Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Visit with Dana

(photo removed til Dana sends me one she took...yes, I hated it that much)

I was in the middle of doing dishes about 4pm on Monday, the phone rang, and it was Dana. They were here! Already! For some reason, I wasn't expecting them til 6pm, so I was a little unprepared, even though I've had several weeks to prepare. After we talked over each other for a few minutes trying to decide what to do - meet at the hotel, meet at McDonalds, come to my house - we decided that I would come to the hotel and they would come out to me in the parking lot. Then she and I would go 'somewhere'.

Why are these situations so...well, not exactly uncomfortable, but...yeah, uncomfortable? Do we hug, even though we don't really know each other, only each other's words? I'm not good at meeting people under the best of circumstances, either getting diarrhea of the mouth or not having any words at all, rarely an in-between conversationalist. And I have a bad habit of jumping into the middle of someone's sentence to insert my own comment before I forget about it, thus throwing the other person off script. Or I throw in a bunch of "me, too's!", or "you, too?"s. And what about a little gift? All the posts I've read about other blogger friends meeting talk about how they shared little trinkets with each other. I didn't have time to even go to the dollar store and get a snow globe with 'Ringgold, Georgia' on it, or an ashtray/spoon rest/shot glass with a Georgia peach on it!

Well, I hurriedly dealt with the dishes, made sure Conner (who I had been with all afternoon and who spends the night on Monday since he doesn't have school on Tuesday) knew that I was leaving and would be back soon and that Pawpaw would be here with him. Remembering at the last minute that I had forgotten to put a month worth of trash and clutter from the inside of my small Nisson into the trunk, I dealt with that and was on my way for the fifteen minute drive to the hotel.

There they were, standing at the door when I pulled into the parking lot in front of room 107. Looking just like the few photos of them on Dana's blog! It was then that I remembered the crack going across my windshield. Darn, I should have told her about that so she wouldn't think...well, I don't know what I didn't want her to think. We introduced ourselves, Joe thanked me for some of the emails I had sent to Dana during a rough patch, and I admired and petted Beau (who is adorable!).

Right away we decided to take photos, in case Joe was asleep when we came back. So, the photo above. Joe took a couple with my camera, a couple with theirs. And I hope to hell that their's turns out better, because I hate this one! Seriously, I know it's not that important, but what the hell was I thinking? Did I forget that this would be splashed across multiple screens out there in blogland? Where is my makeup? Where is the clip that's supposed to hold my bangs back? Oh, and that puckery smile, like I ate a lemon or dill pickle? I broke a chip off a front tooth last week, and was trying to not show it. Plus, Joe took forever to take the picture, as evidenced by Dana's grin...she finally told him that her cheeks were hurting from holding the smile!

So, to sum up the visit so far, they're waiting to meet a blogger friend in the parking lot of a hotel, and up drive's a stranger with a cracked tooth and a cracked windshield, no makeup and a month past a haircut. All that's missing is the bag of boiled peanuts.

Dana and I hop in my car and I drive her around Ringgold. Which took about five minutes. We ended up back at McDonalds, which is right in front of her hotel. After boring the cashier to tears with our confusion at the types of coffee drinks they had, we both got an iced mocha coffee and took our seats.

And talked. And talked. And talked over each other. And said a lot of "me, too!"s, and "you, too?"s. I won't reveal any of Dana's secrets here, but suffice it to say that the hour and a half flew by. And just when we were getting to the comfortable talk instead of the frantic talk, it was time to go. Dana had to go take some pills and get to bed ... (or so she said). I drove her to the hotel, a hug goodbye seemed natural, and neither of us were really ready to end the evening, but...end it we did. After saying our goodbyes, saying we'd keep in touch, she went to the door, and her key didn't work. Knocking to get Joe to open it for her, they waved the final goodbyes and I drove away, realizing as I looked at my watch that it was only 7pm.

How would I sum up the visit? Way too short! A lot in common and similar views on a lot of things. I think next time - and I'm sure there will be a next time if they go back to Florida - we will go somewhere other than McDonalds (the coffee was terrible and the lights too bright), and we won't talk so fast or rush so much and just relax and enjoy. In hindsight, I'm reminded of those speed dating things where you only have x number of minutes to get acquainted, so you say as much as you can about yourself in that time period. Next time we'll have laid the groundwork, and can just get on with building a long distance friendship that now has a firmer foundation. I heard a term the other day in regard to social networking that I thought rang so true, something about it lacking 'genuine interaction'. I think we now have that.

Now, I can't wait to hear what Dana has to say about our visit as soon as she gets her internet service! (And I can't wait to see what happens with my spacing here, because every time I do preview it has no spacing for paragraphs.)

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Week in Review

This was the first year that Garrett played basketball, and I haven't been to any of the games because (a) I don't do sports, (b) I babysat Conner so Melody didn't have to chase him around during the games, and (c) I don't have to if I don't want to. This past Saturday, however, was the last game, and I had promised him from the beginning that I would go to that one.

I won't bore you with a bunch of photos of the game, but this is him in the center, doing basketball stuff. It looks a little like some kind of dance, doesn't it, with everyone waving their arms!

And this is Conner, trying to explain to me why he should spend the night after the game, which he did end up doing. (he's very convincing)

Sunday, Valentine's day, we celebrated three little boy February birthdays at the Chattanooga Zoo. Garrett would turn seven on the 16th.

They each had an Alabama Crimson Tide cake with their name on it.

They took us on a tour of the zoo...and no, I won't show you all the photos! Except these. Like the chimp above, one of several who entertained us or just sat and looked at us.

These birds were so beautiful! Look at those colors!

Aren't these the most fascinating monkeys ever? Their faces are like shrunken little men. If you look closely or enlarge, you can see a baby on her back. (Hmmm. Actually, no you can't. He's either not there, or very well hidden.) (No - wait - it is there, on the left shoulder, you can just make out his nose about even with the mother's nose!)In fact, I have a video of a tiny pair of twins that were also on display, but I didn't have sense enough to use the zoom, and didn't have my reading glasses on to actually see what was on the screen.. So never mind on that one.

Garrett says this is some kind of deer, but I'm not so sure and forgot to look. But they're definitely interesting looking.

This is just the boys posing on a statue, and Conner insisting on climbing it even though he could barely hold on!

This was my attempt at being artistic by taking the photo thru the wire fence. Just as I started to click he put his wings down.

In addition to the tour of the zoo, they also had a hands-on presentation in the cabin. I touched the snake so the boys would think I was cool, but only the boys actually did this, hold the snake! Actually, Conner had me hold him and stay way at the back!

He was, however, more than willing to tickle the tummy of the iguana. He looks pretty tickled himself, doesn't he!

And to finish off my week, here is Conner playing in the SWIMMING POOL! In February, a week after our third snow and record low temperatures! It's been in the low 50s this week, and today will apparently be near 60! Huh? And then in another week or two it will be back to winter. Is it any wonder that the plants are confused? And so are the people! (Yes, those are Woody pajamas, and it is the middle of the afternoon. And he wore them to Lowes and Wendy's.)
Speaking of plants, my hydrangeas have green buds, and the tulips and lilies are poking up. And, much to my surprise, the hellebores have fragile-looking but tough white flowers under the frost- burned foliage. I don't want to clean them up yet as the foliage is protecting the flowers from any further frost, but as soon as possible I'll have to get a photo up as they are gorgeous.
My next post will be next Tuesday about my visit with Dana and Joe. Woohoo!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Garrett with chair on head video

When I got my first digital camera a year ago, I didn't realize for several weeks that I could also do video with it. This video is me practicing. Unfortunately, once I figured it out and wanted to put it on my new blog, I couldn't figure out how to do that. It was the same situation as with the links - no one told me that you have to do these things in edit Html!!! Anyway, I found this when I was going thru my picture folders tonight, and laughed so hard at how stupid it is! And yet also endearing in it's stupidity. Hope you have a good laugh with it.

FYI, I'm just sure that my voice isn't that annoying, although I have to admit that I do tend to talk in a singy-songy voice with the boys. And I'm sure you'll be excited to know that now that I know how to upload videos, I probably won't be posting so many photos. And, I have several more old videos that I can upload before I do new ones. I know, I know, you can hardly contain your excitement!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday's Wander to the Wayside: Belated Snow Photos

I swore I wasn't going to post any more photos until I had thought of something to post about, but...I haven't thought of anything to post about, so here are photos of our HUGE snow and ice event last week. You would have thought we got two feet of snow instead of 2 inches, judging by the number of snowmen found even two days after the event. Children across the area got another day off from school, and memories to last at least until the next huge snow event.

The photo above is, obviously, the finches that I said make me happy (enlarge, please). There were up to a dozen of them on these three feeders at a time. The reason I put them under the eaves is because of the mockingbird that bullies everyone at the other feeders, and also the starlings were eating all the suet I put out but can't land on the little finch perches and socks.

This is Garrett, posing as if he's going to throw a snow ball at me. Notice the snowman on the chair behind him, left over from Christmas and yet to be put away. I also still have holiday lights on the bushes and around the door, so was the only one in the neighborhood, maybe even in the entire area, who was able to light up the snow that night.

I'm thinking that this snowman looked like a good idea the day of the snow...but two days later, not so much so. It looked like a giant penis (with eyes and a hat).

I thought this was such a clever idea, putting a patch of grass on his head for hair.

You can see by the leaves in the snow that they really had to scrape the ground to have enough snow for three snow people.
This was probably the most fashionable one I saw, and must have been quite the dashing snowman two days before!

It looks so funny to see all these snowmen but with no other snow around them!
This is Conner's snowman(men) at his house. A little on the short side, but so is he! And in his defense, it had done a good deal of melting by the time I took this photo.

I thought this was quite imaginative, a snow dog. Just kidding, it's actually a Georgia bulldog statue. (haha, that's my feeble attempt at humor)
Yes, another one.
We rarely get cardinals in our yard because of the woods behind us, but this one came by to peck at some fallen suet under the butterfly bush. Last week I thought I had a cardinal in another bush and got the binoculars out for a look-see, but it was only that stupid mockingbird doing an excellent imitation. I'm hoping this cardinal will go tell his friends that I have food.
I almost feel the need to apologize for doing another photo post, and of things that you can see right out your own door. When I thought about doing a Wednesday's Wander to the Wayside, it was intended to be more about me going out for a drive and exploring, with you in the passenger seat, but more often than not it's only from my driveway to my daughter's four minutes down the road!