Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Last Day

Here we are on my last "official" day as their boss. New Director, new direction. We're such dorks!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Work Work Work

Been really busy at work. End of the fiscal year. Beginning of the new academic year. Restructuring of our departments. People playing musical offices. I stayed in the same spot but new people moved into my suite of offices. Even though I stayed put, I now report to someone different. It's kind of crazy, but will be good in the end. I've been slated to learn a new program they plan to implement, but apparantly the moneys won't be there until after the 20th class day to actually purchase it. And on the other hand, I applied for another position within the department. Either way, my job will change and that's a good thing after doing the same thing for 20 years. I'm ready!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Take a Close Look

Our new kitty started out so sweet. Lately he's been fussy, grouchy and acting a little crazy. Well, here's the culprit. Our kitty is growing up and going to be losing this baby tooth soon!

Saturday Night Out On the Town

Last night, we met Linda and Tom at CiCi's for pizza. Had fun visiting and reminiscing about TV programs from our youth.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

They're Baaaaack!

It's good to see returning, and new, faces added to those there this summer. This was a little end of summer (or of an era) hoopla we had the other day. The next day, I found out that in the restructuring of our Department, I won't be going to the new building where these guys and others will be working. They're fun! I'll miss them.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Dang Grackles!

Times change. Can't stop progress. Only thing as contant as change is change itself. I know, I know. They have done so much contruction on our campus, and particularly surrounding the parking lot where I park. The other day as I was leaving, much to my dismay, was a whole bunch of Grackles. They're supposed to be in the big cities and this is just a sleepy little college town! What made me the saddest was thinking of the mockingbirds that used to live in the big trees around the parking lot and how I enjoyed hearing their songs. Ever really listen to a mockingbird? They just sing their hearts out. More than once, I found myself sitting down on a nearby bench just listen to a song because it was so beautiful and compelling. If you haven't intently listened to your neighborhood mockingbird, if you're lucky enough to have one, I highly recommend it -- before it's too late!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I See a Koala Bear

Saw this on my way home from my last visit with Dad. Nice.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


I recently visited the home of a friend's aunt. This was on their refrigerator. Nice collection, yes?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Not Exactly the Best Choice

Gene didn't like the fact the the cat laid down in his 25 yr old Weeping Privet bonsai. But then again, he wasn't so upset that he passed up a chance to take a picture of the kitty looking cute before he made him move.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Don't Anybody Panic

I took the cat outside and watched while he played around close by. Then he disappeared on me. Finally, Gene spotted him in this tree.

Here he is when he finally decided to come down.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Should We Keep Him?

This little guy is visiting for the weekend. What do you think? Should we keep him?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Congrats to the New Doctor in the Family!

Dr. Kim!

Gene's sister, Kim, will be headed back to Alaska soon. We got a chance to go out for dinner with her last night and really enjoyed it. It was great seeing her and getting caught up on all the family news.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Daylight Savings Extended

Just heard on the news about Daylight Savings being extended for four weeks starting in '07. Dad just told me a Daylight Savings story this weekend. The timeframe makes him a grown man living on his own and when my grandparents had their egg business.

He said he went out to see his mom one afternoon thinking he might get a meal while he was there. He waited around and waited around and was getting really hungry. He checked the clock and made a discovery. "Mom, ya'll haven't changed your clocks!" She assured him that the chickens had not either so they left their clocks just like they were. He said he left without getting supper. Was getting late for him I guess.

My grandfather (Big Daddy, as we called him) had many different careers -- farmer, cotton gin operator, school teacher, grass cutting business, etc. But the one I remember was the egg business. From what I can recall, they had about three hen houses with around a couple hundred hens in each.

In the summer, I loved going to the egg house. It was a little house for processing the eggs. It had a screened area on one side with a cooler on the other. A walk-in cooler! Although I don't remember the grandkids being allowed in the cooler, the ambient cold seeped through the conrete floor and made it a mighty fine place to be on a hot summer day before air conditioning was common.

Since there is a gap between the trailer and the porch, Dad's new doorbell was getting wet when it rained. So he built an acrylic doorbell house for it. At 87, the heat is really, really hard on him. I am so grateful he has airconditioning to be in during the hot part of the day!

For your quick "Information Please" lesson on AC -- ever wonder why those horrible old movies from the 1910s and 1920s had such a following? The "movie palaces" of that time were the first public spaces to be air conditioned. Home cooling didn't become common until after World War II. I was born in 1954 and remember the stores advertising they had air conditioning to entice customers.

Our first home airconditioner puts me at about nine or ten. And of course, the old timey grandparents were some of the last holdouts. It's hard to conceive life without air conditioning in the south, but we did it. Compensations were made. Houses were built with big eaves to shade from the sun, positioned to take advantage of the prevailing breeze, big tall ceilings to give the heat somewhere to go. Cars were made with windows that rolled all the way down so you had plenty of wind. Forget aerodynamics of a streamlined car, we weren't going that fast anyway and gas cost pennies a gallon. Then of course there were those aides such as a sweat rag (wet washcloth) that you could toss stylishly around your neck.

Air conditioning really spoils us but it is necessary to maintain the world it created. Computers wouldn't work without it. Lots of medicines we have now wouldn't be able to be made or last. Chocolate candy as you know it wouldn't exist! And it made the south a much more habital place which in turn brought an influx of population from the north. For good and bad, it changed the personality of the south.

Monday, August 08, 2005

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Mommy Kitty
I decided on a proper vacation this year and went to see Marylynn and Charles. It was great to get away and visit with old friends. I'd have been happy to hang around and watch HGTV all day and play with the cats while they were at work. But as it turned out, ML got a couple days off.

Thursday, ML and I went to the Clinton Library and general looking around Little Rock. I was very moved when looking at the collections at the library. I'm glad I got a chance to go. I liked the way the U.S. was looking then much better than today. Things seem to be handled fast and loose with this adminstration. Your rights as a citizen be damned if there's a buck to be made.

I was looking forward to seeing "the trailer" and I guess I can see why they'd say that, but the building looked more industrial than trailer to me. I really enjoyed seeing the displays and was especially interested since we will be in our new building soon at work and will need displays. Picked up a few ideas that I think will translate into our small space.

Clinton Library
I look forward to returning some day. I'd like to see how the landscaping turns out. The way the trees were planted was so different and grid-like. Long straight rows of the same tree intersected at wierd angles by long straight rows of different trees. I think it'll look so interesting when they mature and they will really compliment the lines of the building.

So now I've seen two Presidential Libraries. I really did enjoy my visit to the LBJ Library. I enjoyed that as a rememberance of my youth. The visit to the Clinton one left me feeling frustrated that so many good plans for our country have been tossed aside and smashed under the toe of a boot like a bug. Sigh.

Me Browsing
It started raining big ol' fat drops right as we were leaving the library and we had to run to the car. It reminded us both of that middle of the night when we stopped at a rest stop outside Tucumcari NM. It was a really busy rest stop and everyone was running. Running to the restrooms or running to their cars. It all looked so silly. Then we stepped out of the car and quickly learned that it was piercingly cold, and yes, we started running, too, laughing the whole way.

That was the same Montana-Texas trip that we stopped in Winslow AZ and went into a chicken place and placed our order. We'd been on the road so long that when I went over to the booth and sat down to wait for our food, I automatically reached for the seat belt. I just about lost it. Phhhhttt! I know ML was wondering what I was cackling about. I'm sure the local citizens were, too.

ML Makes One More Stop
So, anyway, back to this vacation. We left the Clinton Library and made it back to the car without getting too wet. We were going to drive to the gift shop which is in another location. That is too wierd to me. It was raining. There was no close parking. We were hungry. We blew it off.

We got a snack and drove around in quaint neighborhoods looking at houses and yards. How much more fun can you have? We loved it! Then we hit the stores. ML and Charles have been doing some remodeling and we were on a mission to get some organizers and accoutrements. It got late and we were so hungry. We found an fabulous Indian resturant and had a scrumptious meal and drove back home that night.

After a Great Meal -- Tie Required
On Friday, ML's sister and her husband arrived. I haven't seen them in forever! Her daughter and her beau came, too. It was a big happy houseful of family (I am an honorary member). Lots of good food and visiting. I came across some wrapping paper that looked like necktie fabric. Got the trusty scissors out and cut out a tie for everyone, including a bowtie and a bolo. Even "spilled" a blotch of catsup on one. Everyone humored me and as you can see in this accompanying photo, they are all sporting ties with their t-shirts. Mine was a big fat tie.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with everyone. Sunday morning rolled around and I couldn't wait. I had to jump in the car and start back soonest. After a day full of driving, it was so nice to be home and I had another day to rest up before going back to work. So that my friends, is how I spent my summer vacation!
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