Saturday, April 25, 2009

low 56, high 93

last night i decided that the forecast temperature was conducive to sleeping outside. so when i was ready for bed, instead of going to my bedroom, i went out to my back porch and crawled in bed. my back porch is screened, with lights strung around the perimeter, and wispy curtains that blow in the wind, and stars and windchimes hung from the ceiling. it's the perfect extra room. the daybed has a down comforter and a very warm quilt and lots and lots of pillows.

so i crawled into bed and realized that i didn't need quite so many covers. i laid the quilt off to the side and snuggled in. it didn't get nearly as cold as i anticipated. i don't think it even got down to the 50s to be honest. it was divine! i woke up to birds chirping and the sun in my face. i rolled over and went back to sleep. i slept so good!

the forecast high today is 93 degrees. it's already 84, so i think it will make it. the sun is shiny and warm and the sound of lawnmowers can be heard all up and down the street. gardeners are gardening. which gives me an idea...maybe i will put my little seedlings outside today, on this warm spring day, and give them the joy of sunshine directly on their stems and leaves, not filtered through the window pane.

norm is getting stronger every day and feeling almost back to normal. he's rested this week. he's been a good patient. thanks for all of your prayers on his behalf!

i'm fighting an inner ear infection. i went to the dr. on thursday, after a very painful night on wednesday. he put me on antibiotics and i had expected to be feeling significantly better by now, but the ear is still clogged and the constant ringing is beginning to wear on me. nevermind the congestion in my chest. at least the pain has decreased significantly! i was encouraged to call the dr. to let him know that i'm still feeling pretty bad after 2 days on antibiotics, as he may need to change the medicine. so i've got a call in...we will see what they decide...

it's the first beautiful weekend day of the spring and i think that being outdoors today is a good idea, so i think i'll got poke around my yard and i might even take a drive up to the parkway. why not, right?

so if you find yourself in my neck of the woods, let me know and i'll make up the back porch bed just for you!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


it seems that i've gotten into a bit of a routine with my days and weeks. i assumed that this one would be similar to the last one, or ones. that i would wake up and go about my day or week the same way that i have been.

thursday morning i woke up and had coffee and sat down to check my email. there was a note from my brother norman saying that he had gone out for a walk (he's staying with me for a bit). it was the first sunny day in about a week, and warm and spring-y and a perfect day to be outdoors. he was gone longer than usual but i didn't think twice about it.

then i got a phone call, and the day was not routine or ordinary or similar to the previous ones. my brother was in the hospital and he had had a heart attack. my stomach came up to my throat and i kicked into "crisis" mode. i'm very efficient in crisis mode. very non-emotional in crisis mode. so i made necessary calls and headed over to the hospital. he's pulled through amazingly! the ambulance got him to the hospital quickly, and he bypassed the emergency room to go straight to the cath lab where they put a stint in an artery and opened up the blood flow to the blocked chamber of his heart.

i'm glad my brother is going to be okay. that he is healing well. that i could be here for him to help him through this. he's my family, and i'm fortunate to have grown up in such a family as ours.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

three p's

the annoying one,
the one that makes me giggle
and the one i'm most thankful for

#1 - pinkeye. this is very annoying. two weeks ago i woke up with my eyes crusted shut and when i got them uncrusted, they were as pink as could be. i began immediately putting antibiotic salve in them. of course you probably all know the extreme vigilance required to NOT spread this annoyance to other members of your household, and i washed my hands more times than i could count, used hand sanitizer in the car any time i even touched my face, and started lysol-ing just about every surface i may or may not have touched. i washed all my bedding in hot hot water. and my vigilance paid off - three days, and my eyes were both white again, with no drips and no crust. yea!

and then...

i woke up sunday morning with my left eye crusted shut. what in the world? where did this come from? now understand, my four nieces are visiting for spring break, and norman is staying with me too, and none of them have gotten the slightest hint of this mess. so my hand-washing, hand-sanitizing, lysoling craziness is paying off for them, but for me, my hands are as dry as the desert floor and this morning, the goo had spread to the right eye, so here i am, both eyes pink and all that mess. i think i have to go to the doctor because my ointment does Not seem to be working. hmph.

#2 - pig poop. i have this adorable little porch pig on my front porch. he's concrete and very heavy, but he's my guard-pig of sorts and i adore him. well, a couple of weekends ago robert said something about chicken manure and i informed him that chickens don't make manure, they make poop. its not manure unless, well, You Know. and chickens don't make manure. this of course led to a discussion of other animals and whether they make manure or poop. nevermind that this conversation happened in the car, with robert's 12-year old son in the back seat who could not contain his laughter at the absurdity of the conversation. so we agreed that pigs make poop, and that it is more fun to say because of the alliteration. so when robert was making my beautiful new flower bed out front, he fashioned a small, oval shaped piece of mud and placed in at the pig's posterior. now, i have a weather pig. if you can see the "poop", there is light outside. if you cannot see the "poop" it is nighttime. if the "poop" is wet, it is or has been raining. if the "poop" is dry, it is not raining. if the "poop" moves, it is very, very windy. now you know.

#3 - peace. i've named my home "miremebe hollow". miremebe is my ugandan name and it means peace. so my home, my place, is "peaceful hollow". this week my nieces are all visiting (it's their spring break), and even with a house full of six, there is such an amazing sense of peace here. this weekend, keith's family came to visit as well and robert was here on sunday and it was such a great time of having my family all together here. when i moved here, i had always intended to put a day bed out on my back, screened porch, and that happened this weekend! it's so amazing sitting out there and listening to the sounds of outdoors. it's a great place for napping, and i even spent half of one night sleeping out there!!! it's my new favorite place.

come for a visit and experience it yourself. i'll make sure the pinkeye is gone when you come!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

sunday morning

and a recap of the texas trip

my house is quiet, my coffee is hot, and the sun is shining! what a great way to start the day!

i'm still wanting to capture moments from my trip last month with robert here on my blog. it would have been easier if i had done it along the way, as i intended, but i was just enjoying other people too much to sit down with my computer and compute. so...still wanting to capture those moments, here goes!

we left sunday night, feb. 22 and drove south to charlotte, nc where we stayed overnight with my dear friend linda. this is the same linda that i visited in august, intending to stay one overnight and staying a week instead! her reaction, when she saw robert, was how much he resembled keith. of course i think they look nothing alike, but they have similar personalities and qualities, so no wonder i adore him! it was difficult to leave to continue our trip south, but we did, with the comfort that charlotte is close enough that we can make weekend visits any time we want!

monday took us through several states, and we ended up in southern mississippi at grandma's house. grandma has been gone for just over a year now, but it will always be her house...the one place from my childhood that i visit again and again. i have so many memories there of playing with cousins on the property, running back to see the pond, riding bikes, climbing trees, eating watermelon and sitting on the front porch, the cousins all in a row, seeing who could spit their seeds the farthest! there used to be a horse in one of the pastures and we fed her sugar cubes (we never rode her, not sure why). grandma always hung the clothes out on the line to dry. and being a city girl, it was my first exposure to burning the trash in a big barrel out back. i remember making homemade ice cream on the porch, with little ones taking a turn sitting on the top as the ice cream got thicker so it would be easier to crank. and older cousins setting off bottle rockets at the end of the sidewalk around the 4th of july. i remember when hurricane frederick came through in the late 70s/early 80s and the Big Tree in the front yard went down - across the street instead of across the house - thankfully! i don't remember when they paved the road (it was a dirt road in most of my memories). i was told that grandpa used to make cane syrup, and for a while i think there were brick remnants of where they used to do that, but i didn't see them this time. i remember grandpa's old truck that my daddy drove for a while when we lived in florida, and he let us ride in the back. it's still there, not good for riding in, but good for taking pictures of! i remember the living room filled, almost wall to wall, with cousins sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags, while the grown ups got the beds in the bedrooms. i remember grits and biscuits - grandma always had yellow grits, and i think they were from the neighbors gristmill at the end of the road. and her biscuits...nothing in the world like them! maybe it was just because of the love she put into them when she made them for us! i could remember for hours, and i'm looking forward to doing just that when i go to the Big family reunion this summer! i was glad that i got to share this special place with robert, and i'm even more glad that his is planning to come with me to the reunion!

uncle danny introduced robert to chorizo for breakfast, with eggs and hot tortillas, which is his specialty. after some target practice out back (i'm a better shot than robert!), we had a short drive to new orleans, where we decided to spend the night since it was mardi gras, fat tuesday, and if you're there, you might as well experience it, right!? we found a reasonable room at a quaint little hotel right in the heart of the french quarter and called it home for the night. the parades and festivities blocked many of the roads most of the day, so it certainly was an exercise in patience and determination to actually Get to our hotel! but once there, we headed over to bourbon street. what a crazy place! we started collecting beads (and a feather boa) and walked through the crowd, watching the costumes and people. we drank, we danced, we laughed, we kissed. robert won a couple free t-shirts and a silly jagermeister hat in a contest! i got my face painted and glittered. and we headed back early and called it a night.

of course we started our morning with a short walk down to cafe du monde for coffee and beignets, which were fabulous! we popped into a couple of shops, took a few pictures, and walked over to the mighty mississip, where a saxophonist played, and sang a song, just for us. it was everything a trip to new orleans should be!

while we were driving we saw some funny? ironic? interesting? signs along the way. in mississippi, there is a realty company named cumbest realty. we thought maybe someone wasn't thinking about the spelling there, or if it was someone's name, maybe they should have gone a different direction when naming their company. but it's memorable, right? and then there was the tanker truck we passed that sported a diamond-shaped sign on the side that said "fresh acid". as opposed to what? stale acid? of course i learned that i needed to have the camera easily accessible so next time we saw such nonsense, we could record it for posterity!

this day's drive took us to our final destination - houston, texas. there were Many people for us to visit there, so it seemed like a good place for our vacation. we arrived on wednesday night, just in time to attend joel osteen's church for wednesday night service. a man named marcus wilt was preaching and it was really a wonderful time. the music was amazing, and the sermon was spot on. it really spoke to me. then we headed up to magnolia (a little town not too far north of houston) for a surprise! well, it was not a surprise to us, but it was a surprise to kelley, my best friend since college. she and her husband and their Five kids had no idea that we would be knocking on her door at 9:30 wednesday night for a week-long-ish visit! i have a bad habit of not telling kelley when i am coming to see her, and i get such delight out of seeing her reaction when i show up, that i just don't even like to let her know in advance any more. of course, i must tell you that when i spoke to her on the phone the previous sunday, i did mention coming over for dinner on wednesday night and she blew me off. no idea why. not like we live a couple thousand miles apart or anything! anyway, that was fun, fun, and funny! so her family got to meet my robert, and of course they approved. who wouldn't! he's great!

we hung out, talked, acted like we were actually interested in the things their kids showed us, and laughed at the many "marco-isms". marco was about to turn seven when we were there and he kept us in stiches. while peering through a glass marble one morning, he informed us, "i see chunks of germs!" we thought this was hilarious!!! we keep finding reasons to say it. i won this week when i said it, because i have pinkeye! if that's not chunks of germs, i don't know what is!!! our other favorite was at the dinner table one night, with a fabulous dinner including the Best homemade salsa by andy, when marco looked at the refried beans in the pot in front of him and said, "these beans are precious to me!" =) gigi made us a beautiful wooden plaque in the shape of a heart that got "marco-ed" (as in he decided to repaint it after she gave it to us), so she assured me that she would fix it and it is something i will treasure! and should we be worried that we found this dolly underneath the crib? too funny!

robert was a bit overwhelmed by all five kids and the constancy of it all, as in it never stops. i don't blame him. at least i knew what i was in for!!! so we headed south of houston where his brother jeff, and his partner john live, and enjoyed a quiet, relaxing visit at their place for a few days! it was a stark contrast to kelleys, where a family of seven never quite sees All of the dishes done, and where small children leave a trail, to a kitchen where a dish never stays dirty for more than a couple of seconds, and Nothing is out of place, ever. it was so delightful to meet robert's brother and i had a great time hanging out and getting to know them. one of the days, robert and i headed out to visit his step-mom and i got to enjoy her company too. it was a treat for me to be able to meet his family! we tried to drive from there out to galveston, but the road is in stages of rebuilding, and after almost getting stuck in the sand by trying to drive across the beach to the next section of driveable road, we made a u-turn and decided that seeing galveston wasn't that important, after all.

we spent sunday afternoon hanging out with my cousin, melanie and that was so fun! we had a few drinks and headed over to the potatoe patch, my favorite houston restaurant which has become a tradition for me over the years, going back to when mom used to travel to houston for training with continental airlines. mom and melanie introduced me to it, then i introduced papa to it when he and i were driving back east from california. so we had to introduce robert to it! i'm not going to say the food is the best i've ever had, but it is just the tradition of it all - and i just don't know too many other restaurants where you can get fried green tomatoes and fried okra! true southern food...

another day or so was spent at kelleys, packing up our stuff, and all that jazz. of course we had to stop and pick up some chorizo before we left the south. we put dry ice in the ice chest and started back home. we saw a couple of interesting street signs along the way...i mean what exactly is a baptist pumpkin center? i'll never know. and there was an overturned tractor trailer that shut down the interstate for about an hour. we got out and walked around. some people were playing frisbee in the median. lots of people had their dogs out for walks.

we were together for two whole weeks and we had a wonderful time! i think a true test of compatibility is if you can road-trip together. that's important for me, at least, since i love to take road trips. and i've found another soul who loves the adventure of the open road. but there's no place like home, after all, and we're still in love... what more could a girl ask for?! =)

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