Thursday, September 25, 2008

High School Friends

I attended a VERY small high school. There were about fifty graduates in the Class of 1984. We were a tight-knit group, and have remained so in the years since. Although we don't see one another as often as we might like, we always seem to be able to pick up just where we left off.

Last year we lost one of our classmates to cancer. It was a horrible dose of reality, and it united us once again. Perhaps the bond is even stronger now that we are painfully aware that we are not "bulletproof", nor are we immortal. There was a time when you could not have convinced us otherwise.

Next week, the little town where we grew up will host a large festival. It's an annual event, and many of us try to return as often as possible to reconnect with our friends and to reminisce. It seems as if the Class of 1984 will be well represented this year. There is also talk of a Golf Tournament to benefit our lost classmate's children.

One of my friends sent this photo out this morning. It was taken at our 15th class reunion. It's dark and grainy, but it brought a huge smile to my face. I am on the far right in the middle. I either had a great tan, or I was wearing entirely too much foundation. I'd like to think it was a tan! That particular reunion was held the night after the town festival. We were at a home on the river, and the weather was more than cooperative.

I don't know what is being planned for our 25th next year, but I do know that the night will go by much too quickly. We will all promise to keep in touch on a regular basis. Unfortunately, most of us will not see each other until the next reunion rolls around. Our intentions are good.

Obviously I am feeling a bit nostalgic today. These people have played an important role in my life, and I can't wait to see them!

What are your best memories of high school and the people who suffered through it with you??

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This One's For The Girls

I received the following via email. Whoever originally wrote this, thank you!

EIGHT WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE "ESTROGEN ISSUES"

-Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
-You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.
-The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.
-Your husband is suddenly agreeing with everything you say.
-You're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says: "How's my driving? Call 1-800-..."
-Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
-Everyone seems to have just landed here from outer space.
-The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.


TOP TEN THINGS ONLY WOMEN UNDERSTAND

-Cats' facial expressions.
-The need for the same style of shoes in different colors.
-Why bean sprouts aren't just weeds.
-Fat clothes.
-Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.
-The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white and eggshell.
-Cutting your hair to make it grow.
-Eyelash curlers.
-The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.
-AND, the NUMBER ONE thing only women understand.....OTHER WOMEN!


Care to add to the list?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Friday Follow Up

What a fantastic weekend! The sky was crystal clear, and the temperatures hovered in the mid-70's. I am finally allowing myself to let go of summer and try to embrace fall. It's a challenge I face every year. Your posts have helped tremendously :)

I thought I would follow up with you on a few things that I mentioned in Friday's post.

Our beloved Hawks lost to the Wildcats Friday night. The boys gave it all they had until the end. Unfortunately, the clock ran out too soon. If there had only been time for one more play...... Enthusiasm for the team never waned. I know the photo is dark, but, can you see the Hawk mascot in the middle of the cheerleaders??? Isn't he (or is it a she?) cute? I have no idea who wears the costume.
I woke up Saturday morning ready to tackle those apples. I washed and cored them.
I fried up a whole pan for dinner.
I baked some to eat throughout the week. (This picture was taken before I baked them. I got busy with laundry and forgot to take the "after" photo!)
But I only got half of them finished!!!! WHEW! I am going to try to cook up a few each night this week to put in the freezer.

Some of you asked about freezing apples. I only freeze them once they have been cooked. I core them, but do not peel before cooking. The peel seems to give the cooked apples more flavor. Of course, the white and brown sugar, butter and cinnamon don't hurt either!!!

Cool Breeze has been hankering for some Apple Brown Betty, or Apple Crisp. Does anyone have a good recipe that they would like to share?

Friday, September 19, 2008

An Apple A Day

This has to be what "the promise of a new day" looks like... I stood on the porch a little longer than usual this morning - taking it all in. A small deer stood near the edge of the woods just long enough for me to catch a glimpse. I think she was saying "good morning"!It's hard to tell from this picture, but the dogwood trees are loaded with beautiful red berries. I enjoy those as much as I enjoy the white blooms in the spring.
After work yesterday, I stopped by my neighbor's house and picked up a huge bag of apples. Their trees are over-producing this year, and they were excited to be able to give some away before they began to rot.

This weekend I plan to put up the entire bag. We'll eat some and freeze the rest. I can envision going to the freezer and pulling out a bag of these beauties to heat and eat on a cold winter night! YUM!

Tonight, Cool Breeze and I are heading to the first home football game of the season! GO HAWKS!! We will see our daughter for about thirty seconds, and will spend the rest of the time with friends we haven't seen in a while. Our throats will hurt from cheering on the team, but we won't care! It will be the start of a relaxing weekend.

I always grieve the passing of summer, but I am beginning to get into the spirit of fall - with a little help from nature and football!

What will you do this weekend?? I hope it's fabulous.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Don't Just Stand There, Bust A Move...

Cool Breeze and I hosted a birthday party for his mom this past weekend. She came down Friday and spent the night with us. CB fixed an awesome seafood dinner, and we all went to bed early. We needed as much energy as we could get for Saturday!


Saturday morning we got up early and did all of the last minute things that you do to prepare for company. You know, throw all of the stuff on the kitchen counter onto the bed and shut the door. Stuff like that.


My MIL was excited that almost all of her family would be there to help celebrate her special day. One of the wives had to work that night, so she was at home asleep. We'll catch her next time.


I couldn't get enough of the children! They are CB's great nieces and nephews, and they provided the entertainment for the day. These kids were in constant motion, and snapping photos proved to be a challenge for me. I hope you enjoy the ones I managed to get that weren't blurs of pink, blue and blonde!


The pool was VERY popular - of course, it WAS in the mid 90's. Who knew the weather would be so cooperative?



This is Miss Priss doing her supermodel impression. Never let them see your teeth!!

I FINALLY got Wild Man to let me take his picture. Most of the time, he dove under water when I got within 10 feet of him!!Little Man couldn't get enough of the camera. Of course, I had to show him each one after it was taken - he KNEW he was cute!
This photo pretty much sums up what I've already pointed out about each one of these munchkins....Supermodel, Deep Sea Diver, Camera Hog.
And here she is....the baby of the bunch! Notice her father making bubble noises with his lips!! She was SO proud...and hungry.
This is what happened after she ate. Boy, that sure brought back memories. Snow White spit up for the first four months of her life!


This is how she preferred to spend her day. The only thing that would have made her happier would have been being naked!
What party would be complete without a game of horseshoes? You have to teach them young...
With very little coaxing, Little Man decided to bust a move. This is my absolute favorite picture from the party. Do you see the sheer joy on his face? I think there will be commercial endorsements in his future!
At least no one peed in the pool!
This was the last pool party of the summer. I'm sad to see it go. Couldn't we just have one more month? Please?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Country Talk - A Primer

Chesapeake Bay Woman and I have been discussing different expressions and terms that we heard on a regular basis while growing up. Since we grew up only a couple of counties apart, it's no wonder we speak the same language. Until recently, it had never really occurred to me that people from other parts of the country would have difficulty interpreting these colloquialisms. I have told CBW that she and I should write a book in which we list as many of these sayings as we can gather. It would serve as a primer for those who are unfamiliar with our terminology, and a reminder for those who chose to leave the area. Please feel free to post your sayings in the comment section. We'll put them in the book....

I solicited material from my cousin, my uncle and my hubby. Here's what they came up with....I added a few of my own. Mine have more to do with morals, theirs have more to do with bodily functions.

1. That makes the cheese a little more binding.
2. Greasy as eel poop.
3. Tighter than a tick's butt.
4. Wet as a chicken.
5. Do the water bubble where the duck poo-poo?
6. We're going over yonder.
7. That torques my jaws. This one is my new favorite!
8. Deader than a door nail.
9. Ain't got sense enough to pour pi$$ out of a boot.
10. Ain't got a pot to pi$$ in or a window to throw it out of.
11. That frosts/chaps my butt.
12. Cash money.
13. Like white on rice.
14. Bless her heart.
15. He's running around like a chicken with his head cut off.
16. Used to could.
17. It's right smart hot outside.
18. Livin' the life of Riley.
19. Rode hard and put up wet.
20. I'm gonna jerk a knot in you.
21. She can't carry a tune in a bucket.
22. Better late than pregnant.
23. Crazy as a loon.
24. High falutin'.
25. Down the road a fer piece.
26. We're going to see Thelma en 'em.
27. Puttin' the cart before the horse.
28. Right as rain.
29. She thinks she's all that.
30. I'm fixin' to go pick some vegetables for dinner.

I'll just bet you feel smarter already!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Disaster Relief - Part 1

I received the call Saturday night. The Virginia Baptist Feeding Unit was heading to the Gulf Coast to provide meals in the wake of Hurricane Gustav.

After church on Sunday, I headed to the office to try to cram two weeks worth of work into an afternoon. I was at the office so late that I didn't have time to go to the store to pick up additional travel supplies. I figured I could make do with what I had at home. I arrived home around six, and began to do laundry and pack.

I was hardly able to sleep the night before we left. My mind was racing, and my stomach was in a knot. I was afraid that I had forgotten to do something important at home or at work, OR that I would forget to pack something essential for my trip. Thank goodness I grabbed my mag light out of the glovebox. In retrosopect, I could have gotten by without other things, but NOT the flashlight. Monday morning came too quickly, and I jumped out of bed to wrap things up at home and finish packing. I was meeting the group of unknowns at 8:30 a.m.

The Surveyor took me to meet the others. My fear was abated within minutes of boarding the van. We had an AWESOME group of eight. It was a good thing...we were about to spend a tremendous amount of time together in close quarters!!!

Around 1:00 p.m., we passed through Orange County, NC. Their slogan is "You'll Be a Fan For Life." I'm hoping someone can explain this to me sometime. It was about this same time that we encountered our first caravan of power trucks. They were prepared for whatever Gustav could dish out - they had electric trucks, fuel trucks, tree trimming trucks and general maintenance trucks. They were the TRUE First Responders, and they were in high demand. The company name was Pike Electric Co. Thanks Guys!!

The lively conversation on the van helped pass the day. Some other things of note - one of our group members had an affection for Diet Coke and peanuts (She put peanuts in her Diet Coke and drank/ate them out of the bottle! hahahaha!), and one of our group members was a retired FBI Agent (I thought this was REALLY cool!). We traveled through VA, NC, SC and GA. There was surprisingly little traffic considering it was Labor Day.

We stopped for the night in GA. It was SO nice to be out of the van after a long day of riding. The group was asked to contact our coordinator at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday to receive further marching orders. They would be monitoring things overnight, while we were glued to the television sets trying to figure out what Hurricane Hanna was going to do back home in our absence! At that time, we were between the two storms, geographically, and there was speculation that we might be asked to stay put and respond to Hanna if necessary.

At 9:00 p.m. I was in my hotel room watching MSNBC. For the first time, I realized that tornadoes might be a factor in the region toward which we were heading. It addition, I realized that Ike and Josephine were lining up behind Hanna and Gustav. I wondered where in the world we were going to end up!

I talked to my family later that night, and was a bit upset because I would be missing my daughter's first day of 11th grade. I had never before missed a first day of school. She said that she understood, and it was alright. I didn't necessarily agree, but I was committed to the cause!

Who knew what tomorrow would bring?

To Be Continued.........

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm Baaaaaack!

Hello my friends. I've missed you!!

Our feeding unit team returned from the Gulf Coast Monday night. I have been trying to recover ever since!

Once I have a chance to organize my thoughts, I will begin posting about our trip. Our final destination was Baton Rouge, Louisiana. If anyone from that area sees this, please send me an update on the city. It was in rough shape, and I would love to get some current information on how the clean-up effort is coming along.

Thanks for all of the messages you left while I was gone. I couldn't wait to get home and read them! You guys are the best :)