Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bowling w/ Drew & Gage

This afternoon, we had Drew & Gage with us for a few hours while Becky & Steve were at an appointment. We took them bowling down the road. Wes won both games, but the second game, Drew & Gage tied for second and beat me. Wes & I bowled with the opposite hand to give them an advantage. It worked with me, I was horrible left-handed. Here's some pics.....




Tonight I have to work because we are doing weather cut-ins every hour. Yeah!! (Sarcastic!!) Hopefully the storm won't effect us and we'll be able to get back to normal over the next few days. We'll see....

MOM'S 50TH BIRTHDAY!!!!

This morning, Wes and I surprised Mom with a cake and flowers during her Sunday School class. She had no idea we were coming. It was great!!!!
video

Something else that she didn't know was that I also wrote on her car windows!



HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!

I LOVE YOU!!!!

Not Again.....




Saturday, August 30, 2008

Phoebe's strange habit.....

Phoebe has somehow developed the strange habit of "licking" Wes' flipflops. She will stick her head under the strap and lick the shoes. I don't why she's doing this. I don't know if it feels good on her tongue or there's something about these specific shoes that "tastes good." (GROSS!!) It's weird, but it's the funniest thing to watch.



video

Papaw was doing okay today. He still a bit confused, but was a little stronger this morning when he woke up. He slept pretty good last night, only waking up once. Please keep him in your prayers.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Writer's Block #5

"Describe a time when you were afraid of something that wasn't real."

I made this one up because for some reason, this memory came to me today as I was sitting with Papaw at the hospital. (He's doing fair by the way. Very confused. His temperature is down though.) I don't know why I started thinking about it. Here goes....

When I was a young thing, about 8 or so, my brother and I were at home with a babysitter. I won't mention her name because, well, I don't know why. It's not her fault. Anyway, it was getting late that night and we were watching a TV movie. Pete had already fallen asleep (he was about 3 or 4 at the time) and I begged to stay up and finish the movie.

The movie was called "David." It was about a little boy (named David) whose parents were separating and competing for his love. I can't remember all the details, but it seemed that the parents were trying to get David to want to live with each and both were doing things to get him to "love" them more than the other. The boy's father decides to take little David to Disney World. On the way there, Dad goes to a convenience store and buys a gas can & gasoline, matches, cigarettes, and some sleeping pills. They end up a hotel room for the night to rest up for David's big day which he is overly excited about. Dad gives him a sleeping pill, telling him it will simply help him sleep better. He takes it and promptly passes out on the bed. Dad then pores gasoline all around the room and on the bed around David. He pores a trail of gas out the door and into the parking lot. (You can guess what happens next). He lights a match...

In the end, Dad goes to jail and David miraculously survives with severe burns all over his body. (In reality, he wouldn't have had a chance.) I don't know why Dad did this awful thing. Maybe because he thought that if little David was disfigured, Mom wouldn't want him. Or maybe he was selfish, thinking that if he couldn't have him, no one could.

I guess I was at an impressionable age then, because from then on, I was terrified of someone coming into my room while I was sleeping and poring gas on my bed. At times when I couldn't sleep or would hear noises at night, I would cry. On a regular basis, I would go to sleep with either an arm or a leg (or both) hanging off the side of the bed so I would be able to "feel" it. Of course, I was perfectly safe and there was no reason for all this anxiety, but my young mind didn't know any better. I think I did this off and on for years. I eventually began to think I was crazy or something. I knew I was being ridiculous, but in the back of my mind, that small amount of fear made me subconsciously let my leg hang off the bed. I eventually got over it. But I still think about it on occasion. Remembering how scared I was. Looking back, I think it's a bit ironic that the little boy's name was David. Maybe that's why it effected me so much. Either way, I'm over it now, if you're wondering.

I do have random, anxious thoughts about things on occasion. I'll find that my mind begins racing with all these scenarios of things that could happen and how I'll react to them. Things like what would happen if a family member had a car wreck and was seriously hurt, or what if Wes was at school and someone was there with a gun, or what if my parents get hurt at work. How would I find out about the event? Who would be the one to tell me? What would I do? How would I react? (Think about how you found out about 9/11. Where you were, how you reacted.) Sometimes, I'll have a physical reaction to these thoughts, usually when I'm alone. Of course my mind only races like this when I'm driving, trying to sleep, etc. Times when I'm not mentally engaged. My new friend Juliet told me the other day that she does this as well. I'm sure everyone does this in some form. But I'll bet that not everyone is driven to tears from these baseless thoughts. Don't think I'm crazy, it doesn't happen every day. But it's more often than you would think. Sitting in the car for a while or forcing yourself to sleep late at night, your mind starts to race and the "What if?" scenarios start coming. Then later in the day, my mind goes back to that thought and I'll think to myself, "What's wrong with me?"

I don't think my anxiety and this movie experience are related. Well, maybe just a little.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Papaw

Please keep Papaw in your prayers this week. Tonight (Tuesday) he went into the hospital with a high fever and confusion. The doctor said he had pneumonia. He is going for some more tests in the morning.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Update....

Not much going on today... This weekend was pretty eventful though. Mom & I went to Jackson to see Becky and their new baby. Precious!!! We got back around 4:30 and I had to hurry home to get ready for a Sunday School party. It was supposed to be a pool party, but thanks to the tropical storm, it rained all weekend and is still raining. It was moved to the church. We had a good time. There were lots of kids there. A few of us played Cranium. Wade & Crystal won.

On Sunday, we went to Quitman. Wes' parents have been awarded a Congressional Angels of Adoption Award. There will be an awards banquet in Washington DC next month. On Sunday, Marriane Todd, a freelance Photographer came to their house to take pictures for the awards ceremony and media releases. Afterwards, we went to church with them and then ate lunch. We spent all day there and then went to visit his Grandmother for a few hours. Again, it rained all day. The pictures started out inside, but we were lucky to get about 20 minutes of no rain and took some outside.

This morning I picked about 10 bags of pears. I broke the limb shakin' stick too. The hook came out of the end of it. I got rid of 10 bags today too! There were two ladies at work that wanted some to make preserves. They will definitely be busy this next week.

MOM TURNS 50 ON SUNDAY!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Olivia Grace

OLIVIA GRACE DENNIS
Born 8-22-08 6:05 pm
8 lbs.








Becky & Jim, Proud, silly new parents

Nathan meeting his new cousin. (Nathan is 6 months.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Volunteering For Volunteers

UPDATE ON TEAM INEZ

We now have a SPONSOR!!!

Mom told me that last week, someone from the hospital asked her if she would start a team for the Alzheimer's walk. When she told them about our team, they decided to use our team as their team. Now we are the Riley Hospital Team Inez. They are keeping the name. Mamaw volunteered at the hospital as a "Pink Lady" for many years. The hospital has made flyers with her picture and they will also be selling T-shirts with our team name for $10. (Half will go to the team) The slogan on the flyers and the T-shirt is "Volunteering For Volunteers." I'm getting more and more excited about our team. Maybe we'll have the biggest team or the team with the most money raised.

PLEASE GO TO THE WEBSITE ABOVE AND JOIN OUR TEAM OR DONATE TO THE CAUSE!! YOU DON'T HAVE TO WALK.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Massive Mushroom!!!!

This morning when I got up and opened the window for Phoebe, there was this MASSIVE mushroom in the front yard! IT'S HUGE!! I've never seen a mushroom this big! It is as wide as my foot and stands about 6 inches tall!




Sunday, August 17, 2008

Where's Gracie????

Becky is in overdue. Her due date is this weekend and as far as I know, she still hasn't had the baby yet... We'll see. I keep checking the Hydrick's blog for updates....

It's pear time! Anybody want some?? My neighbor has offered to take the rotten ones for deer feed. He's also going to take some ripe ones for his family. There's one lady at work that wants some and a few others that have offered to take a few at a time. So far, I've picked about 8 walmart bags full and that's only from 1 tree. Both trees are still overloaded. I will be happy to bring them to anyone who wants them... In other words: FREE DELIVERY!!

This week at work I started a new project. When a new commercial is to air, the company or ad agency has to send the spot to us. Most come on a satellite receiver and are put right into the server. Others come on tapes mailed to the station. Most local commercials that are not produced by the station's production department are sent on tape along with some national commercials that don't want to pay the fees associated with the satellite feeds. Others mail them because some small stations don't have access to the satellite receivers either. Either way, we accumulate a ton of tapes over the years. We have to keep them and we eventually reuse them. So my project this week is to re-organize them and throw out tapes that are older than dirt. (There are many 1 in. film reels still back there!) It's dusty, dark and smelly back there. On Friday, I stayed till around 1 am. I got to the G's. Not that anyone really cares about a dusty room full of old tapes. I just thought I'd mention it. I'm trying to re-organize the place so that I can function there. It's a slight OCD thing I have. It's really hard to go into someone else's organization system and adapt to it. I like to create my own system. Honestly, there was no organization back there at all. It was total chaos..... I'm trying to fix that..... We'll see......

GOOD LUCK BECKY!!!

WE CAN'T WAIT TO SEE LITTLE GRACIE!!!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

River Floatin'

Today was great. Wes and I went down the river with Dad. We put the boats in at the house and got out at the Stonewall bridge. It was the perfect day for a float. About twenty minutes into our trip, Wes was near me and attempted to reach out and grab by kayak to shake it. He never touched me. Instead he FLIPPED OVER!! It was rather funny! That is until he realized that his glasses were missing! They fell off when he went in the water and are now allowing some happy catfish to see better. Here's a picture of him getting back into the boat, nice and wet...

This is the railroad bridge down from the house.
We stopped at the fossil beds near the elementary school. I hadn't been there since I was a kid. The school used to take field trips there. (Remember that Beth??) Dad said they don't do it anymore because someone else owns it now. I had not been down this part of the river in a very long time. We went through Enterprise and behind the high school, and all the way to the Stonewall bridge. It took us 3-4 hours.
The river was so smooth that we didn't have to paddle much at all. It was just high enough so we didn't have to walk at all, but low enough were we didn't have to fight any strong currents. After the fossil beds, Wes decided to stay out of the boat and floated the rest of the way. He eventually tied his kayak to mine and let the current take him. Dad laid back and took a nap in the canoe.



Dad floated into some limbs hanging down. He didn't see them until he hit them....

I ended up getting out of the boat and floated with Wes. Dad was trying to knock me out and he said either I was getting out on my own or he was knocking me out.... So I got out....




This garden spider was in Dad's shed.... I thought it was neat looking.
After our relaxing float, we went to the fish camp.
Here's the bad news from the day... Since Wes lost his glasses, he was going to wear his old ones until he got around to getting another pair. Well.... I think I accidentally threw them away in the move.... They were nowhere to be found. Now we have to get him a new pair this week. With his eye disease, his prescription is special and the cheaper optical places can't do it. I feel so bad!!

Writer's Block #4

"Describe the most meaningful and/or important gift you've ever received. What does it reveal about your relationship to the giver?"


There are several of those. Several years ago for my birthday, my parents drove up to Birmingham to surprise me with a beautiful cedar chest that my Dad had been working on for months. The wood came from a tree that had been in Papaw's yard for years. A tree that Pete & I and our cousins used to climb when we were kids. It was cut down a long time ago and Dad got the wood from it. I had been telling him for years that I wanted a cedar chest. I don't know, he may have been planning on building it long before I thought of it. The day of my birthday, I was nearly ready for work when I texted Mom to tell her I was awake. Funny, I was a little upset because they hadn't called yet. (Of course, Wes knew all about the surprise). Mom called me back and skirted around the issue until I finally figured out that they were on their way. What I didn't know is that they were bringing the cedar chest with them. I was completely surprised. Mom & Dad both wrote a note and had it inside. They both made me cry. I now have the cedar chest in my living room which is where it will always stay, prominently displayed for everyone who comes by to see. I have a lot of memories inside it, from our wedding & honeymoon pictures, cards, scrapbooks, some things that belonged to Mamaw, and many, many other memories. Of course, I'll never part with it. It'll be passed down through the generations.


Lazy and Phoebe are gifts that have meant the world to me over the years. When I was in Junior High, my dad came home one day and told me to go outside and look in his truck. I didn't know what this meant or why and I was a little scared. I walked out in the dark and looked in the passengers side window and found a pair of gold eyes staring back at me. At first I was startled. I quickly realized that looking back at me was a cat. I had had a cat before. Her name was Ms. Kitty (I know, I was 9). She had gotten run over. The cat in the truck would turn out to be Lazy, my first "child". She slept with me nearly every night for the next ten years. She was the perfect pet. She kept me sane during the grueling adolescent and High School years. When I left home, I left without her. Mom & Dad took care of her. I wanted to take her with me, but she loved to go outside and would have been miserable stuck inside an apartment and I wouldn't want her to be in that environment. She spent her days chasing birds, eating them and terrorizing the dog, chickens, etc. One day Dad had killed a chicken and Lazy snuck up behind us while he was preparing to clean it and attempted to drag it off. That chicken was bigger than she was and she was dragging it away. I don't know how old she was when she died, but I had had her for about 14 years. She died two years ago.

Phoebe was a pleasant surprise. Wes gave her to me for Christmas in 2006. We were living in Birmingham. I was in Charleston for my job interview and Wes picked me up from the airport. When we got home, he wouldn't let me go inside the apartment because he had to "hide" my Christmas present that he bought while I was gone. I had to wait on the stairs. I was tired and irritable because one of my flights was delayed. When he finally told me I could come in, he was standing there with this little ball of fur in his arms. My heart sank! I was in tears within seconds. She was so sweet and innocent. She took to me quickly and is now our "second" child. Although she looks similar to Lazy, she has a completely different personality. Phebs is very playful. She has her toys that she loves to play with, but her favorite is what we call "Yellow thing." (It's a yellow feather on a stick) We regularly get it out and play with her. She loves to chase it around in circles until she's panting and her little heart is racing. It's good exercise I guess. She knows where we keep it and she will stand at the closet door and cry until we get it out. (SPOILED!!) She also fetches. We have several little foam balls laying all over the house. She'll occasionally bring one to us and we'll throw it down the hall a few times for her. She will follow us around in the mornings to remind us to open the window shades so she can watch the birds.

I know I've received countles gifts that are priceless to me. Memories are priceless. I wouldn't be able to write about all of them because I receive gifts every day. There's nothing like being able to step outside in the sunshine and take a deep breath. Waking up next to the best husband in the world. The love of family surrounding you. These are all priceless gifts from God.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Running at Bonita

I started running today! YEAH!! I went to Bonita Lakes this morning. Wes started back to school today and I woke up around the time he left. It was a nice morning for a run. I ran around a mile and a half. I felt good and probably could do more but didn't want to push it. My plan is to go on a regular basis, probably the days that Wes goes to school. I will also try to mix it up a little bit. I'll probably go to some of the other parks as well. I'd like to find a route around here so I don't have to drive anywhere. There were some older people walking near here this morning. I've also seen several folks running down Poplar Springs. We'll see. I still want to do a marathon next year!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Writer's Block #3

"Trace the journey of a five dollar bill through the lives of five different owners. What was exchanged during the transactions? How much (or how little) did the transaction mean to each of the people involved?"

On Tuesday, I took Papaw to a doctor's appointment. Afterwards, I took him by Sonic to get a hamburger. The total was $2.77 and Papaw paid with a five. The lady at the drive-thru took it and gave us the change. She stuffed the five in the money drawer and went about handing us our food. She went for a bathroom break and then a few cars later, a guy buying a couple of burger and fries combos paid with a $20. The fabulous five dollar bill then went into a overstuffed leather wallet with a few ones and took a ride down North Hills Street in the center console of a Jeep to a house to watch the olympics with its new owner. The guy ended up loosing a bet about whether or not Michael Phelps was going to win the 200m backstroke. $15 bucks down the drain..... The five ended up on the coffee table with its fellow bills until the party ended and they all got stuffed into the front pocket of some large guys' khaki shorts. After the olympic party, large guy went home and went to bed. He got up early to go cut his neighbor's grass. He put on the same pair of pants he wore the night before. His neighbor paid him with a 20 and a 10 and large guy gave him the infamous five. Neighborman then prepared for his weekly lunch meeting with his Senior Citizens group and made his way to Arby's, this week's meeting place. $7.50. The five again landed in the cash drawer of another fast food joint, his home sweet home.

If you think about it, money is probably covered in germs and bacteria. Think about how many hands have touched this one bill today. Look at the date on the bill and think about how many hands have touched it in those years. I think I'll take my five and go get some anti-bacterial gel.

Gross.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Writer's Block #2

"Describe your most intimate experience with Mother Nature."


Well, That's fairly easy. There are two places in which I truly felt like I was a part of "Mother Nature." One was when Wes and I went to Italy for our honeymoon. We spent over a week in Rome, Venice, Florence and Vernazza. Vernazza took the cake. It's the most beautiful place on earth. The town is so small and secluded. There are no cars allowed in the town except for one morning each week for deliveries. There's only one street in the town as well. Walking is the only way to get around. The city is built in a valley and there are thousands of staircases that lead up to hundreds of houses and alleyways, so many that you could easily get lost in. There's an old fort on a cliff that provides a magnificent view. Vernazza is part of the Cinque Terre, or Five towns. The train now connects the five towns, but the hiking trails are much more interesting. One day, Wes and I took a hike between two of the towns. It was one of the longer hikes. It was hot and hilly, but it was amazing. We walked through terraced farm fields of grape vines and other fruits. We walked down narrow pathways with a cliff on one side and hills on the other. There were times when you thought you were going in circles. The sun was high and the ocean was crystal clear and still as glass. The occasional sailboat would pass on the horizon. We stopped for a picnic at some tables along the way and noticed that there were several food bowls there with signs asking people to donate change or food so the locals could feed the animals that ran wild there. We watched several old men in their wineries, checking on their vines and plowing or weeding their rows. These men were weathered, with leather skin and wearing torn overalls and straw hats. Once we sat and watched two old men speaking Italian and untying their fishing nets. They kept looking at us and smiling. We watched them, fascinated by their movements and language. One day we sat on the beach for hours and just watched the sun, the water, the locals, some walking the beach for shells or small fish, others were getting ready to go out on their boats. The sunrise and sunset there was so beautiful. Vernazza is a place where you can truly forget that you're on vacation. I felt like I was in another world.


Vernazza


My other favorite "Mother Nature" place is on the river. You can't beat floating down the Chunky and listening to the birds chirping all around you. The last time we went down, Dad & I floated for a while and let the current take us. It was the most relaxing, calming time I've had in a long time! There's nothing better. The scenery changes every time we go down the river. Sometimes we'll see birds, deer, turtles, snakes... Sometimes the water is real low and you can see the bottom, sometimes you'll have to pick your boat up and walk a while. Sometimes the waters high and the current is swifter. Either way, it's amazing. As a matter of fact, we're going down the river on Sunday after church. It'll be the first time we've been since we moved back. I can't wait!!


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Writer's Block #1

So I've been wondering what to write on here lately. Life has been slowing down a bit since we moved back home. There's not much to do outside of work now that we are not in a touristy area anymore. Yesterday before our cook-out, I was looking for a few coffee table books to put in the living room when I saw this book (I guess you can call it a book) that I bought a long time ago. It called "'The Writer's Block,' 786 Ideas To Jump-start Your Imagination." I have decided to try to use this little book block (It's shaped like a block) to do just what it says. Hopefully I'll keep up with it on a regular basis. So here goes.

"Tell the story of your nickname....or the story of the most unusual nickname you've ever had."

Well that's kind of an interesting story. My childhood nickname is (I can't believe I'm sharing this!) "Peanut." I tried to hide this from people, but living next to my brother for the last 6 months killed that attempt. Anyway, so the truth is that when I was very little (months old) my Dad would feed me peanuts and I loved them. I still love peanuts. Any type of nuts for that matter. My favorites are cashews and almonds. So that's it. Simple as that.
When I was in Junior High, my friend Rachel started calling me "Eggy." I really don't know why. But that was my school nickname. At first it didn't bother me, but then it gradually became an annoyance. I'm kind of glad that one wore off. When you think about it, it doesn't seem very pleasant. I also used "MERK" on occasion. (The letters are my initials) There may be a few more that were short-lived, but those are the main ones. Pete on the other hand, has had many many nicknames. At first he was just "Bud." Then we started calling him "Dub." I can't remember why. He also suffered through "Peter Pan," "Pistol Pete," "Pete & Repete," and simply "repete."

Tyler in Colorado Springs

Wes's cousin Tyler is in Colorado Springs at the Air Force Academy. Here's a picture from the acceptance day parade. He's in the front row on the right.

Cookin' Out....

Had a good time tonight! Everyone came over and saw the house. We all sat around and visited. It was a great night for a cook-out. The weather was perfect. I was worried that it would be to hot on the carport, but it was perfect. Mom & Dad brought the ice cream maker and we had homemade GRAPE flavored ice cream. IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!!!!
Jana enjoyed watching the fish. She fed them as well. Drew & Gage "rode" each other around the yard and Wes did a great job cooking the meat! Thanks to everyone for coming out. We will definitely plan this again!

Wes cutting the grass before everyone got there.


Papaw & Virginia

Virginia, Papaw, Uncle Chris, Grandmother, & Aunt Jon

Becky, Aunt Patsy & Grandmother (Wes' Grandmother)

Becky, Wes, Grandmother and Steve

Dad with the manual Ice Cream maker. Janna & Drew & Gage were helping.


Jana & the twins playing in the yard.


Chris stuffing his face.