve stress and give you time to tackle long-term projects, such as polishing the silverware or rearranging furniture.
  2. Make a List, Check It Twice: Before you begin, make a list of all the things that need to be cleaned. Divide chores by room, estimating the time it will take to complete each task. This will let you know if you can squeeze in time during commercials or if you should set aside the afternoon. You'll feel a sense of accomplishment as you tick off each item, making it more likely that you finish everything.
  3. A Little Here, a Little There: You don't need large chunks of time to get your house sparkling. In fact, you'll find that dedicating only about 30 minutes a day to cleaning will yield pleasant results. Set aside a fixed time (e.g., right before bed, after your morning coffee, etc.) to get things in order. You can also clean as you go. For example, squeegee the shower door after you've turned off the faucet and rub down your tub with a cleaner such as Mr. Clean Magic Eraser™ to quickly wipe away bathroom scum.
  4. Yes, You Can Take Shortcuts: There's nothing wrong with being ambitious, but let's face it: there isn't always enough time. If you find yourself needing a quick cleaning fix, take a couple of shortcuts to tide you over until you can give rooms a deeper scrub. Giving your house a fresh scent will lend an immediate impression of cleanliness.
  5. Enlist Help: You're not the only one enjoying the holidays, so you shouldn't be the only one cleaning for them either. Set aside a specific time each week for cleaning and divide up chores so your children and spouse can pitch in. Have kids make their beds, sort toys, dust or wipe off countertops. Not only will this give you some relief, it will teach them good habits as well.
  6. Simplify: Sometimes it seems easier to clean around unwanted items than to discard them, but this isn't a very effective method in the long run. Reduce clutter with a little organization. Get rid of any clothes that don't fit or that you haven't worn in more than two years. Dispose of any singles (i.e., one sock, one earring, etc.) that used to be part of pairs. Designate a basket or bin for all mail, newspapers and car keys. Consider purchasing shelf organizers, shoe racks, plastic bins or hanging bags to help organize clutter.
  7. Have Fun! Cleaning doesn't have to be all work. Think of it as time to catch up on some reading: Rent books on tape from the library to pass the time. Or put on some of your favorite tunes and get those feet moving! You also can give yourself an incentive to work a little harder or a little longer by promising yourself a long bath or sharing a favorite sweet treat with the kids. How many times during the holidays have you found yourself wondering, “Where did the time go?” One day it seems there are weeks to prepare, and then your holiday party is just days away! With that in mind, there's no time like the present to get ahead, particularly when it comes to preparing your home for party guests and unannounced visitors.
Early in December, before too many commitments fill your schedule, take care of a few spot-cleaning and organizing projects that are sometimes overlooked. It will help ensure you'll be ready to greet friends and family with confidence — and you'll love the added glow in your home at your holiday celebrations!

To Alex

Happy Birthday Alex

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


We had a little excitement here yesterday afternoon, so I didn't get much blogging done at all. The FedEx guy dropped off new cell phones for everyone in the house. Now all the family using Verizon Wireless can talk together without getting hit for minute usage. I heard that Elda & Tim got new phones over Thanksgiving, Dean ordered these the day after and Alice & Troy got theirs on Monday. If we all got the same phones, when we are together we better keep them close so they don't get all mixed up. That would be a real mess.

Since I've not had a cell in several years it is going to take some getting use to - the features and how it all works, but then it will be old hat stuff. The best part now is that I can at least call Sean when he is out and it won't cost us any additional, and it leaves the home line open for those other "emergencies" that arise from time to time.

Since most of the extended family uses Verizon - we all get to talk to one another without tapping into our plan minutes. Fun, fun! We all three got Bluetooth headsets as well (freebies with the phones). That will make it easier to deal with trying to talk on the phone and shop or do whatever. It has been especially nice this morning when I was talking to Alice. No more neck crickes from holding the phone on your shoulder.

The girls have been having a great time this morning - they have been playing hard. Lilly has a real issue with food being in the bowl. She likes to "splash" some out on the floor and then eat the little nuggets. Carla on the other hand eats very daintily - no messes from her.

FriendshipMom is going to pick up Sean and I before noon today so that we can go out to lunch with Aunt Jo at the Olive Garden in the West End. We had a excellent time! Sean was such a gentleman, he even held the doors open for Aunt Jo. The food was terrific - Sean got a pizza most of which came back home for him to eat for dinner. Mom & I had soup, salad & breadsticks. The Supa Tuscana was excellent as usual.

I borrowed a book on The Melungeons, by Bonnie Ball, from Aunt Jo to augment my reading and genealogy discussions with David Baker over the Thanksgiving weekend. I do hope that it does shed some new light on to these mysterious people.

Sean & Dylan are out building on a tree fort in the neighborhood - thank goodness for the phone, at least I can keep up with him now. Dean should be heading home before too long and I'll need to make sure that he has his dinner well before I head out to choir practice this evening. We are coming down to the wire now and every practice is going to count.

Paul was pleased with the clock that I bought for his music stand while I was on my trip. It was a sort of peace offering for missing practice and a help for him since he's always asking what time it is during practice.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought for the Day: You are contemplating some action which will bring credit upon you. - Fortune cookie wisdom

Miss Debbie sent me this really cute friendship graphic in todays email. I love the sentiment. So true.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tricky Tuesday

Today is going to be a bit tricky. Dean is heading off to the dentist this morning to have a filling repaired. Oh, what fun. :( Sean has an orthodontist appointment this afternoon, perhaps they will let us know when they'll be removing his braces. Hopefully that will be soon.

Before Dean left this morning I saw this little moth hanging out on our front door. Of course, this led to the PhotoShop project. I haven't looked up what type of moth this is, but is surely looks like a piece of oak bark.

Morning Moth

Monday, November 27, 2006

Back to Normal Monday

Good morning all time to get myself back into the normal groove of the house. The day was in no way as exciting as the last several have been. I got back into the normal household doings. Laundry, vacuuming, sweeping, cooking, and other various sorts of cleaning. I didn't have an extra ordinary amount of laundry to do - so I threw in all the throw pillows to freshen them all up for the holidays and get any puppy smells out of them that happen to be lingering about.

The dogs were well behaved today. Lilly tried to have me either sit with her or sit in my lap to sleep during the day, but she's gotten heavier and I couldn't keep that up all day long. She did pop into her own bed a couple of time to sleep on her own without being scolded or told to go to her bed.

I had an exciting piece of mail this afternoon, Danielle beat me in getting out the Christmas cards this year. I had to share the one they sent, being that it is a photo card of the whole family: Ben, Danielle & Faith. They all look quite well and happy.

Poor Dean was been held up at work this evening. I guess he's about 2 1/2-hours past due for now, but at least he's phoned to let me know that he got tied up and is finally on the way home.

Walter dropped by for a visit this evening on his way to class. He's brought his laundry over for me to help him out with - he out of clothes and time to the laundry. I'll have it all done by the time he gets out of class tonight. He even sorted it with me. I think that I even found about a $1.75 in the pockets that I get to keep. Hehe.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thoughts for the Day:
  • "Yesterday's thoughts have created your present. Today's thoughts are creating your future." James Newman
  • "Good boundaries is good self-care." - Cheryl Richardson
  • "One can't believe impossible things, "Alice said. "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as 6 impossible things before breakfast." From Alice in Wonderland
  • Bless that which you want.- Huna philosophy, T Harv Eker
Dilbert Cartoons

Dean received these in his email this morning. Hmmm...I wonder what the message behind them was??

A woman, renewing her driver's license at the count clerk's office was asked by the woman recorder her occupation. She hesitated uncertain how to classify herself .

"What I mean is," explained the recorder, "do you have a job or are you just a......?"

"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman.

"I'm a Mom."

"We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, 'housewife' covers it," said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."

"What is your occupation?" she probed. What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out.

"I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't) in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out).

I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up and personally ushered me to the door. As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.

I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom." Motherhood! What a glorious career! Especially when there's a title on the door. Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations" and great grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates"? I think so!!! I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants".

Our Trip Home

Before we left Mamaw's house on Sunday I took the opportunity to set out the recorder to tape the bird calls and such in the yard before. This is going to give me a whole bunch of sound to muddle through.

We were planning on stopping by the Ft. Chiswell Mall before heading down to Hillsville to visit with Wanda and drop off some Christmas gifts for her. As we headed on down the road looking for the mall we came across some burros, this was a good one of the mom and her little one. The spotted burro started walking towards us - he apparently wanted us to get a better photograph of him. Just down the road on the opposite on the side of the road we saw this really unique barn. It is just different from the usual one.

We also happened upon the sign that directed us to the New River Trail State Park. This was a place that Mom had thought about trying to get to so that she could take pictures of the New River. We stopped in the middle of the bridge over the river so that she could get photos of the river as it ran under the Interstate 77 bridge.

After we found the sign for the New River Trail State Park we decided to go on the side trip in order to get photos close up of the river. It turned out that this is a fantastic State Park that is right on the bank of the New River. They had available horseback riding, canoes and riverside campsites. I can hardly wait to head back down with the family for an actual camping trip. I'm going to be sure to take my painting supplies with me.

While Mom & I were taking some photos of Foster Falls, I used the time to tape the sounds of the falls.

I took this photo of the falls while laying on my stomach on a rock in the river. It gave it a real 'eye-level' look of the river below the falls.

Mom was busy working on getting scenic shots of the river, when we saw what we thought were hawks circling. Mom thought that she would try to get at least one of the group of three, but it turned out that instead of hawks circling it was eagles. She did get at least one photograph in which you can make out that it is an eagle.

The really odd tree in the foreground is in the campsite area with the falls behind it. The other photo is at the top of the falls and shows the reflection of the mountains.

After spending about an hour to an hour and a half at the falls we headed on into Hillsville to visit with Wanda. However, as we got closer to her home we called ahead and found out that she had gone out for the afternoon. Not to worry, we just dropped by and left her Christmas gifts with the staff there so that she would get them on Christmas Day.

Mom & I then decided to go to Roanoke via the "back way", since I77 traffic was really heavy and there was construction work on the bridge. So we took Route 221 North. Oh! What a great idea that that turned out to be. The scenery was gorgeous and there was no traffic. We popped one little hill and here was the beautiful view that we were greeted with!

It seemed like the entire way into Roanoke it was just a treat for the eyes. Quite restful and calming. Once we hit Roanoke we stayed on Rt. 221N all the way through downtown and some of the buildings there were breathtaking. Especially the architecture of the old churches.

The remainder of the trip basically was traveling at dusk and after dark. But we did make one stop on Rt.460 for a sunset - I believe that Mom got the photo of the sunset, but I got this one of the cresent moon above the sunset.

Once with hit Rt.307 we came across deer dead on the side of the road in three different locations. We also noticed that there was a huge amount of traffic going west, we figure that it was students returning back to school at Longwood or Liberty. When we arrived on Rt360 heading on to the house. Thinking that we were almost in the clear when we came upon a police car sitting in the road across the right-hand lane of traffic. It was really unclear if the police car was in or on the side of the road until we were almost on top of it. There had been an accident, but it would have been really nice if there had been some flares indicating that the traffic should get into the left lane.

The girls nearly knocked me down as I got out of the car upon arriving home. Who would have thought that two dogs could have missed me that much. Dean & Sean came out and helped me in with all the stuff I had packed and brought back.

Dean surprised me with a cell phone - to be arriving in the next day or two. The boys had also been working with the dogs and Lilly has learned how to get into her bed - which is at the opposite end of the sofa from Carla.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Our trip home was quite an adventure. We made a stop at the New River Trail State Park at Foster Falls. It was a beautify sight. I'll post pictures tomorrow along with a full update.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Genealogical Adventure

Mom has been out "stalking" the cardinals again this morning. I know that she got a number of additional great photos. I even got another recording of the birds carrying on in the backyard.

This morning we headed back over to WalMart to pick up our photos - SUCCESS. They were all ready to go when we got there. On the way to Jonesville, I thought for a moment that we had strayed a bit far from our route when I caught sight of a herd of longhorn cattle. It messed me up just a little there. From there we had a lunch in the car in Jonesville on the way to visit with David Baker.

My appointment with David Baker to discuss genealogy was for 1 p.m., our genealogy discussion turned into a 4 1/2 hour discussion...WOW! It didn't even seem like we had been there any time at all. There are lots of notes and tape to go over and review. One high point was hearing about a family move to Knoxville around 1915-1917 that no one seemed to know much about. I'm looking forward to finding out some more about this move. There is just so much that we talked about and went over it is just going to take me some time to get it all muddled through. I had such a great time and look forward to continuing our correspondence and sharing of information. Mom got this great picture of David & I.

Thanks David for all the great information and conversation!!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday

We are going out to do some shopping and help contribute to the economy. I've got several gift ideas and we are going to do our shopping over at the new WalMart between Jonesville & Pennington. We are having several photos printed, just as soon as I can get them uploaded to WalMart. Afterwards we are heading up to Viginia Lee to see how it has changed since the last time we were up there. We may even make a stop up Pucketts Creek. We've heard tell that we might be able to drive to the Rogers graveyard on top of the mountain - we'll see.

Before our shopping trip this morning I gave Mamaw Stapleton a full blown hair cut and trimmed up Mom's a bit on the back.

Our shopping trip to WalMart was a succcess. We found Christmas presents for several individuals on our lists, plus a couple of other things just because. The only problem with our shopping trip was with the WalMart photo department. We had three pictures that we were trying to get printed and they were suppose to be ready once we got there, seems to be the case their machine was broken and they didn't have them ready. We'll try to pick them up in the morning.

We stopped in at Hardees for a quick lunch, before we headed up to Virginia Lee. Oh, what a disappointing sight. There were only a handful of houses left up the road and they were in need of repair and some up keep. It had changed so much since the last time that I had been there. We were leaving Virginia Lee and got stopped by a train. This was super event for Mom - she has been trying to get a photo of a train. The pictures at the crossing didn't work out well, so...I chased the train through St. Charles until we got to a nice parking spot so that we could jump out and take pictures of the train coming back towards us. Of course this did cause some concern among the local residence - they didn't want us to get into trouble for being on the tracks. Being close to the tracks I found a couple of trip 'souveniers' for the guys. I won't tell now what it is 'cause hopefully the fellows are reading about the trip.

On the way back we took another side trip up Pucketts Creek. We rounded a curve in the road to find a Red-shouldered Hawk sitting on the side of the road devouring a squirrel. I stopped as quickly as possible, but the Hawk was a bit quicker than Mom was with the camera. It was beautiful to see, even if she didn't get one we did have a real special treat. It was our inital plan was to get to the top of the mountain to see the Rogers' graveyard. However, this plan was thwarted by the Thomas', they were have concrete poured at the base of the road (which will be a great improvement for everyone). We didn't want to even attempt to go up the road - since we wouldn't have been able to get back down for the next several days until the concrete had completely dried.

After talking with several of the cousins who lived in Pucketts Creek we headed back out. When I got the brilliant idea to tape record the creek....This little project took some time. We would find a spot, stop, I'd jump out and walk over to the creek - tape recorder in hand and stand there for about 2-3 minutes. This went on eight different times. Then there was the picture taking too. I took a few pictures of the creek while laying on my stomach on a walking bridge that crossed over the creek, while taping the sounds of the creek. There were some finches in one group of pines where I was taping and I had Mom try to get a shot or two of them. I could see them just not really well and had hoped that her camera would have given her enough of a distance boost to see them. Alas, the lighting was just not right. Although they were quite interesting to see eating the seeds out of the tiny pinecones.

Our last stop on the way home was at the Niggerhead Rock. Mom wanted to see if she was able to get any photos from a different angle than is normally protrayed. I believe that she has some excellent shots that she will be sharing with us in the near future. I took a few myself and don't think they turned out half bad myself.

This evening Mom has been camped out in the backyard trying to take photos of the crescent moon as it rises up over the ridge. It is getting darker and the moon is getting brighter, but so are the lights from the prision down the way. Although the prision lights do add an interesting glow to the horizon. She really did get some nice crescent moon photos. Yet there were a couple of them that had this really odd refraction from the moon in them. It looks like a green crescent moon - I did a little cropping so that we could share it. I told Mom that it made it look like the 'moon is really made of green cheese.' It is really a fun image.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought for the Day: "Yesterday's thoughts have created your present. Today's thoughts are creating your future." James Newman

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Happy Thanksgiving
We rose and shone early this morning. Dinner is in the process of cooking and we are just hanging out waiting for it to cook. Our menu for dinner is turkey breast, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green jello salad, sweet potatoes, rolls and pecan pie for dessert.

Mom has been out in the yard chasing around a cardinal. She really got several great pictures. I'm sure that the Virginia Wildlife will be seeing one of those in next year's photo contest. I was able to take this one out of Mamaw's front window - Mom showed me a new way to make it look more like a poster and do a few other enhancements. I think that it came out well.

We hit the jackpot on looking through Mamaw Stapleton's old photographs. We found the picture of Dan Baker aka 'Double nose Dan', twin brother of Isaac Baker. I knew that this photo exisited and haven't seen it in many a year.....I am looking forward to finding out further information about Dan when I visit with our cousin David Baker on Saturday. I spent a good portion of the afternoon scanning in photos that belong to Mamaw so that Mom & I could bring them home so that we could have copies.

Our cousin, Bobby Baker came up for Thanksgiving dinner this afternoon and had a wonderful time visiting together. We talked about family, religion and politics all those juicy topics that no one is ever supposed to talk about. But we had a great conversation and all very very civil.

He told us that the Christmas lights were being lit this evening in Pennington Gap at Leeman Field. Mom is looking forward to taking pictures of the light displays. As we left out for Leeman field we saw a beautiful crescent moon - no pictures :( Maybe tomorrow night. We walked through the light displays and it was quite a trek. I do believe that we may have just about wore Mamaw out. Mom & I both took oodles of pictures of the displays, but lights are a terribly hard thing to photograph so we didn't get too many keepers, but just enough.

We rounded out the evening with me working on a few photos to post and Mom & Mamaw watching "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". Mamaw has been working on heading to bed for about an hour now - I guess that sleep is going to wait until the movie is over. Hehe..

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Off We Go!

Mom and I, left early this morning for our journey to Mamaw Stapleton's house for the Thanksgiving holiday. Our basic itinerary is trip down today, Thanksgiving at Mamaw's on Thursday, Shopping on Friday, Genealogy visit on Saturday, and our return trip with a side trip to visit with our cousin Wanda on the way home. We're looking for good weather and to have loads of fun, and perhaps learn a few new things about the family while we are there.

The trip down was terrific. We had wonderful weather - it was overcast, but no rain; after we reach Abington the sky began clearing up and we had sunshine the rest of the day.

Blue Ridge MountainsWe stopped here and there to take a photo or two. We saw a beautiful hawk sitting on a power line and made a side trip to see if we could get a photo, alas...he had left by the time we arrived back at the spot. However, the side trip was not a loss as we were able to get several photographs of an old house and barn along the road, Seven Mile Tree Road and Mud Pike. The street names were really interesting. We took these near Radford.

We took this one as we were driving down Interstate 81 towards the Tennessee state line.
After we got to Mamaw's house we had some coffee then ran out to the grocery store for Thanksgiving fixings. Then we had dinner at the local Chinese restaurant.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tuesday Preparations

This morning I will be prepping the car for my trip on Wednesday morning - I'm headed off to Pennington Gap with Mom for the weekend. I need to get the car cleaned out and all gassed up. I want to put some Rain-X on the windows to help repel the rainwater from the windshield. I'm going to run by and vacuum the car out too. A clean car for the trip. Wow, the day has been full, and not with what I had expected - as they say the best laid plans....

Sean & I headed out to the grocery store to pick up the guys some supplies for while I am away. I did get the car vaccumed out while we were out. Once we got back home - We were back out the door to take LG to the hospital. It appears that she may have had a reaction to one of her medications. Dean met up with us at the hospital and I brought Sean back home after we got LG into the exam room. So we are waiting to hear how she is doing. But this could take awhile since they were swamped, while we were waiting six ambulances pulled in.

However, we did have a nice surprise when we arrived home. Char, our neighbor's sister, had left us a loaf of pumpkin bread. It was so sweet of her to think about us.

Tonight is the big Thanksgiving Praise service at church. The choir is singing six song specials.

L.G. UPDATE: Looks like it is just an ear infection and will get cleared up with antibiotics. Yippee! Glad to hear that she'll be perking up over the next few days.

Don't worry - I'll be able to post updates of the trip from Mamaw's house.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought for the Day: "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." - Pablo Picasso

Golf Questions

Jill: I just don't understand the attraction golf holds for men.

Nadine: TELL me about it! I went golfing with my ex one time, and he told me I asked too many questions!

Jill: Well, I'm sure you were just trying to understand the game. What questions did you ask?

Nadine: I thought I asked legitimate questions.. like, "Why did you hit the ball into that lake?"

Life Change

Little Johnny had been misbehaving and was sent to his room. After a while he emerged and informed his mother that he had thought it over and then said a prayer.

"Fine", said the pleased mother. "If you ask God to help you not misbehave, He will help you."

"Oh, I didn't ask Him to help me not misbehave," said Little Johnny. "I asked Him to help you put up with me."

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday Excursions

This morning I'm headed out sale shopping for clothing. As much as I hate to shop this is an incredible sale opportunity - there is a sale and I have cash off coupons equal to the amount of money I have to spend, plus there is a second sale running that may take an additonal $75 off what I am purchasing. So, I may end up being able to purchase almost 3 times the amount of clothing for the same price that I normally would have to spend on one outfit. I hope, hope, hope.

I'll be dragging Sean with me, poor thing. But on the bright side...I'm going to have him take a look around the mall to see if he can find anything that he may like to have for Christmas. It will give him opportunity to see what is available, and shop for the people on his list.

Shopping turned out to be terrific. I've all kinds of things. A pair of jeans and two shirts that I can wear now. I also was able to do some Christmas shopping. I found just the right things for my brother-in-law; daughter & her husband; the granddaughter; and Mom. Not too many more to figure out. Look out after Thanksgiving shopping - it may finish me up!!

Sean & I will have it easy compared to Dean - he has to go into the dentist to have a filling replaced. Fun, fun, fun... Hope that he has an easy time and won't run into any unexpected problems.

We even paid a visit out to Mom & Dad's house. We visited for just a short while, but the main purpose of the visit was to have Dad give Lilly her 2nd puppy shot. Two down one to go.

Mom created this wonderful Thanksgiving card. I just had to share.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thoughts for the Day:
  • "Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements." - Napoleon Hill
  • The Law of Income: You will be paid in direct proportion to the value you deliver according to the marketplace. - T Harv Eker

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Super Sunday

I had a really big surprise when I got home from church today - Master Sean had prepared our lunch, solo! He did a fantastic job and I really appreciated begin able to come in to dinner ready to come out of the oven. Sean, thank you so much.

Choir practice this evening went well - we are even working on getting Walter up into the choir. He at least sat with us this evening. Who knows the next thing you know he may actually sing. Someday......

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Prayer Request: My cousin, Kevin, received an acid burn early last week and was treated and released from the hospital. The burn apparently got progressively worse as he now has been admitted to the burn unit for treatment. Pray for the family and his recovery.

Thought for the Day: "There is more hunger in the world for love and appreciation in this world than for bread." - Mother Teresa

Label Warning

My in-laws gave us a beautiful knife set--top quality. The accompanying cutting board, however, was a different story. On the wrapping around it was printed this warning: "Opening with sharp object may damage this product."

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday Events

This morning has Dean already out and raking/blowing up the leaves. So far "Sir Leaf" has gotten up 6 55-gallon bags of leaves and mown the backyard. He will probably get them all cleaned up before mid-afternoon.

I'll be heading out to choir practice before noon for a couple of hours. We are into full swing of getting ready for the Christmas presentation and a Thanksgiving service.

I don't think that we have anything really exciting going on today, but as you know that can change on a dime.

Sean went out this afternoon and found a job raking leaves for one of the neighbors. He was able to earn some spending/saving money on his own. The gentleman that he did the leaves for told him that he would give him a call when he had some other jobs that he needed extra hands to do. He also has a line on a couple of other jobs to do within the next week.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought for the Day: "Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together." - Vesta M. Kelly


On a business trip, my father approached a security checkpoint at the airport. The National Guard shift was rotating, and a guard, in full uniform, was in line in front of him.

As with everybody else, the soldier was ordered to go through the metal detector. So, as he did so, he handed his M-16 rifle to security personnel along with other items such as handcuffs and a flashlight.

Still, the alarm sounded when he walked through. Further inspection revealed a little Swiss army knife inside one of his pockets.

"Sorry, Sir, but this item is prohibited," security said to the soldier.

Then, taking the knife away, the airport worker handed him back the M-16.

Clerk Problem

In a department store, Sandra and a patient clerk were having a hard time getting together. Nothing the clerk provided was suitable. Finally, Sandra said in annoyance, "Can't you find a smarter clerk to serve me?"

"No," said the saleswoman. "The smarter clerk saw you coming and left."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Fun Filled Friday

Good Morning Everyone. I thought that I would play around with a little web design and learn a couple of new things and this seemed to be a very appropriate day.

Today the movie Happy Feet is released. This is the one that caused quite a stir when Maxine & Louise first saw the film trailer at the beginning of March of the Penguins, here at the house and started to do a little dance with Mumble the main character. We all were about to split our sides, it was so much fun.

I found a little movie of Mumble doing his moves and thought it would be fun for the day. I found the movie trailer and trimmed up the song so we could just have the part while Mumble was dancing. Hope you like it.

You can use the controls below Mumbles to turn replay the music if you like or click on the link to download the clip that I made. I did find out the name of the song it is Jump N' Move, by The Brand New Heavies.
Mumble Dances
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Sean and I received this very nice Thank You note from Debbie this morning. It was very sweet of her.

Mom is heading over for a haircut this morning, it was a really tremendous haircut too, I think we might have cut off 1/8-inch. We also did a little shopping online to find a Spanish language childrens book for their little boy that they support in South America. It was so much easier to do on-line vs. trying to find one in a local bookstore. While we were online we even paid Walt's phone bill for him. I'm getting to be the "Virtual Personal Assistant" for just about the whole family.

I had a moment of brilliance this afternoon while walking the girls on the leash around our street for the first time. Lilly notice a tag hanging off Carla's leash and kept wanting to chew it. Once we got home, I took a piece of rawhide and replaced it for the tag. Now Lilly is "carrying" her chew toy around with her all the time, its just hanging from her collar. This solves a couple of doggie issues: 1- Carla likes to take the chew toy from Lilly; 2 - Lilly loses them. Volia, problems solved. As an extra added BONUS it also keeps her from trying to chew on Carla.

Dean, Sean & I headed out to the theatre this evening to see Happy Feet. It was fantastic. I can hardly wait for it to come out on video. It is such a good story line and everyone in the family can enjoy it.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought for the Day: "Our duty as people is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation." - Pierre Chardin

L.G. put this cartoon in my 'granny bag' last week and I really just got around to reading it, but this one is so.... true. Those of you with teenagers can really identify with this one. Hats off to the cartoonist! He really captured the true essence of a teenagers' appetite. The next frame would be - dinner on the table and the kid saying, "I'm not hungry!"

Viaduct Height

Two goobers were driving a semi down a road when they came to a viaduct. The sign said 10 feet zero inches, so they got out to measure their truck. Unfortunately, the truck was just over 12 feet high.

They didn't know what to do, when finally one of them looked both directions and said, "I don't see any cops, let's go for it!"

Mom even went the extra mile on this one she checked the definition of goober - What is a goober? Its a term to describe blondes, terms of ethnicity and the like .By using the word goober we can laugh at ourselves without hurting anyone's feelings. Its not meant to be a slur of any kind against people or those lacking in intelligence. It just a way to laugh at ourselves and the silly things we sometimes do (even tho some goober jokes are so silly surely no one would be so stupid to do them).

If you observe a really happy man, you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his child, growing double dahlias or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi Desert. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that had rolled under the radiator, striving for it as a goal in itself. He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living life twenty-four crowded hours of each day. - W. Beran Wolfe

Prison Cupboards

Several years ago, Andy was sentenced to prison. During his stay, he got along well with the guards and all his fellow inmates.

The warden knew that, deep down, Andy was a good person. So, the warden made arrangements for the inmate to learn a trade while doing his time.

Some three years later, Andy was recognized as one of the best carpenters in the local area. Often, he would be given a weekend pass to do odd jobs for citizens of the community.

And he always reported back to prison by early Sunday evening. Andy was a model inmate.

One day, the warden considered remodeling his kitchen, though he lacked the skills to build a set of kitchen cupboards and a large countertop.

So he called Andy into his office and asked him to do the job for him.

To the warden's surprise, Andy simply refused to help.

"But you're an expert, Andy, and I really need your help," said the warden.

"Well, warden, I'd really like to help you, but counter fitting is what got me into prison in the first place."

Eggplant Sale

A grocer put up a sign that read "Eggplants, 25¢ ea.--three for a dollar."

All day long, customers came in exclaiming: "Don't be ridiculous! I should get four for a dollar!"

Meekly the grocer capitulated and packaged four eggplants. The tailor next door had been watching these antics and finally asked the grocer, "Aren't you going to fix the mistake on your sign?"

"What mistake?" the grocer asked. "Before I put up that sign no one ever bought more than one eggplant."

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton and her driver were cruising along a country road one evening when an ancient cow loomed in front of the car. The driver tried to avoid it but couldn't -- the aged bovine was struck and killed.

Hillary told her driver to go up to the farmhouse and explain to the owners what had happened. She stayed in the car making phone calls to lobbyists. About an hour later the driver staggered back to the car with his clothes in disarray. He was holding a half-empty bottle of expensive wine in one hand, a rare, huge Cuban cigar in the other, and was smiling happily, smeared with lipstick.

"What happened to you," asked Hillary?

"Well," the driver replied, "the farmer gave me the cigar, his wife gave me the wine, and their beautiful twin daughters made mad passionate love to me."

"My God, what did you tell them?" asked Hillary.

The driver replied, "I just stepped inside the door and said, 'I'm Hillary Clinton's driver and I've just killed the old cow’. The rest happened so fast I couldn't stop it".

New Immigrants

From: "David LaBonte"

My wife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register which, of course, was not printed. So, I decided to "print" it myself by sending it out on the Internet. Pass it along if you feel so inclined.

Dave LaBonte (signed)

Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in the Orange County Register:

Dear Editor:

So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.

Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr.Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.

They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture.

Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity. Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people. When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are in 2006 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And as for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.

signed) Rosemary LaBonte

A Wish for You

Troy, Have a great time at the Capitals game! We hope that your birthday is a special day for you and that your party group have a great time. - All of us.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Rainy Thursday

Seems like alot of our Thursday are rainy ones. The temperature here is very nice right around 70-degrees. Which leads me to think that we are going to have one of those 'warm'/'hot' Thanksgiving and/or Christmas'. I remember when I was in high school and we all were wearing shorts at Christmas, because it was so hot. If things keep on at this pace we may be looking at a repeat of that year, which was for those of you that don't remember was over 26-years ago.

The rain has arrived with a vengeance. It has rained extremely hard at some times followed by periods of relief. This gives up a brief time to let the dogs out for a quick potty break before the rain starts back up once again.

At one point Sean & I went out to clear the leaves away from our neighbors fence in order for the water to drain out of our shared 'pond' and down through her french drain. The shared pond had risen to 6-inches in depth and was on the rise. Once the leaves were gone it quickly receded. We even went over into the neighbors yard and cleared the leaves away from her far fence, which usually forms what is affectionately known as Lake Debbie in period of extreme rain - the 'lake' had risen to 12-inches deep at the time. We cleared out some of the fence line in an effort to keep all this water moving. What seems to be happening now is that it is just falling too fast to get under the fences and out of here, before there is standing water.

Walter came over to play computer again with Sean again. On his way over he took this picture out of his car window of the creek that flows through Frederick Farms. This is where the creek crosses under the road at, what the kids call, the Big Hill. The last rainfall amounts that I heard were approximately 2-3 inches for the area.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thoughts for the Day:
  • "It is bad to suppress laughter; it goes back down and spreads to your hips."
  • A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others. A desire presupposes the possibility of action to achieve it; action presupposes a goal which is worth achieving. - Ayn Rand