Monday, June 30, 2008

We Have A Birds Nest!

When leaving our house yester-day, a bird
rushed from the plant that is hanging from the corner of our house! A closer look today and I noticed mom and papa birds coming and going. Once they were away from the nest on a food run, I took a quick, but blurry photo of the babies - two teeny tiny birds and an egg. The egg looked about the size of a dime. Momma came back I got her picture before going back inside. What kind of bird is this?
The hanging plant is fake (silk) because we are not here year-round to take care of a real plant.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Alone and Loving It!

Here we are before my sisters and mother left me here at my mountain house with a kitchen full of NutriSystem food and no car. I have great neighbors so I'm pretty comfortable and not frightened to be solo. I've been washing sheets, towels and rugs, filling out student loan stuff online for the boys, and lots of fun things like rooting mandevillas, sweet roses, and raspberry plants. I have some petunias and impatients to plant and I need to weed like crazy, so I am not bored at all. Two neighbors have offered to bring me with them to Boone while they run errands, which sounds great to me (I need a new kitchen trash can). I have a couple of girlfriends coming over tomorrow night for dinner and that should be fun too. All that and a busy hummingbird feeder and popular bird seed feeder to gaze at as well!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

NC - Painting Pottery

There was a big storm here last week with baseball sized hail. The house is fine, all windows are okay, just lots of leaves that look glued to the stairway bannister outside and our hostas (plants) are pretty beat up. Not a flower to be found, and this week is supposed to be the peak of rhododendron blooming season. We do, however, have chips and pieces of roof shingles all around the house. This morning a roofing man came over to view the roof and he told us that we do need a new roof. This afternoon an adjuster from our insurance company was supposed to come by (I have no idea if they did or not) and they'll make the executive decision on whether or not we will be covered for a new roof. If we are allowed a new roof, we first must pay a $500 deductible and the insurance pays the rest for the same roof as we currently have. We plan to pay additional money to upgrade from a tar architectural shingle roof to a dark green tin roof.

Momma, Kat, Patty and I drove to Boone to see a movie and go to a pottery studio to paint something for each of us. On the way, we ate lunch at Sunrise Diner, then we went to the painting place, and we each chose something...Momma chose a small footed bowl and painted strawberries in it. Kat made a pretty celebration plate with a beach scene, Patty made four coaster tiles - one for herself, her boyfriend, her son, and a guest, and I made a covered butter dish. Momma decided we all had to have a small tile and so she made one for her and daddy, Kat made one for herself, and I made one for Mark. Everything looked so pretty! The shop owner will dip each piece in glaze and fire them in the kiln, then we pick them up on Saturday. We were exhausted when we left and decided a movie was out of the question.

After we ate a quick dinner of Mandarin Chicken Salads at Wendy's, we went straight to Lees McRae College in Banner Elk to see a play, Southern Voices. What a wonderful pleasure! We are now home. Patty is in bed, Kat and momma are playing the little digital game, 20 Questions, and I will soon be in bed. Maybe Kat and I will play a game of Scrabble first.

NC - Valle Crucis

We lazed around until lunch, had hot dogs with slaw, then we drove to Valle Crucis where we went to the old Mast General Store, the Mast Annex store, and Candy Barrel. We each picked out some old fashioned candy, and momma got us each a pretty shirt from the sale rack. It was Mast's 125th anniversary and they had a celebration with a bluegrass band, vegetables, fruit and dips, cold drinks, cake, and other yummy things. Momma and I danced. From there, we went to walk a labyrinth. This was a different type of labyrinth, made by cutting the hayfield into the design, but the labyrinth was overgrown and too narrow, so we decided not to walk it. My sister Patty called her 18-year old son, just to check in, and he had just had a car accident. He was not injured, but his truck rolled over and it is totalled. The truck that hit him was totalled too, and that driver wasn't injured either. I'm sure both of them will feel sore.

We went home, Patty and I ate some candy and played a game of Scrabble. Patty has such a good vocabulary, it was a real surprise that I won 270 to 235.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

North Carolina

Yep, after a long drive yesterday with many leg stretch and potty stops, we are here in Beech Mountain, NC. It is beautiful, and the company is great! We watched 3 movies: Hairspray, The Devil Wears Prada, and Shrek. Momma had never seen any of them, and Patty and Kat had not seen one or two of them yet. We all talk SO MUCH, I had to rewind the movie many many times so we could catch it all. Momma loved Meryl Streep's hair in the Prada movie, and she decided after a little hair growth, she could fix her hair that way. We paused that movie each time another angle of her hair was shown and paused so we could get a good look.

We stayed home all day, relaxed, and watched the sun set.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Mark and I ran errands yesterday, including a stop at the AT&T Warranty Repair place. What a treat, the man that waited on me took pity (probably the splint had something to do with it) and replaced my Blackberry with a brand new one. I kept the same SIM and memory cards, but I'm afraid some of the info I had didn't stick, like second phone numbers of most of my contacts. That's okay, I'm just so happy to have a perfect phone again.

Mark painted the baseboards white (on sawhorses on the back porch) and we installed the new toilet in the boy's bathroom last night, They won't be using ours anymore, yay. We are working on installing the vanity and sink tonight, and maybe cutting and installing the baseboards.

I recently read the nicest quote, 'The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.' ~St. Augustine. Tonight at 10:30 I pick my sister Kat up from a little airport just north of here, in Sanford. She and I will then drive to our other sister, Patty's new Jacksonville home. We are all so excited, as Monday morning us three girls will drive across town, say hello to our dad and then take our mother for the four of us to drive to my North Carolina mountain home for a "girl week". We have never done this before and are looking forward to a relaxing week of doing only girly things.

It is dinner time, and we are having steaks and pork ribs for dinner in honor of my husband, the wonderful father of our sons.

Friday, June 13, 2008


While on the home telephone to see if I could get my wonderful red Blackberry Curve 8310 mobile phone insured (insurance has just become available), and clumsy me with the big splint on my hand, I dropped the home phone into my lap ONTO my Blackberry and shattered the screen. The end result was, my phone was purchased in February before insurance was allowed and you have to insure the phone within 30 days, which was impossible at the time, so I am plain out of luck. I am going to the local AT&T phone center this afternoon to see if they can help.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

David and Computer School

David signed up at Winter Park Technical School last week. He took some tests and did well, so he was accepted in the Computer Tech program and orientation for classes will be in August. This morning David asked me to go with him to the Vocational Rehab office or an appointment. He told his counselor that he is signed up at the VoTech, and because of his interest in computers, they will try to place David in an evening computer job so he can attend classes full-time during the day. David is 21 and is anxious to move out of our house. It is his hope that he can make enough money to pay $200 a month to rent a room in a friend's (nice) house, about 3 miles away from home. I like this friend a lot.

Splint Revision

Today is day 9. To see the new straps easily, this photo is taken without my arm sock on. Typical for a new splint, I was having some trouble with pressure points. The bone on the side of my arm was becoming red and sore, and the bulging artificial joint in my ring finger was making a dent in the newly fused area of my long finger. Can't have that! Instead of driving an hour to the OT clinic at the doctor's Celebration location, they allowed me to go to a satellite clinic at the RDV Sports Complex in nearby Maitland. What a delight to be seen by my "original" therapist from over ten years ago, Sylvia. The last time I saw Sylvia was about five years ago, and she was single with a new puppy. Now the dog is mature, she's married and has a 13-month old daughter. Sylvia is a genius with splints, and she not only made it comfortable, but she also removed the zillions of pieces of velcro from the back of it and simplified the straps. The new straps are much cooler and I'm not sticking to everything my splint comes in contact with. Sylvia called the doctor and told him my stitches were ready to come out, so she was able to save me a trip to Celebration tomorrow and took the stitches out. This is not painful and my fingers feel the same as they did before the stitch removal.

Bathroom Renovation

These two photos were taken from the bathroom doorway at almost the same angle. I only wish I had taken a picture before we removed the wallpaper and vanity. Mark has replaced moldy drywall, replaced the 4"x6" tile with 12"x12" tiles, and is ready to paint the walls, seal the floor grout, paint and cut new baseboards, install new toilet, vanity, sink, mirror and lights. This should all be finished by Saturday aftenoon. Later, Mark plans to have the bathtub resurfaced with white enamel and then he will re-tile the walls with the same as the floors, but at an angle. After I took this picture, I decided to paint the wall behind the toilet. Mark will install the toilet tonight, and so later we won't have to work so hard to get that part painted in such a small space.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Robert Moved Home

It was a big Sunday...Rented a small U-Haul truck, and my cleaning lady, her boyfriend, Robert, and I worked hard organizing and packing up. Mark stayed home to work on tiling the second bathroom and David didn't want to help. Being one-handed, I couldn't do too much, but my wallet sure was emptied! I did work hard cleaning the stove and fridge, plus I had to pick through Robert's kitchen stuff for things David may need when/if he moves out. Both boys start school in August, so it will probably be another year before David finishes computer tech school, and two and a half years for Robert to become an attorney.

So far, so good with the boys. At 21 and 24, they get along well. Every night Robert has moved a bunch of stuff from the huge pile of his belongings that temporarily occupies my family room into his bedroom. One day things will be back to normal. Robert is now tidy and even makes his bed, fills the dishwasher, etc. Things have changed alot since he moved out at age 17. I have been noticing tht David has become neater as he grows older too.

1 Week Post-Op

Today my friend Cathy took me to the hand
surgeon for my one-week check up. It is still pretty swollen from the surgery and not healed enough for suture removal, that will instead be on Friday, but I did get this pretty blue splint. I have to wear it all the time, except when bathing. We had lunch on
the way home in historic old Winter Garden.
I had a sandwich and fries, yummy.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 3 - Driving

Here I am with the big cast. It looks like a club. My two fingers keep twitching involuntarily. It doesn't hurt at all, in fact the last pain pill I took was last night. My hand surgeon wants to have a look, so I will drive myself. It's an hour each way and nobody else is available to take me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Surgery Day Rain

Riding home from the surgical center yesterday, Mark and I noticed rain pouring from distant dark clouds. Through the fog of anesthesia only a couple of hours before, I was able to get this shot from my Blackberry cell phone. In the foreground are fields and fields of citrus trees. There were three seperate rain clouds like this, all in different directions, but no rain to relieve this draught-stricken area. I was a little groggy, but my hand was still pretty numb from an anesthesia pain block.

Monday, June 2, 2008

DC, Cocoa Beach, Home

That itchy throat turned into a full-fledged cold, just in time for a week of tour-guiding in Washington, DC. I coughed and hacked and sniffed my way through the museums and on the final day of the trip, I felt much better. The group was nice and the hotel was so pretty. Once home, I had the two appointments in Daytona Beach on Thursday morning. First I had a MUGA scan, where they irradiate some of my blood, put it back in me and then perform a scan of my heart to see how the blood pumps through. All this because I have a heart murmur, mitral valve prolapse. After that appointment, I had the final bloodwork and exam from the arthritis medicine trial that I was a part of. The appointments were over at 1PM and I hurried to south of Orlando for an appointment in Celebration with my hand surgeon. He decided to fuse only my long finger and thumb, not the ring finger. This all happens tomorrow morning. I'm fine with it all, but the thought of the incredible pain I'll be in makes me a little queazy.
I worked for seven hours today at the travel agency. Lots to do to prepare them for a group cruise in Alaska. I got home, flushed the toilet and the tube that brings water from the wall to the tank broke, spewing water all over the place. I turned the water off at the wall and Mark will have to fix this tomorrow after I get back from the hospital.