Saturday, July 26, 2008

Etch A Sketch

A friend of mine gave me a very tiny Etch A Sketch. It's on the end of a ballpoint pen. But I'd like to have another one. About the size of a cell phone. And when I'm in a meeting when people pull out their phones and start texting, I'd pull out my mini-Sketch and match their enthusiasm.

By the way, I was certain there had to be an online Etch A Sketch and there is. But my recommendation is not to waste your time. Never realized that so much of the Etch A Sketch fun was tactile. So much more control with the two turners and not so much with up/down arrows.

Ever get a hold of a squeaky Etch? Ever do an elaborate Etchy drawing like a fox in a woodland scene straight out of a National Geographic and then stumble walking across the room to show it off?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Took a four-day trip to Phoenix for a work conference. Good information. Nice people. But it is H-O-T there in mid-July!!!!

Dinner on Monday.

Christine relaxing after dinner.

At the Phoenix Fine Arts Museum.

More museum.

Consultation Room. Sara is our account manager. Was great to finally meet in person.

Tim and Cindy.

Smiles! These are new friends from our table at the awards banquet.

Texas and Tennessee.

More Texas and Tennessee. Tennessee is a friend from last year's conference.

Are you supposed to take the chips off first?

Not Jim.

Grab a chip, Michelle!

Just go for it!

Melissa's turn.

Video of Michelle dancing with flamenco dancers.

Yours Truly, Christine, Sara.

Almost home - never was so glad to see water and trees and East Texas humidity!

Bauer BBQ

It was a hit! Once again, had a great time visiting with everyone, spent some time in the sun and saw fireworks, went shopping, ate great food, etc.

Our Hosts

Everybody Enjoying A Great Meal.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Still on Blogger Vacation, but just wanted to pop in and say I made it back from the Bauer BBQ and it was a whole lot of fun! More later!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Observing Blogger Vacation

Please check back in a couple of weeks.

Friday, July 04, 2008

July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Acts of Kindness

I saw some friends of mine the other day that I haven't seen in a while. This couple used to live in my work-town but moved away fifteen years ago to a big Texas city three hours away. They kept their little house here which is on a small private lake.

They are in town hosting a Fourth of July reunion of old friends from back in the day. I won't be able to attend as I will be attending the tenth Bauer BBQ, so I stopped by on Wednesday after work to visit for about an hour. It was really great to see them and get caught up. One of the things they were telling me was about their daughter who has just completed her first year of college.

Now I'm really terrible about dates. Gene was the one that remembered our anniversary. I was all, "is it the 23rd? 25th? 24th?" And what year did some thing happen? That's a serious challenge.

Only the birthdays I grew up with - those of my immediate family - are etched in my mind. If there can be anything convenient about dying, well Gene died on my sister's birthay leaving only the year to memorize (2005). Although, being the singularly most shake-you-up event of my life, there's fat chance I'd forget it anyway.

So these nice people I was visiting tell me their daughter is nineteen now. Nineteen! This puts one of the momentous events of my life at nineteen years ago. See, I didn't remember the date, but just a vague recollection of a time period in my life.

Now I know it was 19 years ago that this same lady-friend was so, so very kind to me and brought her pregnant self up to the hospital and waited and crocheted while I had to go through tests one day. She didn't have to do that. She wasn't my closest friend or my best running buddy -- just a friend in my social circle at the time. But she endeared herself to me forever for taking the time to do that. My stubborn independent self didn't think I needed anybody, but somehow she knew better. And a day that was more scarey than I thought it would be was made a little easier knowing that some kind soul was out there in the waiting room just a few walls away supporting me.

Now we get to the momentous event. Not long after that, she and I were in the hospital together. After my surgery when they got me up walking, I'd amble down to the baby room to take a look at her beautiful baby girl. Although I've only seen her a time or two since then, her little life became a marker for me. She was born at the same time that I lost all chance of ever having a child of my own. But said lady-friend was so kind that I could not help but rejoice with her. She had so much love in her heart that it soothed and encouraged me in the emotional healing I'd be going through.

So now I know and it is written somewhere. I was 34.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

"The Thunderer"

Some mornings, when I'm really dragging, I'll listen to my collection of Sousa Marches on my drive to work. Sounds crazy I know, but it is a close second to a strong cup of coffee to get the blood going. "The Thunderer" is one of my favorites. To get you in the mood for all those upcoming fireworks with rousing march music, please read a little something about "The Thunderer."

You can listen to an old victrola playing Sousa HERE. Although, checking out some of those other youtube clips that will present themselves at this site feature current day orchestras playing the song and just might be more to your liking. Here's some info you just really need to know about "The Thunderer."

The Thunderer - This march was dedicated to the Knights Templar of Washington DC in 1889, three years after Sousa was inducted into that organization. "The Thunderer" was Mrs. Sousa's favorite march, and Sousa featured it on the Great Lakes Naval Training Station Band tour to benefit the American Red Cross during World War I.

In 1889 Sousa was 35 years old, and he had directed the Marine Band for nine years. Although he was considered an outstanding composer and conductor, he apparently was still quite inexperienced when it came to business. He sold the rights to many of his most successful marches outright for thirty-five dollars each, as was the case of "The Thunderer."
Just remember when you are watching the big fireworks show and you hear a rousing rendition of "Stars and Stripes", you will be listening to mine and Gene's song. Not everyone sees fireworks when they hear their song. Guess we were lucky that way.

Posts for the next month will be sketchy if at all. But I'll be back toward the end of July -- hopefully reporting some fun adventures. Got the Bauer BBQ and some additional trips planned.

Enjoy your Fourth!
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