Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Life keeps marching forward in a quick step for the Hula-gen’s so instead of trying to form some sort of cohesive post with a beginning, middle and tidy summary, I’ll just spit out some tidbits for you.
1. We haven’t had rain in western Kentucky in months. It is no exaggeration to say that the rain we’ve accumulated this summer could fit into a teacup. We’ve had sunshine every day since May. The people of this community can thank the Hula-gen’s for the downpour we had yesterday as it was the day we had planned to pour concrete at our house. Once again, God is teaching me a lesson in patience.
2. Daily, we get the wild idea to get into the pool as soon as we get this concrete finished, and then we stick our toe in it and feel the 59 degree water.
3. A photographer friend of mine set up his studio lights and helped me to shoot the studio portion of Teen Angel’s senior pictures last night. It was great fun but quite the workout. He made me shoot everything on manual and work through the things I didn’t know. He is an excellent teacher, and I’m very grateful, but it felt kind of like when the gym trainer makes you do those extra fifty sit-ups you’d rather not do since your abs are already burning. He was all aperture, shutter speed and custom white balance, and boy, was my head tired when we finished. Ask me where that aperture button is today. Just ask me. I dare ya’.
4. Teen Angel has a new beau. That thud I just heard was the sound of all of you parents with teenagers who just dropped to your knees to pray for me. Thank you.
5. I finished editing wedding pictures today and will nervously hand those over to the bride later this week. Ooh, it makes me nervous to share my work with others in such a personal way. I now have to start editing some senior pictures I shot for a girl last weekend and prepare for a shoot Saturday morning involving a three year old and a one year old. I’ll get to see just how fast I can move and shoot Saturday. This is all pushing me out of my comfort zone in a good way and inching me closer to that $2,300 lens I want. Nikon 70-200mm here I come!
6. I love learning new things as I get older. Have I said that lately? I really do. It makes me feel not so old.
7. Hubby is totally engrossed in picking out stuff for his man cave. We’ve had more conversations about paint colors in the last two weeks than we’ve had our entire marriage. He was also watching Steel Magnolias by himself last night when I got home. Maybe we should dress HIM as Dolly next Halloween.
8. I’m taking two vacation days this week and spending one whole day shooting fall foliage in the local wildlife areas. I can’t wait. Hubby is going along so the bogey man won’t get me in the wild woolly woods. I don’t know what he’s worried about. I could kill someone with these boney elbows of mine. Nevertheless, it should be a nice day together as long as he remembers to refrain from asking, “Why are you shooting THAT?” We had that discussion earlier this week when he walked in the door and found me shooting pictures of the foam on top of the tea pitcher. He may be in touch with his feminine side, but he knows nothing about photography textures. Or that bag of Halloween candy I have hidden in the kitchen.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Teen Angel wouldn't let me answer the door when the pizza man arrived Saturday, and Hubby volunteered to go into the convenience store to pay for the ice instead of letting me go in there. I think he was embarrassed by my um.....wig. For the record, I had a "large" time.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Things have been rolling along well lately, and the biggest source of excitement is in our backyard. After months of research and discussions about cost we decided to install a pool and a detached garage. Yippee Skippy!!! We’ve wanted an inground pool for a while but couldn’t decide if we could afford it and if we wanted to spend the money. We had an above ground pool at the old house and we really missed it this past summer when it was 972 degrees every day. We shopped around, got several estimates and finally decided to pull the trigger. We saved money by building it now instead of in the spring. We also negotiated really hard. As in embarrassingly hard. My father, who is tight as a tick, would have shed a tear if he had been there.
The garage will give us the extra storage we need, and Hubby intends to make part of it his man cave. I cannot tell you how excited he is. I’ve never seen someone so pumped up about picking out a toilet and pegboard.
The pool had to come first so as not to get in the way of the garage construction, so early last week the pool folks came with all sorts of heavy equipment and started digging. It was great fun. All of our retired neighbors showed up to watch. We haven’t had this much excitement in the neighborhood since the cops were called on that three day Fourth of July party up the street.
We started with this:
And had a hole in the ground by the end of the first day.
My favorite part came when they troweled the bottom. Those guys were smooth, I tell ya’. They started out with everybody in the pool and kept painting themselves into a small patch of cement.
Four become three.
And then three become two.
Finally there was just one.
This guy was awesome. He had the lightest touch and used a brush to flick away any crumbs. He was the Michelangelo of pool builders. When there was no more room for him to stand, he climbed into the bucket of the backhoe and leaned over the edge to smooth out the last rough patch.
It was fascinating to watch. I could have sold popcorn and sodas to the neighbors as they didn’t leave until the walls and bottom of the pool were finished.
Finally, it was ready for water.
It took three days of nonstop flow from the hose to fill up the dadgum thing. I can’t wait to see the next water bill. I hope Teen Angel likes community college.
The garage builders started this week and as of last night we had a footer.
And steps where the old deck used to be.
Unexpected cost? Replacing the siding on the back of the house because it looked like poo when the deck was removed. Ug. Up next? Concrete. And looking at the pool longingly all winter long until we finally get to swim in it. Come on spring!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
It’s not like I order weird stuff, either. It’s usually something fairly common. Like dumplin’s at Cracker Barrel. Last time I wanted ‘em? Temporarily out. Which is kind of like McDonald’s not having any French fries. The chicken and rice special? Nope. All gone. I’ve ordered something as simple as unsweetened tea and been told they were out of it. Tea, for Pete’s sake. Just the other day Hubby and I drove to a small town about two hours south of here to look at swimming pools and stopped at a decidedly empty restaurant touting its new citrus rice. I ordered the rice and actually thought I’d gotten lucky because the server cheerfully said thanks and turned in our order. Two pieces of buttered bread and fifteen minutes later she came back to tell me they had no citrus rice. Hubby and I laughed out loud and had to explain the humor of the situation to server Adele who had very little humor I must say.
We spend a lot of time explaining our giggles to servers because of how often this situation happens. We usually go around the table giving our orders with me near the end of the line. When the server kindly tells me they don’t have whatever it is I ordered, I usually say, “Of course you don’t,” and then we all erupt in big chuckles. On several occasions I’ve texted Teen Angel from miles away to share the moment. “At Perkins in Dyersburg. No rice.” “Cracker Barrel says no soup for me!” And her BFF usually laughs too because she knows the drill. For whatever reason, it’s just my lot in life to do without my first choice. That’s why I was not surprised when I couldn’t find the shoes I wanted last week.
For the past year and a half I’ve been wearing the cutest pair of slip on Sketchers on the weekends. They are white biker flats that are cute, cute, cute and can be worn with socks or without.
Photo courtesy: www.sketchers.com
I went to the Sketchers website and found the same exact style, and they were in stock, except for a couple of sizes, including mine. I went to another website. Same problem. Every size, but mine. In fact, I went to about a dozen websites. I spent forty-five minutes online searching outlets all over the country and I found plenty of shoes in all the other sizes. But not mine. Apparently, everyone with size seven feet wanted Sketcher biker flats in recent weeks. As Ralphie in A Christmas Story says, “Skunked again.” (As of today they are out of all sizes except for a 9 1/2. ) I finally signed up for an email notification from Sketcher for the date upon which they are available again. And then I proceeded to wash those stinkin’ shoes yet again. They’re on a weekly wash schedule now. I can’t bear to throw them away, although when I pulled them off last night and got a whiff of my feet I made a mental note not to remove them under any circumstances in the presence of other people from now on.
I can’t bear to give them up just yet, so I’ll hang in there a little longer and hope the folks at Sketcher stock up on them soon. In the meantime, if you’re out and about and see Straightaway white biker flat #21552 in a size seven, pick up a pair and ship them my way. I’ll reimburse you for the shoes and the shipping. I’d be forever grateful and anoint you as my new best friend. And while you’re at it, could you pick me up some dumplin’s at Cracker Barrel, too?
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
I’m proud to say he apparently shares his Aunt Hula’s love of cake.
Although I can’t remember ever stealing any off of someone else’s place. When she was watching.
Special Delivery is the spittin’ image of his daddy at this age, except Super Cop had red hair.
And can I just say that since Hubby and I are pretty far down the pike in the child rearin’ business, it’s terribly fun to watch Super Cop deal with the joys and frustrations of living with a toddler. Sorry, it’s the big sister comin’ out in me.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
2 : to throw into confusion : DISORDER
3 : to cause to experience a perturbation
Middle English, from Middle French perturber, from Latin perturbare to throw into confusion, from per- + turbare to disturb — more at TURBID
First Known Use: 14th century
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Having worked in television news, I have strong opinions about the use of live television. In my opinion, it’s usually misplaced or overdone. We are bombarded with “breaking news” that isn’t and “live” images which do nothing to complement the story. However, I thought this morning as I watched Victor Zamora’s journey from the belly of the earth and onto its surface that this kind of story is exactly what live news coverage should be used for because all around the globe people were glued to televisions and computer screens watching with the same wonder and fascination that I did. Didn’t we all get excited to see the men make it safely to the top after 69 excruciating days of wondering if they’d make it out alive or die a slow death in that cavern? Didn’t we rejoice with their families as they hugged and kissed? I figure the best job on the planet today was being that woman in the red jacket that stood by the wives and children, holding their hands and giving them support during their wait at the edge of the tube shaft and then watching over and over again their joyous reunions with their husbands and fathers.
I tried to put myself in the shoes of Victor’s wife who seemed to be trying so hard to contain her emotions while that tube was rising to the top of the mine. What had the past two months been like for her? Did she ever give up hope? Had she begun to plan his funeral? And did she wait until he reached the top before she finally let herself believe he was going to be okay?
What about Victor’s son? The poor little fellow looked to be maybe five or six years old. What a burden for such a young person to carry for the past 69 days. His mother let him kiss and hug his dad before she stepped forward, probably understanding why it was so important for the little boy to be first. It was at that point in the coverage that my tears began to seep from my eyes. I just can’t imagine what that must have been like. Their lives will never be the same, and that child will never forget that moment.
And then I put myself in Victor’s shoes. What must it have been like down in that hole, surviving on meager rations and hope. What goes through your mind when all you have to do is to think about life and death? When you have no contact with the outside world for seventeen days? And goodness gracious, could I withstand that half mile claustrophobic ride in that rescue capsule winding through the rock? Would I be strong enough to survive something that takes such mental strength and will to live? I would hope so. According an MSNBC report, “Victor’s stream of humorous patter in the mine earned him the nickname "Babbler." His comrades say he laughed even at the aching molars he has suffered for weeks.” What a testament to his character, and let's hope someone fixes his teeth free of charge. Soon. The poor fellow deserves it.
Some of the miners have been dropping to their knees in prayer as soon as they hit the surface, giving thanks to God for their survival. You bet I would have been on my knees, too. As I watched the coverage, I couldn’t help but think about our preacher’s sermon this past Sunday on giving thanks. What an exclamation point to his message. I am thankful for the miners’ rescue, and I am thankful for the reminder of how blessed I truly am. There isn’t much good stuff on TV these days that I take the time to watch. The ten minutes of coverage I saw this morning was better than a full season of just about anything else on the tube this season.