Tag: Summer (page 2 of 3)

A Tribute to Katrina

I made up a new poem-ic phrase while IM’ing with Frankie last night:

Rumble, rumble, boil and crumble.

You know — the witchy brew chanting of literary edges … it’s a play on that. Offshoot tornadoes, awesome power in storms such as Katrina.

If you watch the news [about Katrina] you’ll see some things from Georgia, perhaps. Roofs gone, buildings crushed, fear struck into the hearts of many. Worse stories are starting to filter out of the coastal Gulf area.

God is so very powerful. So very much The Creator of all things wondrous. Storms like Katrina are a testimony to God’s power. Atheisticly minded folks won’t think so, but that doesn’t make it not true. Katrina was a massive Cat 5 hurricane as she steered towards the coastal area of the Gulf of Mexico. She slowly degraded, and is now a Tropical Storm, but something to watch out for still. She’s still a powerful Trop. Storm. She’s holding on.

Floods, mud, houses falling apart, tornadoes spawning off and ripping of rooves … it will continue today and Katrina’s remnants will meet up with another flow in the NE to dump upon the already wet and being rained on NE.

May God be Praised.

Turn your heart to God, let Him heal your wounds. Rebuilding, moving away to somewhere else, mourning losses, these things are temporal. The soul is not.

Under Tornado Warnings

We are under particular Tornado Warnings/Watches this evening. Just a while ago, oh about an hour ago already, I heard a bunch of rumblings to the South, and sure enough it was dark out that way, and lighting could be seen cloud to cloud. It then started to be the more dangerous type, ground to cloud. So I looked online and found there and on TV as well that Walton county had Tornado Warning on, and there was an immensely red and yellow cell from the most outer feeder band of Katrina there … and that county is not far away, in fact just below us.

Lightening action was intense for awhile, then seemed to pass by to the North. The TV radar is still showing very active cells below us though. So we’ll see what happens locally IRL. I turned the computer off and the network and phone stuff for awhile, but turned it on again to see what’s happening and to post this.

Frank is in Florida and can’t call me anyhow, so I wanted to get this online so he might see it. Our phone service is not working. DSL is though. We have vonage through DSL too, but that’s not working either. We only have one phone, so I can’t tell what’s up. Well, actually we do have another, the fax machine. I just went down and plugged it in, but it gives me the same “open” connection sound. I haven’t tried it in another jack, all jacks are connected daisy-chained anyhow. It’s weird though, that the modem can connect to the internet via the phone jack, but that vonage box isn’t connecting to vonage and neither is dial tone for local service that the DSL is through. Weird, weird, weird. It all started sometime this afternoon, I’m not sure when, there was no lightening around at all then.

The rain has been light since it started when I last posted. Steady at times, but never heavy. Just a light tropical rain. Before all the lightening was getting intense I was out looking at the clouds in the front of the house and had my camera, snapping a few things, and a Ruby-Throat Hummingbird came by. So I went in and made up some sugar water for them and filled the one feeder I have out there. I had filled it last week, but never saw them drink from it. I saw a hummer and so did Frank, but never did we see it feed. The feeder dripped dry. So I watched tonight after I put it out and there were two hummers that came back and were playing and flew to the feeder many times, back and forth here and there in the trees, across the street, zipping back and forth between all these and other things.

I got a few pictures, but they were blurry, and then I might have gotten a few better ones with the Hosta’s, but I have to check that out still. My hostas have some that bloom earlier and some that bloom later. The white blossoms are out now. The hummers fed on a few and that’s the time I snapped what might be croppable to blow up a bit.

It was lightly raining at that time, a time that hummers love to play in, I’ve noticed in past years. This is the first interaction I’ve had with hummers in a long time. Last year wasn’t heavy hummer time for us, and this year not at all until today. It was refreshing to see the hummers play in front of me. πŸ™‚

The lightening we had was refreshing too. Many cracks and booms and rumbles, and daggers and forks of lightening. Ah!

So being under Tornado Warnings is about actual spotted Tornadoes tonight, as well as weather being primed massively by the tropical system to just expect sudden tornadoes in the weather, often maybe diguised in heavy rain and not noticeable until it’s too late if you aren’t in a safe spot … then you are toast. So of course I was out on the porch watching. I wasn’t standing in the open, but I guess it’s a spot that’s not recommended in any case. I saw nothing but nice clouds, gentle rain, and massive lightinging here and there. There were notices on TV of spotted tornadoes, but in directions not exactly affecting us, so I was just watching carefully, enjoying the weather phenoms.

I’ll have some photos to post later, if any of the hummers or night cloud photos turned out.

Tropical rain begins

We have sprinkles starting, the sky is dark grey and blackish clouds … and it’s a large area of such. The radar for our state shows rain over us and growing.

The county next to us to the west has/had tornado warnings. So … the evening rainy thundersomeness of tropical moisture has begun for us.

Doggy is in his crate. I do hope we don’t lose power for any reason, I don’t have any “eat without heating up” sort of foods on hand really.

We do have a propane gas outdoor stove, but Frank never set it up for me since we got it … πŸ™ He’s not here, it’s too heavy for me to do anything with, so I hope I have no use for it in particular today or tomorrow.

Georgia Clouds – Tropical Connection to Katrina

I took a few pictures of some clouds forming and coming in, from the Westerly direction. Beautiful clouds. Here are two of the pictures.

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina coverage on the Weather Channel is what I’ve been watching the last few days on and off, I watched it through this past night (when I was awake, as I was and have been the last several days, a pattern that I go through often enough, it’s not unusual) and so I’ve seen it all as it came through and changed into a humoungous hurricane and gained fame as the 4th strongest hurricane in the US ever recorded. Hows that for an introductory runon sentence πŸ˜‰

Katrina is making her third landfall right now, in Missippippi. Jim Cantori remarked in a phoned in report not long ago that the flooding he saw where he is was “something I’ve never seen” … a big statement coming from him! He reported that they were 27 or so feet above sea level, and thought themselves safe from the surge, but had to suddenly evacuate to higher ground when the water came into the parking lot and was covering the cars in about 20 minutes … three to four feet of water, 27 feet above sea level.

The Weather Channel is remarking too that the surge forcasted is the highest surge ever, wave heights are huge too. Katrina was a Category 5 hurricane yesterday, and weakened to a Cat 4 in the night before landfall, but at landfall she was 140 mph sustained winds and that’s nothing to shirk off. Not as bad as the previous strength of 175 mph, but still … 140 is bad. 100 is bad enough.

We are in NE Georgia, and not in harms way, but will be under a flood watch later, and a wind advisory (25 mph or more sustained winds) and most likely a tornado watch. So that’s not NOT in harms way, really.

Reports of fuel problems are racking up. Gas prices will surely rise, shortages become a problem in The South, maybe nationally, that’s what I heard from Jeb Bush, Gov. of Florida, on TV a bit ago, and that’s also data that’s reported elsewhere.

Jim Cantori was talking in his phone report that I discussed above that all sorts of things were floating around, like a big garbage bin, the sort that looks like a train box, just floating around, that’s a super heavy tonage kind of thing just floating around.

The air around our house changed since yesterday. It was mild feeling yesterday, not too hot nor too humid. I walked outside this morning, and it wasn’t hot, but I could barely breathe, it was so humid, so very tropically humid. Thanks to God that we have A/C window units this part of summer! πŸ™‚

Frank is flying to Florida for a short trip for work. He had to go, this was planned before Katrina was born. He’ll be there overnight and the concern is airport troubles when flying home tomorrow.

Right now, on TWC there’s another phone report coming in from where Jim Cantori is, his producer, and he is talking about the flooding problems, and that they now had to be evacuated to the second floor of the building they are in, he said the water out there earlier was literally a sudden river rushing at them, and they had to flee for their lives, and that NOW there is at least 6 inches of water on the first floor of the hotel …. the worst any of them, the crew that covers these hurricane events, has ever seen. Absolutely the worst ever.

This is a historic storm. I thought as much when I heard that Katrina was named. She lived up to her name. That hard “K” sound is feisty. Camille was feisty too. Katrina wasn’t too nasty her first landfall, but people died. That’s bad. The damage that we’ll see in the coming weeks when crews can get into the areas now under threat will be interesting. This isn’t good, but it’s stuff that I love to see. I’m very weather-fan-storm-chaser oriented. Some people have to be. I didn’t “professionally” go into weather … I could have, but didn’t. I don’t mean I had an opportunity, but I could possibly have, but didn’t pursue it. I’ve been a storm enthusiast since I was very young.

The point of this post is just to record the event, this very historic event, Hurricane Katrina. We are under her cloudy edge, the outer outer clouds associated with the monster storm. We’ll see some wind and rain most likely later, I’ll report back as to what happens.

Windy Mocky Weather

I was just outside a bit ago, and there was a new storm brewing over head. My throat has gotten better since I last wrote, the previous post to this. Anyhow, the sky was black in patches, large patches, funny format of edge design, very flat clouds. There was blue sky visible, but not very much, but layers of higher clouds visible where black clouds were not covering the lower sky. I was moving the hens, and Frank was out there already, before me, chatting on the cellphone with someone.

So since it looked like it was going to rain again I took advantage of the cooler air with the storm overhead, and moved the hens one last time today (I had moved them earlier). I was listening to the air sounds around, and heard a great rustling sound coming from the East. I looked, and sure enough all the trees that way were swaying, the leaves being frenzy thrown too and fro on their branches. The wave moved closer and closer and suddenly it was swirling around us in our yard. Oh the wonder of a great swirly wind of fresh air. The wind movement calmed a bit, but stayed fresh and high, fast but not as swirly crazy as it first had hit.

It was a nice time, so cool and autumn like. It was late in the day, so the sun was lower (it’s amazing how much lower it is at this hour, the Summer IS going fast. It seems it was only the longest day of the year a short time ago.) I got done moving the hens and then fed them more layer feed (they appreciated that!)

I then just stood and devoured the delicious weather feelings. I had also gone inside just before and washed my hands and invited the children out to feel the windy weather. So we were all out in the yard. I heard some baby birds calling, and it sounded close.

I went over to the Maple which has a nest in it, high up in the tree. It’s so far up there … no way to see into it, even with our tall ladder (it’s not an extension ladder, it’s just a 6-foot type normal big ladder) but I watched it, and sure enough more chirping came from right up there, then a Mockingbird flew out of the nest. An adult, of course.

That nest was there long ago in the Summer. It wasn’t only just recently built. I did’t notice any activity in it at all though until now. I haven’t been in the yard much this Summer, but I have been out there some. I’ve heard chirping mockingbird babies often, even through closed windows. We hosted two successful mockingbird nests earlier in the season. I know I’ve heard other clutches of mockingbirds in the trees on the property next to us and across the street as well. So here was a newer clutch, new baby mocks high in the Maple directly across from the Maple that hosted the first Mockingbird nest of the year. That makes three nests. Impressive by our standards. We’ve not hosted one in the backyard before this year (not including the Bluebird Nest Box nestings). We had one in the front October Glory Maple the first year we installed that tree, but not since. Northern Mockingbirds are very prolificly breeding this year, at least around here they are seemingly doing more of it than in the past that I’ve gained an interest in noticing. πŸ™‚

So it was a nice way to end the lingering windy daylight, then the rain came down in drippy little drops and felt so nice, then got heavy, so we went inside.

It’s going, but blah

I’m not feeling so swell. All night I felt miserable while I was “supposed” to be asleep, but often am not. I was more miserable than normal. When daylight came and I got out of bed (I ususally, during such nights do sleep a bit right before and after dawn, also sometime earlier in the evening for an hour or two or more, often having waking anywhere between 1 and 5 am or before even.) Not that this should alarm anyone reading, I am officially “a nightowl”, have been since I was more aware of myself. I have memories to when I was Two, and they are vivid, but fuller awareness of self came when I began reading voraciously at age 8. I was a nightowl before that, but became super-aware at that time and know for certain of my nightactivitybrainness from that point on.

Anyhow, I’ve had a scratchy throat the last few days off and on, with it getting moreso persistent the last day or so. I’ve been really stuffy headed too, since when the children exibited illness symptoms. I also equate that with around when the A/C window units were fired up. Not that they are what made us sick, but it’s all co-incidental as well as tied together. The A/C conditions exasperate my allergic or their virus and my allergic/virus symptoms. A/C never has totally alleviated any allergies I get. I’m mostly allergic to molds and dust-ish things, not really cats, they only bother me with fur in my face if I’m already over-the-top symptomatic from something else.

So I’m trying to understand myself with what’s going on, like right now, I felt worse the last hour or so, gratingly scratchy throat, nearly rubbed raw feeling, occassional sneezes, nothing too big. My main allergy is usually sinuses clogging up hard-ish feeling. It’s that pressure behind the eyes, in the forehead, and eventually feeling like you can barely breathe through your nose though there is nothing to blow out with normal nose blowing. Gross, yeah, but that’s the nature of this post, about how I am feeling πŸ™‚

My throat thing is connected to my upper chest area. Yesterday I felt that getting itchy and my voice got rougher for awhile, then it lightened up. Today I felt it begin again. It COULD be connected with virus or allergy AND what’s going on in the weather. Yesterday I felt like that, and then we went out to Costco. On the way down the road, just a few miles, we hit a thunderstorm and a few miles later there was hail in the rain. So that’s a pre-weather event sort of illness from yesterday. Today I feel like this the last hour or so, and Frank just came in all wet. He was mowing the backyard and said upon entering the house “it’s pouring, I mowed for 10 minutes longer once it started to rain.” So there, that’s another tale about weather when I am feeling icky like this. The sky was a bit cloudy earlier, but not looking like rain. I was outside a few times this morning. Since feeling worse I did go outside and noted the heavy dark clouds forming, and so I can say for certain that it SEEMS to be a connection.

I’ve often noted that I love rain and thunderstorms, and feel icky when storms are coming in. I love them emotionally for how they are, but physically they do not make me well. It’s the pressure, no doubt. Low pressure systems do a job on me. My allergies get worse, and I connect that with mold spores. I’ve read that mold spores do burst when low pressure systems go through, at some point. I don’t know the first thing about it past that, but can understand that I have physical evidence in my own life to say there’s something to it for sure.

On a side note here: I love being in the mountains, like when we go to the Smoky Mountains every so often. I always feel better there overall. I still get allergies, sure, but overall I feel better and the allergies aren’t so bad.

It’s not the lack of cats. I feel worse when I go shopping that when I am home. Shopping in stores gets me scratch throated. It fades as I am away from it longer. We did go to stores last night, but only Costco and Harry’s (grocery market), neither of them are the worst offenders to how I feel bad when I go shopping. It’s malls and clothing and furniture stores. It’s enclosed chemical overage I am guessing.

Some hotels are like that for me too. So getting away from home isn’t relief from allergies and sensitivities.

I do have high-sensitivities that I am aware of, and figure into that chemical sensitivities as well. I am a “canary” as in “canary in a coal mine”.

The main point of this post is that I’m not sure what it is with me though, this high scratchy throat and congesting chest feeling that comes and goes. I have gotten like this a couple of other times since we got the A/C, and I thought I was getting sick when the children were, that it was that, but it wasn’t. Odd other times during my life I’ve felt allergies like this, but sometimes it’s not an allergy, viruses do start like this. So I wonder every time it starts, is it a virus or just allergies.

I used to take anti-histamines, but stopped doing that. I’ve had prescriptions before a few times, but don’t do that either. I have over-the-counter Sudafed’ed my stuffy-symptoms with 1/2-doses when it’s bad, not all the time, just when it gets bad.

This leads to the next thing I want to mainly point out: Sudafed gets a bad rap because Meth producers use it to make meth. The last few years have caused Sudafed to be under a microscope in sales departments, and it has gone down the road to be “you can only buy X amount at a time” to now being suddenly we found none on the shelves of the stores last time we got some (very recently) … only a new formula Sudafed PE … which is not what works for me. It’s a one-pill dose of 10mg of whatever version of decongestant it is, but it’s not the ususal “Sudafed”. We found out yesterday at Costco that the “original Sudafed” is still available, but THEY will not be carrying it. Other stores will have it only behind the counter, you have to ask the pharmacy attendant for it and in order to purchase it your vital information must be taken down. Urg.

So it’s just one step from being a controled substance … oh, it really is controlled. It’s not only behind the counter, it’s only sold if you are willing to tell them who you are, where you live, etc. You can’t just go in with cash and buy it. It used to on the shelf, now it’s behind the counter and you must be non-anonymous to get it.

I am not in favour of such things. I am not desirous to use it anymore. I didn’t want to use a drug to get rid of my stuff head. I hate using the stuff, I 1/2 my dosage long ago though, and found it a happy medium to use when I needed to. I know I would prefer a natural alternative, and leaned on the crutch of it’s availability so never tried to get natural about it all. Now I’m forced because of my beliefs in government, politics, and all that to not really ever get any of it. But I did just ask Frank to get me some, since I’ve had it really bad the last … whatever, and that it’s the “new” formula of Sudafed that was in the house and I hadn’t seemed to notice it. The pill is taller and not shiny … and the box say’s “new” on it, small area though, and the name has PE after it. I did not buy it, Frank did. I just used it as the other boxes in the past. I know the white and red box and the red pills and the way they are in the foil thingy and there was to many similarities with the old box and pill for me to take a closer look until I finally did because I just wasn’t feeling like it was helping me … and it is then I saw it was new, and that it was a different drug and different dose and the pill was actually bigger. It explained alot. I must say in my defence I took the junk in the morning, waking up and feeling yucky, and I am NOT a morning person at all. So I just didn’t look at it, had no reason to.

So my real thinking on this all is that my head needs cleared and “real” Sudafed does that well in a 1/2 dose, one pill a day, or maybe that first one and then another one pill 5 or 6 hours later. Traditionally, I may have a day or two like that, and then go a week or more, a month or more, with no need for it. It’s more often, then less often, then more, or none, then some, not much, then none, then more, that sort of thing.

If I can live with allergies I do. They just get to a point sometimes that I’m stuffy and need relief. So that’s where I am now. Sudafed PE doesn’t do it for me. I need the real stuff and then I may be able to get away from it again. I’ve been away from it before for a long, long time. I get “weak” and start up using it again, it’s easy to use and does the trick. That’s the weakness to it.

So along those lines I got a pack of “Sea Spray” from Costco yesterday. I’m not totally friendly to that sort of stuff, I feel like I’m drowning when I use it, for a second or two. I know it’s not bad for me, just a sensory thing I have a hard time with. We used to have that stuff around years ago, when we lived in Florida. That place was bad for me. I was needing all kinds of things there. Here in GA is better, yet more mold prone I think. Winters we have freezings, but overall the winters are mild. Pollen is nil then, but mold lives. At least the basic air around is better in winter. I love winter. πŸ™‚ Exept for going anywhere that uses un-natural heating. Wood is best. Heat pump heat is alright-ish. Electric heat is horrid. I can’t hardly breathe in that heat. I feel like, “I’m suffocating” similar to the “sea spray ‘I’m drowning’ feeling” but it’s worse since it’s as if there is little “O” to breathe in electric heat, for me that’s how it is. So many that use it put it up so high though, and that’s half the trouble with it. I love how our house is in the winter now, with just one fireplace and using blankets at night in layers, and wearing silk and wool to stay warm during the day. The house can be in the 50’s F. and I don’t feel cold anyhow. Others might feel chilly, so that’s where warm clothing comes in handy. The air is so breathable in such cases though. It’s natural and full of the big “O” we need. There is something about dry-ness in it, but that’s not the full thing. Hot electric homes or buildings with humidifyers on doesn’t help the situation with me.

Cooler air with wood heat and humidifying is nice, on the other hand, for those really cooler drier air times of winter, when they come, those lovely high pressure blue sky days of low temps. Then I just put a pot on the stove full of water, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Simmer away water, and fill the air with moisture and yummy smells of winter! Wood heat sticks better with moisture. All heat does, of course. The only heat, in my book, to want that with is gentel heat, as wood is the premier version of such.

It’s still Summer and I’m talking of Winter weather. I’m looking forward to it, and still feeling it’s not that far off, that “light” issue with less light than ever at the back of the house since the A/C window install, I wrote about that the other day.

I’ve been seeing flocks of blackbirds when we are out too. Since the last couple of weeks of July it’s been something I’ve seen every so often when we are out driving. It’s an “autum” sort of thing, as if they are readying themselves for the big grouping they do. So I have this sense inside that maybe it’ll be earlier this year than usual. Maybe not. Maybe it’s something normal and I just have never seen it before, this early. Oh well. I’m on record, just in case we have an earlier fall or winter or a hard one of either or both. πŸ˜‰

Speaking of nature, the bluebird nesting box has been sitting on our deck. Russell made a birdhouse from a kit awhile back, and it’s workable, but is not openable by humans to clean it out, so I never liked the thought of it being used. Anyhow it was out of the deck and we noticed a male Bluebird checking it out, so we rushed into the garage and got out the bluebird nesting box and stuck it on the deck near the other one. That was over a month ago. Nothing came of it right away, but the last few weeks they got interested in it again and built a nest. Last week there were two beautiful bluebird eggs in the nest. I left it alone and saw Mrs. Bluebird around, but wasn’t able to watch the box for her in and out-ness, since the A/C in the kitchen blocks the views of the backyard entirely. I only saw her when I was in the backyard doing henny stuff.

So I was out of it the last few days and wasn’t outside, others did stuff for the hennies. I went out today and saw the box and went up and looked in, no Mrs. Bluebird, and just one blue egg. There was one missing. And the one egg there just felt warm as the air, so it’s not being sat on. I can’t figure where the other egg went to. There are no remains anywhere to be found. I haven’t seen any horrid birds, not that they couldn’t have done something stealth-like, but I haven’t even seen one around since I took the bluebird box down from it’s old install in the back of the yard when House Sparrows built a nest and started a clutch being layed. I found that, smashed the eggs, destroyed the nest, and took the box down for good. πŸ™ But it got back up since the child-built one was there, and maybe shouldn’t have been. The beautious blue birds wanted a nesting and so I gave them one, but something caused them to abandon it or something worse happened.

I can hardly wait to get the kitchen more straightened out –$ to buy the doors we need and install them, then we can see into the backyard easily again. I am a bird watcher and haven’t watched birds in so long. My last binoculars were ruined by Asa, so I’m out of binoculars again anyhow. Half the reason for less to no bird watching is that the big cedar feeder in the backyard fell over and broke in a storm we had last year. Never had the chance to replace it since. I also used to always put out Hummingbird Feeders, I have only one though now, the others all broke. Just one very nice glass decoritive one, and it’s on the front porch and not that visible unless you stand right at the door. Birds would come and go so fast you hardly could watch their front porch activity in the past. Our back feeders alway got more activity anyhow. So I haven’t even once got that feeder down this year. Bad me. It sits out there looking nice, but is totally empty.

Last year was a bad year for me, loosing the baby so early. This year was anniversary of it and tough and a climb up ever since early Spring, but still hard for me. I find this the main cause for my lack of birding, lack of gardening, lack of much progress in many things. Lately it’s gotten weirder for me too, in ways I can’t really write out, but it’s all just thinking sorts of things that would appear too crazy to write down. πŸ™‚

But I’m trying to pull up myself and get painting going again. I have the A/C now, sore throat or not I can paint. I just need to get the walls more ready. I’ve not gotten it all done yet. It’s taking longer than I meant it to. The children get the walls so dirty, it’s a lot of washing to get the walls ready to sand a bit, and fill holes. I guess I’ll close this rambling post and go do some more washing. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers have really been a great help in this job. Still, it’s hard. So be it. It’ll be worth it when it’s a nice blue instead of the light tan color there now that isn’t very bright and cheery.

A/C has helped

Life in our house since getting A/C Window units has been better, some. Yes, nicer, not sticky and overwelming any more. Thoughts of Fall are on me … the unit in the Kitchen Window blocks most of the morning light that we have had coming in there since living here. In the Spring we took out the French Doors on that wall, and that cut out most of the light we were used to having in there, so the only light left for daytime was that window … so now with even LESS light … it seems like Fall-Time with the cooler temps and no bad humidity. We have lived “natural” for two years, so I’m used to the “natural” progression of weather … myself is fooled then, in the home where I spend most of my time, into later in the year weather that would mean it really IS later in the year, when infact is IS NOT! πŸ™‚

We had a virus in the family the last week or so. If not for that we would have some painting going on. I’m gearing up to paint the upstair hallway and main bathroom. I’m hoping to get started today on clearing things out of there and getting the walls preparded … in that way I finally broke down and bought “Mr. Clean Magic Erasers” the other week, and I now know what I was missing. Drawings on the walls have been my bane. Now they are easily wiped away. :rolleyes: They are so useful too in other jobs, dirt you have to scrub comes of with little elbow grease, when I am used to really having to dig in and apply that grease. So that just means I am more able to clean and motivate to clean, with a gadget that works well.

After we bought those “Mr. Clean” things I saw a commersial on TV for them, and one part showed someone wiping the grime off vehicle wheel hub covers. So I got right up and took a Magic Eraser out, and tried it on our van wheels, just one, and WOW! It works to get that junk of right away! That’s a big deal, since those wheels haven’t really ever been cleaned since we bought the van in 2000. πŸ™‚ We now have clean looking wheels all around the van. They now look better than the rest of the van. πŸ™‚

So my work to get painting in the house will deal with those pads, I can get all icky marks off the walls easily. So then I need to fix some holes and tape up a few things. Then it’s blue paint time. I have paint that I was going to do the kitchen with. We’d matched the color to a color in a countertop sample that we thought of getting. We probably won’t do that type of counter, and since the kitchen is not far enough along to paint any wall parts, I will use it up in the hall and bathroom, where it will be nice, bright, clean and go well with that Monet picture I wrote about sometime in the past month. I had it in our bedroom, and moved it into the hall, and it seemed to go great there, finally a place for it and inspiration for what else to do in the hall.

Other than all that, the children are all in various levels of coughing out the last of the virus. It’s breaking up and they are getting more energy back, but still whining off and on, not feeling 100% –but getting closer. I did seem to get the virus, DH too, but it didn’t drag us down. Thank you dear Lord for keeping us on our feet! πŸ™‚

I am feeling very itchy though. It’s the weather, the bad air out there, in past years I’ve felt that too, even with A/C. My voice gets worn out and I feel all itchy allergic. We had nice rain not long ago, just when I wrote about it and asked it to come, it did. Now it’s needing to come back again. Smog. Ugh. I’m really sensitive to it. Russell is usually too (he’s my blonde hair blue eyed sensitive boy) πŸ™ So I’m glad to have the A/C units at least, so at least we are cooler and not sweaty and under Smog full grossness. It’s filtered, at least. πŸ™‚

Moving the pen caused loss

Yesterday I moved the Leghorn pen, to give them some fresher grass, as well as to collect the five eggs they’d laid. For some reason without a box they all lay in a different spot, so the eggs are not in a pile or even close to one another, but all spread out. The pen they are in, to remind readers, is the Superyard, which originally was a baby containment gate system in our home. I carried it outside one day whatever year that was, and the rest is history. Since this year the roof consists of a large piece of plywood, which is VERY heavy, I can’t move the pen easily. My method is now: two long 2×4’s, get them under the pen, which I can do on the sides, then pull the pen over the 2×4’s to fresh grass. It works, it’s easy compared to any other method I could choose from. πŸ™‚

This 2×4 method to move the Superyard pen makes collecting the eggs, as yesterday proved, easy yet very hard. The dog was running around and I had no human helper. I pulled the pen, intending to stop before getting to the first egg. I pulled and dog came and ran away. I pulled too far. He got an egg. Urg! Oh no! He got TWO eggs! How did that happen? Hmm. I pulled it too far too fast. I didn’t realize how much of my strength I had put into it. It’s not that I had to output the strength, it’s more like, I put more pull into it than I needed to, without realizing how far I had pulled. I ran after the dog, I could see the white egg sticking out of his mouth, he must have had two in there, he has a big mouth. πŸ™‚ I couldn’t get him, so he went off under the deck to munch on his unexpected bonus win. He’s quick, I know that, so I pulled the pen fast so that I could get the next egg, there were only three left to collect, and one was right there a few inches away, I could get it if I hurried, without worrying about the dog getting it. I hurried alright, smack — crunch. I didn’t pay attention in the rush of it all and smooshed the egg, I didn’t have enough clearance to get over the egg. Usually I do using the 2×4 method, sometimes extra care needs to be invoked, and in this case, I didn’t pay close enough attention to consider that. πŸ™

So I carefully pulled the pen the rest of the way, scanning my environment for the dog as I pulled, and I got the only two eggs I could collect, and pulled the pen to it’s final grassy position for the day.

The dear Leghorns laid 5 nice eggs yesterday, but I only got 2 to take into the house for human consumption. The dog took 2 and got a 3rd as extra-bonus-bonus.

The hennies are all doing fine. They are laying fairly well, I’m just not counting their eggs. Somedays we don’t get many from either pen, not the same day necessarily. It’s 2 in one pen, 5 in another, or 6 in one and 4 in the other, or none and 7, or 3 and 5, etc.

It’s mid-point in Summer, sort of. Laying of eggs will go on, if all goes well, into November, maybe longer. I do hope to have good enough surroundings for some of them to continue on laying in Winter. I want to get some new girls, this fall if I can, who will be new layers next Spring. If we wait until Spring, we won’t have new layers until Summer or later. The Leghorns we have hatched in October the other year. They began laying in March. That was nice. So if I can get some hens to keep laying over Winter and let some molt, then have new pullets laying begin in early Spring, and the molters will begin laying then or a bit later, and during later winter/early spring I can let the winter layers molt if they want to or not if they don’t want to. Sounds nice, but it won’t work out so easily.

We are at the point to plan “What do we do with our old biddie Leghorns”. They are not cheap to keep around, and as long as they lay eggs they are valuable … we won’t be eating those stringy chickens, they are scrappy Italian production facilities, not to-be-eaten-by-us-hens. The other hens we have, the Wyandottes and Australorps are much meatier. I don’t want to eat them either. They are my dear friends. I want to raise chickens to eat. We raised these chickens to lay eggs for us to eat. In worse times I can see eating your old biddies, but not in these times, currently. πŸ™‚

July sure went by fast

I know time goes fast when you are having fun, but what if it goes by fast when you are definitely NOT having fun? πŸ™‚

Time has flown for me the last few years, and this last month, July 2005, has been quite the fastest, by far, in my estimation of historical events in my life. It’s now officially August. Wow.

August is a month that has historical attachments to it for me. I guess I was ingrained with the “school year” calendar in my younger days, and I view July and August as pure Summer days of freedom, with it all beginning in early June at the latest, if not May.

In my own lifetime and school “career” I saw that idea taken and smacked up and torn apart. It’s hard to put into words, but it’s the idea of freedom from tyranny which I have, it’s a beautiful picture in my head that is connected to the idea of Summer and that is what this part of the year is.

We homeschool, and are not on any sort of schedule as the public school’s have. I felt horrid when I opened up the Ads in the paper around the last weekend in June or first weekend in July and saw all the “Back to School” ads … really I felt bad. I understand that most schools around here start this very week that we are just beginning on the calendar. That just messes with my internal summer clock.

We “officially” begin a new year of homeschooling in September, but that’s only in the eyes of the school board. We do our thing year round, but nothing formal. This coming year I’ll be doing more with our eldest. He’s 9 and reads well, can write, needs more practice there, he has an electrical experiement set that we can get an upgrade for. There are other things in that realm of electrical and computer that we’ll be looking at. He likes Bionicles and is collecting them all. Also into K’nex. The other two children love the K’nex too. They follow directions to build things, and also make things on their own. (I would have loved K’nex when I was a child!)

The two younger are 6 and 4. I’m working slowly to get them reading. That’s all they need, it’s the code to open up learning in any way they want to. If I push them, they won’t get it any faster than they could by doing it slowly. I do it slowly and punch up whatever they seem ready for.

All the children draw and color. Eldest draws intricate scenes: boats, houses, cross-sections with all kinds of things going on. Sometimes people are in the scenes, often robots, bionicle-like things, dinosaurs, etc. He’s not fastidious, but fastly draws things in, and spends time filling in with lots of things. His “coloring” is hurried too, and it’s sloppy.

His younger brother is 4 years younger. His coloring is really good. His drawing is simplistic. He’s opposite of his brother in that way. He’s also an extrovert, whereas his older brother is an introvert.

The middle child is our girl. She’s into drawing faces. She has some neat things she’s done lately, on a regular sheet of paper, plain 8.5×1, she has faces started landscape at the top left edge and uses up a couple of square inches for each face, one after the other, then down a line and continuing.

She’s had an interesting way of drawing people, usually going for frontal format. Her elder brother is the one that does cross-sections, and makes people/things from different angles. She herself does make people from the side, but likes the faces so much I think, she prefers to make them so that their faces can be shown. πŸ™‚

I’m a doodler, I draw things that flow from my pen. I have never stretched my abilities and done much more. In school I did have “instruction”, in 6th grade more so than not, that I recall best. My teacher there was very strict. She was art and English teacher. My homeroom teacher in 5th grade too. Most people didn’t like her much. She’s one teacher I was sort of afraid of in my lower grades, but when I ended up in her class, I started to see something, and I am thinking of it now, and think she saw something in me that others did not. I think she’s the one who got me to be tested for the gifted program. I didn’t get in, my math stuff was all too low. I felt a softness of lovelyness in that teacher though, when everyone else saw her as hard as nails. Hmm.

So anyhow, I did drawing there in her classes, more formally in 6th grade. She insisted that all English things, like stories and poems, have art included with them. πŸ™‚ You must know that I hadn’t considered her in a long time. She was an older woman (probably only in her 50’s back then πŸ˜‰ ).

I never had considered myself good at replicating actual life. I am able to draw things I see, but I don’t LIKE doing it. I see it too nicely to reproduce it with my poor hand to my own perfections faulting.

So I doodle. I doodle graphical-like. Just shapes of meaning or nonsensical creation. I’ve done a particular type since childhood, mostly then on bookcovers for certain. I still do it today and realized not too long ago it really is like tattoos I’ve seen on people IRL, TV, Print, etc. I’ve not copied it from anything, it’s only natural doodling. Nothing new under the sun, you know. πŸ™‚

One of my most favorite simplistic graphics is what I have on this site in use as my “gravatar”, which is “globally recognized avatar”, something I’ve enabled for comments on this site … you sign up for a free account on the gravatar site, and upload your avatar, and it’s associated with one email address. So anytime you comment on a site that uses the gravatar service, if you use an email address that is registered with gravatar.com then your avatar will load on that comment. You can see mine on any thread of recent time here I’ve commented on. I don’t always comment with that email address on other sites, so I do have a colored version of that graphic I’ll associate at a later time with my other email I use.

I have graphics from very recent years in books and on a few pages of things, and have scanned a few into the computer, and want to get them all in. I don’t really have many that are that good, but some have potential for working on further, and some are standalone pretty good, IMO. Some I have to take into a graphics program and remove lines behind them, seeing as I do often doodle on lined paper. Something I truly want to get away from doing. I want to take my doodling more seriously. It’s actual an art form that I didn’t consider art. It is art. Bowl me over with a feather when I realized that finally. πŸ™‚

Along these lines I’ve been encouraging the children to draw what they want to and to be as careful doing it as they can, making it as nice as possible, without pressuring them to make it perfect. There is a book I have, but haven’t really read it. It met with the Green Incident and I need to replace it. The Green Incident is an Asa Event. He found something that I had under the sink and poured it over a bunch of my stuff, back when I had my old laptop in the kitchen, and had just put a new pile of books that I was going to do stuff with, out. A bunch of good books. The stuff he poured was thick green pungent smelling concentrate to kill worms on tomato plants, etc. “BTKiller”. I was not happy, to say the least. So anyhow, that book I referred to is Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, or something similar. It’s about learning to really use your right-brain to draw, whether you are left-brain dominant or right-brain dominant. Some of it I gleaned, and it’s what made me realized that I do draw with the right-side of my brain. My designs come from my hand, straight from the right-brain, as I don’t design things I think of, I just let it flow. So my thoughts are that someday I can better myself through drawing if I get that book in good form again, and use it with the children and see what can develop.

I often make things with hearts in them, as my gravatar is. I use gel pens, I have a large set of colors, and many of my designs are full of color, and it’s my choice as to what they look like, but I turn my left-brain off entirely and just do it. If you aren’t “right-brain”-ish, you might’nt know what I mean, it’s just automatic for me, not something I have to turn off. It’s particular of me that my left-brain is able to be turned off and on, but my right brain is always on. My left-brain functioning isn’t 100% useful either, just part of it. Well this is part of the whole thing about my family, we are all VS, that’s Visual Spatial, that’s “right-brain dominant”. So I know that my kind of learning is theirs, and we just “do it”. We learn through many things, and I think that reading and artisticness and nature are the best things to learn via. πŸ™‚

So Summer is freedom to me. I hate the thought of formal school in August. (It was hard enough to think it right in September back in my youth! The lure of new supplies is what drew me usually.) It’s stifling of breath to me. It’s stifling to think of learning being something to go to school for. I learned in school a bit, but learned much more outside of school. I learned on my own from the start and never stopped. Summer was the best learning time, reading, reading, reading, no interference from school work; and climing trees, running, exploring the hills, and woods and cemetaries and … ah, just really living and learning from everything around. Drinking it in.

That’s the idea I have of freedom in the first place, real freedom, freedom from tyranny. The Summertime ideal is written of in literature, like The Penrdragon series (King Arthur) by Stephen Lawhead.

The hot and cool of it

With the weather being so terribly hot and humid and dangerous (sure it can get hotter, but temps in the the 80’s and 90’s to mid or high 90’s all have feels-like into the 100’s, up to 111F. or even more), Frank went to Lowes early yesterday morning and brought home 2 window air conditiners. One is over the kitchen sink, the other in our master bedroom. Within about 10 minutes of having the kitchen a/c installed and running, the air in the house dried out pretty much. Ah, relief! Coolness is now felt, but it’s not super cold. Both units are 10,000 BTU’s, and our house is tri-level, so two of them aren’t quite enough.

We are keeping the laundry room door shut and the other basement room that isn’t quite finished. They are much warmer therefore, than the rooms in the rest of the house. They do have air that is drier than outside though, they are warm, but cool compared to outside, and warm compared to the a/c free flow parts of the house. The doors have a gappy clearance at the bottom, being on concrete with no finished floor, so the air exchanges to some degree, which I do appreciate after all.

This is an easier solution for us than getting the central a/c looked at, cleaned out, rejuvenated. This will work for the rest of the summer. The units have 5-year warranties. I like them since they have no ducts hiding what’s what, or other parts in big boxes that we can’t access and haven’t a clue about.

Our old a/c system didn’t work right for the type of house we have. Our master bedroom had to be super cold for the living room to be just not quite too warm, but warmer than we wanted. We need zones, and this is closer to zones now, with the window units. Another time in the future we’ll get it all worked out. πŸ™‚

It is like pea soup outside, day or night. The air is so thick. In the van, it takes 10 minutes for the a/c to do much, and I struggle to breathe at all then, and have to breate shallowly and slowly and try not to breathe much at all, it’s painful when the air is that thick and hot and just plainly not satisfactory to breathe. It’s sort of like partial suffocation for a short time here and there. Getting out of the van then, my glasses usually fog up terribly in an instant. I never remember that when it’s going to happen, it gets me every time.

Well, last year we went without a/c, had some bads days, went to Barnes and Noble a lot, but it just wasn’t this bad last year. The overall air quality is just pathetic.

Oh come ye rains and bless us with thy waters, cleanse the air, green up the blades of grass which wither under the suns cruel stare. Breathe into the air and create the life giving breath for our lungs. Lighting and rain together in unison, come to my abode, this southern land we love, and tarry awhile.

Hot dog days and meals

Yesterday was so hot. It got to 90 degrees in the house. I had seen weather info earlier that forecast 89 for a high in Atlanta. I don’t know why it got so hot in the house though, it wasn’t THAT hot outside. I guess it’s partially my ankle injury, I didn’t go around checking fans direction of air pull, windows to open or close, blinds to go up or down, open or close slats, etc.

Usually I try to get things all flipped back and forth depending on sun position, so back of the house is pushing out in morning, but pulling in the evening. Front of the house pulls in morning and pushes in afternoon. Pulls means takes air into house. Push means takes air out of the house.

It’s not a precise method though, sometimes it’s better to close off the front of the house all day instead. I think that might be what went wrong yesterday. It did get cloudy/stormy during the afternoon, but it never rained.

Anyway, it just does get very hot some days, inside is hard to control with the fans we have. It’s not always so bad, just parts of the day. Some days are worse on a whole, but not every day, mostly not even two days in a row, just afternoons.

So yesterday was that hotty one and I didn’t get a clear mind to cook dinner until after 8pm, it was really closer to 9 when I got going. This is something that is not new for me. Last year the very hot days were like that. It’s just that for me my mind turns to mush and I can’t function if it’s that hot, and the evening cools down after dark eventually and my mind comes back online. People don’t like it. But that’s where understanding comes in and helping me is better than fussing at me for it. πŸ™‚

I came up with a version of somethings I make, that was different enough to be it’s own thing.

I used German Sweet Sausage, which is a natural non-cured product we got at Harry’s (Whole Foods Market) in the cooler where prepackaged things from other companies are kept.

I sliced that into angled rounds, and then each of those into halves.

I used:

several small Yukon Gold potatoes, diced.
1/2 a large Vidalia onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large Red Bell Pepper cut into 1/4-inch wide, long strips, then cut in half lenth-wise

I stir fried that until the potatoes were nearly done.

Then I added:

1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (Muir Glen)
two handfuls of long, thin green beans (fresh)
Soy Sauce, a few dashes
A couple dashes of Tabasco Sauce
Sea Salt to taste
Extra water as needed to make the sauce less thick, to aide cooking.
Added the German Sweet Sausage then too.

When the beans were done, still a bit crispy, the meal was ready, I put freshly grated fresh queso cheese ontop.

It was very good. I didn’t used to do much with veggy stir fry’s a few years ago even, but last year started doing some things and this year just chuck things into the pan when the time calls for such.

I have some other renditions that are more Japanese Stir Fry sorts of meals. I use rice or japanese noodles, chicken, or beef, and sugar snap peas, water chesnuts, more soy sauce, and onions, red bell peppers, etc.

These things I made up. It’s a reinvention of the wheel, yes, I didn’t create them as unique things, I know that they aren’t anything new precisely, just that I did what is natural to me to put them together without a recipe. Any recipe would have things in it I would leave out or change or add different things in, so it is that mine are unique in a way anyhow, but I am not claiming some great new recipes here. πŸ™‚

I’m just glad to share what I’ve done more of and I am proud of it since I’m such a picky person about veggies. I started this all the other year when I started making a crock pot “pepper steak” recipe. I did it to get good Vit C peppers instead of the green peppers, so I used Red Bell Peppers and liked them as soft as the crock pot made them. I forced myself to make it on the stove and make them less soft last year, and that got me into actually liking the crisp crunch of peppers more and more and leading me into better stir fry additions.

I used to make “fried rice” which was heavy work for me. I didn’t have lots and lots of veggies in it. It is something I don’t make anymore, I just dislike how much rice I have to stir in and it wears my arm out and makes the meal icky for me. Too much of a chore.

So for me this different way of cooking allows me to have an easy way to make something that is so much better, and it can have rice or noodles or no carbs at all. Lots of veggies nicely crisp done.

I don’t use a regular Soy Sauce either. I now use Tamari, which is a wheat free soy sauce. It tastes so much better, IMO. Soy is something I only use if it’s in small quantities, as soy sauce is, and is fermented, brewed or something, as soy sauce is.

Basically this all is just an introduction to a different kind of oriental cooking that I have liked, and I’ll probably get going into researching some other japanese recipes for real one of these days. πŸ™‚

Now I’m hungry for something crispy japanesey good. Hmph. It’s still morning.

Thunderous Praise

We had a lovely thunderstorm early this evening. The lighting was crashing down and cloud to cloud, close to our home. It was so soothing. Super intense storms are so soothing to me.

We hadn’t heard thunder as we have this evening in several years, the first Spring in our house was 1997 and we had a Super-April, very exciting. We’ve had a storm here or there with good sounds, but not much at all, not like tonight.

I stood on our little front porch for part of the storm tonight. It was very refreshing, several crashes were “right there” as close as could be without being our house or one of them in our neighborhood visual sight. Crash! Boom! Bang! Boom, boom, boom, rumble-hard, rumble-hard, rumble-hard, rumble-hard, rumble, rumble, rumble, growl, growl, growl, slumber rumble …

It’s fun to see a lightning strike in your mind, not with your eyes, but feel it with all your other senses that are not sight nor sound. It sounds bizarre I guess, but it’s true to life. They are sometimes over the house or behind it and not visible. I see them like that the rare times there is lighting and I am inside the house too. Anyhow, we had several very close ones tonight, multiples of multiples just a bit further away. More further away than that as well. The weather map on local tv had so many lighting strike symbols on the map where our county was visible, you could barely make out our county, it was just a white blobbish thing. It was mentioned on the newscast there too, actually calling out our little town by name. That was quite notable. We are so far outside of the “city” that the news broadcasts from. We had immense lighting though, the most dangerous sort, the stuff that hits the ground. So it’s dangerous, but intensley beautiful from some sort of a distance.

So that lighting that is seen or not seen, is always heard afterthefact. The Earth’s air clapping it’s hands unto God to His Glory. Awesome stuff!

Household Changes

I re-seated the heatsink on the desktop mb this afternoon. I had wanted to do this for awhile, but since my “stuff” is in such disarray, I hadn’t looked hard enough to find my Artic Silver, which I’d be needing to do the job. So I motivated to find it today. The computer yesterday started fritzing out, not erroring, just “freezing” suddenly and not unfreezing.

It got worse today, restarts would work, but a minute or so into Win XP the freeze would hit. Then I couldn’t even work in BIOS after that, it froze immediately after entering BIOS. That told me the truth of it, HARDWARE. I wasn’t sure, since a bunch of Win XP Auto updates occurred in the last few days … and I’m suspicious of those any good old day of the year. [it was a dh “ok” on some windows message to change to automatic updates sometime in the past, I don’t like them and wouldn’t have done it, and had little to do with this desktop the last several months … so it happened when I was not on guard.] The case is though, it’s not software, so that was alright to understand.

I thought it was probably the processor. (I’m sure it was.) I took it apart and it looked awful stuff under the heatsink. So I scraped it up where it was left (yeah, it wasn’t much protected) and then reapplied some Artic Silver and put the heatsink back on top and snapped it down. Re-connected all the other hardware/cables/etc and cleared CMOS, then booted up into BIOS. The system recognized my processor and let it default into 2100+ real settings. That was way cool. I fought with it a few weeks ago when I installed new memory, and WANTED to re-apply the processor stuff right then, but wasn’t really able to, so didn’t and tried to get the system to take the better processor settings since I had more memory of much higher quality finally. Before the new memory I was never able to run the processor at full speed either. That old memory was junk to this board, abit nf7-s vs.2 We now have a GIG in dual channel mode, 2 x512mb sticks.

I’ll see how this lasts, right now I’m monitoring via MBM 5 and the temps are staying in the 40’s. It’s not a cool room, it’s Summer, and it’s a first re-application of the heatsink/processor relationship with Artic Silver since a long while. That means the temperature should decrease if the application is a good one, and in a few weeks it’ll “gel” more, fully only meaning it’ll become a good install situation and become more stable of temperature over time.

Frank’s laptop (from eBay) came on Monday, it’s a Vaio PCG-K13. It’s nice. Practically brand new, but didn’t come with recovery discs or the original factory OS stuff on the hard drive. It has Win XP Pro, but no Pro disc or license #. Only has a Win XP HOME license on the bottom of the laptop as they are sold that way. So for now I just went with the Pro install and will get the recovery CD stuff from Sony eventually, and just downloaded the drivers Sony has for the K13 online. It’s pretty nice, a Pentium 4 and that’s a full processor and needs to be watched so that the laptop doesn’t overheat, so a cooling thing underneath is fairly necessary. Different manufacturers make them, Targus being one main stream company. It’s something else we’ll get for Frank’s laptop.

I now have the Desktop to myself then. I’m glad for that. We have to get “the office” cleaned up and move stuff around, then I can have a better area to work with, in Frank’s office. It used to have the extra Queen bed in it. We just took that out recently. We put our King foundations under each twin mattress in the children’s rooms. They are really longer twin foundations (sold in pairs for King sets). We had the Queen futon on top of our King Mattress set, arranged that in January 2004, I think it was. It increased the height of the bed. We also have extender legs on the frame. So the bed was high, and had a mattress ledge on each side of the Queen futon on top, due to sizing differences between King and Queen.

We took the King Mattress out and are discarding that, it’s too not comfy, too broken down inside (why we put the futon on top of it originally). Then we made the frame smaller to fit Queen size and put the Queen set on top, and the Queen Futon on top of that. Ah, it’s better than before. I don’t have that ledge anymore, lost realestate, but I am getting used to it. We’ve been on a Queen Size for a long while now, so it’s not sleeping getting used to that we have, just the ledge missing that makes it different, a level to hop onto from the floor, a place to put a book, remote, etc.

The room has a bit more space too then. I still have to get the dustruffle washed and then resize it with pins and install it again. I use two – one made for the high leg extender size, and then another on top of that to give it “oomph” – weight, thickness to the eye looking at it, etc.

This whole thing frees up room in the office then, and it can get “re-office-ized” and be the best office area, better than it’s ever been before. I may have enough room to “scrapbook” here or maybe elsewhere, when we are done. Oh, it’s been so very way too long.

We got a bunch of ‘photo’ boxes at Michael’s the other day, on sale for 1.99 each. I am going to find ALL my photo’s and arrange them in them and get started organising them even better than that in the boxes once I start going through them. Most from when Frank and I married to current are in sleeves from processing, good little things that hold them well, but they need to be in boxes. Some are, but most are not. Then I have many loose photos from Frank’s Dad, and lots of loose photos from my past life, before Frank. I can organise many of my scrapbook stuff loose things in these boxes as well.

My stuff has been messed up, thanks to Asa, who just is into everything so much more than either of the two before him every were. He’s a piece of work, that’s for sure. I have had this sort of stuff under the bed in plastic storage boxes and they get opened, blah, blah, blah, boxes broke, stuff all over … :rolleyes:

Asa is 4 and soon enough will be 5. Time to grow up and stop messing with my stuff! I haven’t done anything with it since I’ve had no place to work with stuff. I hopefully will get to do something soon. My stuff is early scrapbooking Creative Memories stuff. I see the things in stores now, and melt. Ah, so nice! But I have plenty of my plain stuff, which is my style, to a degree any ways. So then there’s my Rubber Stamping stuff. Asa totally messed up all my ink pads and embossing powders … so to get back into that I must get new stuff. I love stamping. I love embossing! It’s been a long while since any of that too.

With area for me opening up I can get my creative juices running fuller and get going on lots of stuff. Outlets. God bless such things! With outlets I am a nicer me to everyone else. More outlets, more nice me. πŸ™‚ I’ve been redused for too long. I hope this computer works fine for me, and that sometime I can get a laptop to fill out the niches. I have my digital Canon now, and that goes hand in hand with all this office stuff, since I can do much more with photos now with a good digital camera, and this is all part of scrapbooking and all the rest.

We still have to get the kitchen done. It’s a long way off. The paint on the cabinets that I did before, a couple of doors were sticking, and just this last week stopped that finally. Like when they are shut, open them later and you have to pull them, the corner of the door on the frame, the paint, sticks. So that’s done. Now I know it’s a better time to try to sanding and re-painting of them. So when it’s cool enough, I’ll get the paint out and see how much more I need, and get that done.

The “island” needs to be created, and a new stove bought. I want to do the countertop on that island myself, tiled, and have a manufactured countertop on the areas around the room with the wall cabinets. The base of the island we hope to make ourselfs and have no idea exactly how we want to do that. The right ideas and things will come in time. The wall cabinets are a butter yellow, and the island I see as being, most likely, dark blue below, with some nice natural colored tile on top. The butter yellow cabinets will have “we do not know” as a countertop. That’s one of the things to think over still.

We have talked about the “dining room” the wall with the fireplace on it we plan to have “book cases” flanking each side. The space is just right for that treatment, with the fireplace jutting out into the room and having equal spaces on each side then. I want a wood look, pine sheets of wood veneer facing the room, stained to be similar to how our table is, a pretty color, not light nore dark. Shelves fairly high, lighting included in the space. There may be a panel door sort of bottom to each side, that juts out to meet the fireplace depth dimensions from mantel height, or chair rail height.

We are in agreement that the “dining room” is first thing to get done, it’s easier, no moving of pluming or electric, well not much electric just a bit for lighting the bookcases. This whole thing will include the fireplace surround. We have black slate there now, and will keep that. It had ugly molding built around it to make it look “traditional”, it was put in by the builder, and we never liked it, it was a bad job of it. I ripped that off the other month. It felt good to do that. We have just the stone on the wall now, and drywall and a couple of lumber pieces that were the nailers for the old facing.

Things are shaping up a bit with Frank’s work, so these things can start up, get going again, etc. I really hope we can get that main floor, the kitchen/dining/entry area done before year end. That includes a new window and new doors in the kitchen to the backyard. The deck is not something we want to keep, and it’s not useful where it is any way, with the French doors gone. The new doors will be down the other end of the room, and that’s not the deck there at all. A better spot for the deck, so if we can get it done, well put in a new one there later, and just a stoop and steps to the yard for the time being once the doors are in. The doors are one of the last things we can do, so they will wait a bit, until other things are moved and set up in the kitchen, that’s plumbing sort of things, which mean countertop too. πŸ™‚ All things must wait their turn, so it’s dining room first. It’s nice to be thinking of it and writing of it again, knowing we are set to do something sooner than later now. πŸ™‚

Hi Dennis!

Dennis is here, the outer north-east bands part of “him” that is. It’s breezey all of the sudden and tropical air and rain are falling (warm and big heavy drops rushing down). Dennis is a cat. 3 hurricane now, and expected to hit somewhere on the Gulf Coast by tomorrow morn, and he’s so big that this weather we are having up here is his influence.

The ground just got un-soggy from Cindy-rain today (still very damp though), so here we go with Dennis and it will be really muddy-ish and soggier than soggy as Cindy made things the other day.

We had another nest of Mockingbirds in a tree out back and they fledged from the nest the day after the Cindy rain. They are still little birdies and one is staying in a small tree near the tree that held their nest. There were 4 baby mocks. They all got out, but I lost track of one right away, and then another soon there after. There were two in the tree that just one is in now, until today. Having baby birds like that around make one consider how they get through such rainy times as this, in their weak young state. They hop around, still getting up their wings to learn soon. So it’s not like they can fly up into some sheltered area exactly. πŸ™

I have to get pics up for the birds, I have a couple of nice little ones. I’m bad about getting them up now. I really just need to get them up here!

We are suppose to get a good bit of rain, but not sure, it does depend on how far West Dennis goes, or how far East, of course. I love the rain though. I really love it. I know it’s tough on others in other places, it’s what waters us in the summer though. We need it here. In any case, it’s lovely to hear the rain fall, soft, hard, breezes blowing the trees, curtains blow in and billow about sometimes, fresh clean air. πŸ™‚

New Black Oil Sunflower

Canon Digital Rebel – July 6, 2005

Notice the beautiful swirls, the pattern is gorgeous, shows God’s handiwork wonderfully. Such order, beauty, but no true straight lines involved. πŸ™‚

Cindy Dumped Rain

Over 2-inches, but we don’t know really how much, that’s just an airport to the north of us that I grabbed the two-day totals from to estimate something from.

It was very soggy before Cindy arrived. I know I am not knowledgeable enough to know about it, we were away from home July 4 & 5 overnight. Apparently it rained during that time. Mushrooms started to come up (fromthe ground) while I was out looking for Cindy clouds and bands on July 5 and 6. It sprinkled a bit now and then, but that’s all, until after dark, the rain started to really come down, and it rained and rained and rained all night long.

It wasn’t so bad, just a lot of rain, enough for us, not enough to float us away though.

Now our eyes turn towards the South again, to Dennis. He’s gotten big. (I still don’t like calling a storm a “he” πŸ™ ). It’s iffy where he’ll go, left or right. They talk about it on accuweather’s “expert summary” on their hurricane page. Pretty much it’ll be as usual for us, he’ll hit some where on the Gulf Coast and we’ll get rain MOST LIKELY. Lots and lots or some or none, but mostly probably LOTS. We are in NE GA and that’s the East side of most every storm that comes up through the gulf, rainy. And they usually are really into dumping over us. I’d rather they did though, we went through a drought for years with very little rain. Excess this side of it is preferred.

I have some pictures of early Cindy skies on July 6th. I need to get them onto a site then I’ll link to them here.

Arlene’s Effect and Longer Days

Friday it was hot and muggy and the air had no breeze to speak of, basically. Saturday the air was wonderful, low to mid 70’s, low humidity, breezy to light gusty.

Arlene, first tropical named storm of the Atlantic 2005 Hurricane Season, made things nice for us on Saturday. Her rain came then though, and overnight it was muggy again and Sunday it was downright raining inside, that muggy, not that it was really raining inside. πŸ™‚ Accuweather says we got 1.87 inches of rain on Sunday. We got some on Saturday too, so were at about 2 inches or more from the Arlene effects.

I’m glad though for one day of cooler, dryer air, as it was on Saturday. It was such a relief. πŸ™‚

Currently it’s 81 degrees F. with a “feels like” of 95 degrees F. That’s humidity for you. A killer in the Summer. It makes hot temps just feel so much hotter. In the winter it’s nice, makes cold temps feel warmer. It’s not generally humid outside in the winter though, and one has to put humidity into the house on purpose then. Nature is backwards on this thing. Typically humid weather comes with hot temperatures, so the modern Air Conditioning we have available is miraculous-ish. If we don’t use it we have to cope with the condition of nature as our forefathers did. It’s really not so bad, just have to cope heavily in extremes. Everyday isn’t an extreme day, only parts of some are.

We are into Summer now. It’s not “officially” Summer yet, but is practically speaking. Today is supposed to get to about 85 degrees F. and feel as hot as 99 degrees F. at the most. Tomorrow is 92/109 in the “high temp”/”feels like high temp” category. Phew!

Old times it was get up early and do the work in the cool of the low sun rising. Rest as the Sun gets High in the sky. Work again later when the Sun is getting lower. It’s Summer, the Sun is out for a long time, we have lots of light late in the day. It’s rather freaky when it first hits you how late it is and how light it still is. πŸ™‚ That’s a sign that the longest daylight day of the year is coming closer.

The Heat is Here

It was cool last week … well, let’s see, the week that was the last one in May. My time is messed up a bit, we’ve been HOT and sick and generally those two aren’t so good together, if you know what I mean.

Temps in the house have been 85 degrees F. or higher at the worst, close to 90 degrees F. often enough. That’s too hot for me. To make it worse though, it’s heavy heat, you know, the sort with too much water in it, otherwise know as “humid air”. It’s not just that though, it’s the lack of breeze, the dead air.

The month of May was nice. It wasn’t too hot, and the hotter days did have breezes. We have fans in some windows and everything was great in May.

Enter June. June, she be nasty. So we sweat and suffer. I don’t mind it as much if I don’t HAVE to do much for anyone else. This is the sort of weather we had last year when my relatives came by and I just couldn’t function and be myself. So I zombied my hosting and crashed otherwise, and it was also “mental recovery from miscarriage” then too. I look back a year ago, with this heat and don’t know how I survived then. Anyhow, this heat isn’t the bad thing. It’s just that it is here. We live with it. We need a few more box fans, and some replacement screens for our windows that don’t have screens anymore, but there isn’t anywhere to ‘just pick them up’ or even ‘just get them shipped to us’ — they seem to not exist in the marketplace.

So I was really sick last week, and had allergies and such. The children all seemed to suffer with something too, allergy like. Yesterday Frank began getting “sick” and had to fly somewhere today just for the day, and is on his way home now, but sicker he says, over the phone. For me it started Memorial Day (Monday the holiday) evening. We had a picnic with our church families. I got a headache near the end, a whole head headache, which is odd for me, I get “migraines”, that sort of headache is partial parts of one side or a whole side, but never a band around nor whole head … so I knew something was up. Before we got home I was in deep pain, my head was cloudy and I was urgently needing my home bathroom :-0 It “could” have been the alchohol that I had drunk, but I doubt it, I wasn’t “drunk” or even a bit “tipsy” from any of it, it was just three or four beers over the coarse of the day. So I was really sick that night, and had a miserable hardly any sleep night, rushing into the bathroom and then just staying there for a long time. The next day I was weak and felt so much better, but continued to feel nauseated and not hungry at all, the headache was gone, but then a migraine set in later.

Figures. I didn’t have a “hangover” either. I’ve gotten sick from ‘drinking’ only twice … and it was from hard liquor, never beer. I mean, drinking a lot and getting drunk and THEN being sick … what I had wasn’t that this time. I don’t overdrink since the last time I did, oh, 10 years ago, and when I did, it was only after I was married and only a handful of times. I do believe in moderation of drink. What I did before was silly young married person stuff. OK, so now, beer stretched out throughout a day, should make me so ill. But if it was alchohol related it would have produced a bit of “hangover” at least, seeing as I was so sick that night. But it wasn’t sick like when I got drunk sick, it was very different. It was “virus-like” absolutely.

The kicker is that the next day I did feel much better, so much, but I still felt ill in my guts and tummy a bit. My migraine took over for a day and a half then it went away and I was left with allergy symptoms runny nose, itchy watery eyes, and a stuffy ear and sore throat. I took Claratin and then decided after a couple of days that I was even worse, so stopped taking that and it seemed to clear up my throat and my eyes and stuff weren’t so bad as before. But my throat then got worse, the whole thing got raw and sore and I had to get Cloraseptic spray to eat anything. I didn’t feel at all like eating though. This whole thing drug out all last week and over the weekend. I felt tired and just falling apart. My guts kept bugging me and well, it wasn’t fun. It wasn’t that bad, only I felt constantly nauseated, as if I was pregnant, but I wasn’t, I’m sure.

I had my first hunger pains in over a week yesterday evening. Then today this afternoon those unfamiliar pangs hit me again suddenly. I had gotten so used to not wanting to think about food, it was weird. I also had super-bad heartburn that whole time last week through the weekend. Just the other day it seemed to lighten up a bit, and has gotten better ever since so that today I only took one TUMS, which is quite a few less than I had been taking.

So I’m the only one that got so very sick. The children have been stuffed up sounding off and on. That’s all. But Frank, he’s been sounding funny and yesterday said he was weak and felt horrible. He had to go on the plane today though, and seems to be having a rough time. Typically, if there’s a virus going around, I’ll get it first or last. So this time, I got it first. His symptoms are very similar to mine, just the timing of it is different. I think my body did a zoom-zoom-zoom with the virus when the aventageous picnic environement surfaced, drinking a bit more than I normally would on a given day, and having a virus trying to get a toe-hold, well, it’s an engraved invitation then. I couldn’t have known.

So when we are dragging, not as much gets done as is wished. Sometime we’ll get more fans and screen doors and get the stuff more out-of-the-way organized for better tolerance of Summer Weather (clutter and heat are just so bad together, aren’t they?)

I’m glad to not feel so ill and food-hating, but I’m not happy to have to pick up and try to move with my still not quite up-to-par self and do stuff to make food in this heat. I have to stop typing. Some mosquito seems to have found her way into the house and is biting me, urgh! Outside it’s the ants. At least they are on the ground, can’t fly up and bite your hands and wrists as you type in the dark. They just bite your toes and feet and well, that’s more tolerable, though it hurts like the dickens and is so gross, but it’s not that itchy itchy itchy of mosquito poison. :veryshocked:

Sunny Day At Last!

Ah, the sun is shining. I got the whole floor swept up on the main level. Sunlight makes that possible πŸ™‚

It’s cool out still, but with the sunny backyard, it feels lovely. Going out on the deck is like a spa. In the summer it REALLY is. Right now it’s just that it feels nice. In the Summer that same heating phenomenon will feel like … I don’t know, just way overheated.

It’s a phenomenon, not really, I just call it that. It’s that you can go out there and judge the weather, right? No. It’s a false warmth. [Maybe it IS a phenomenon, but I say it’s not since it’s reproduceable easily.]

In winter if you go on the deck and think it’s warm enough to go out and play, you could find yourself hauling back in within 5 minutes. It’s way colder “out there” than it is on the deck. Transfers sitution in summer. You might think it TOO HOT to go out, when it’s not really, it’s just the deck.

It’s a normal Southern Exposure thing, that’s all.

Some people in this household also consider the front door “porch” as a temperature gauge. It truly only works as that to determine if it’s BITTERLY cold or not. It has a North-Northwest Exposure, and is recessed and covered. So to use it to see if it’s warm out, you’d think it too cold out there in reality. To use it and think that it’s HOT out there, then it’s probably way hotter than you can even imagine.

North gives a cool-off
South gives a warm-up

These are just basic principles that work in nature with dwellings and other things. We are talking about –Daylight Full Sun– conditions in place.

Forgive my ramblings please! πŸ™‚

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